GroupWise: Features You Lose!

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Novell recently published a 'Top Ten Features Users Lose If They Move' flyer that spells out just a few of the things GroupWise users love about Novell GroupWise!

You can access the flyer here.

The document lists the following features:

  1. Superior message tracking

  • Silent message retraction

  • Native attachment viewing

  • Recurring appointment flexibility

  • Managing group tasks

  • User-controlled proxy rights

  • Enhanced busy search

  • Simpler folder sharing

  • Calendar view of future tasks

  • Managing sent appointments and calendar items


Of course, the flyer goes into more detail on each of these items and provides explanations. There were many features and capabilities to choose from, but these are the ones chosen for this flyer.

What would you miss?


So - now that I have your brainstorming attention - what are those things that you use every day in the GroupWise product that you simply could not live without?

Personally, I have a long list of things that are leveraged in GroupWise and that are customized to a particular way of working - MINE!! I have customized the highly productive habitat to manage my workload, schedule, and information. GroupWise is not only my calendar, task list, contact manager, and principal communication mechanism, but GroupWise is also my information storage and recall nerve center.

Most work days start and end with GroupWise!

Share what features you would miss or that you use the most!!

Dean

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  • Thank you for all of your input and feedback regarding Windermere, the Mac Client, new client features, admin focus and suggestions for different priorities.

    We have spent a considerable amount of time over the last 12 months meeting with existing customers to determine what the short term focus should be regarding our collaboration strategy.

    While I realize that not all customers will have the same priority or list of pain points, it is important to at least understand and share back with our customers, end-users and administrators how their input is shaping our decisions.

    First of all - let me be very very clear. Novell is almost exclusively focused, and has been since the Attachmate acquisition, on our existing customers. Every release, roadmap, product and deliverable has been done for the express benefit of our current customers. While it is always true that a company would like to attract new customers, we are reserving the right to pursue new customers only after we have significantly satisfied our existing customers.

    To that end, Novell completely revamped its Sales force, compensation model and account management thinking to accommodate this focus. With some 300% increase in Sales, Sales Engineering, and Account Managers, this workforce has now been deployed world wide.

    As we met face to face with CxOs throughout our customer base, we found that one of the top issues that they wanted addressed was Administration/Active Directory support. This was not so that it would be easier on GroupWise Administrators - although that is always a good side effect - it was so that GroupWise would better integrate into their overall network infrastructure and that it would be perceived as 'relevant' and 'current'.

    Obviously this is not the only feedback we received. We requested priority on 15 different categories. The GroupWise Windows Client features and improvements along with WebAccess improvements and new functionality was also at the top of many customers' lists.

    The Mac Client - obviously a hot topic. Novell recognizes that we owe our customers and the community an update. The engineering team has been heads down trying to get a handle on several deliverables over the last year including GroupWise 2012, Mobility, Vibe, GroupWise 8.0.3, new Messenger updates and a new co-existence solution. Every one of these has been requested/demanded by our current customers. Not one of these deliverables was specifically targeted to new customers.

    Now that we have many of those under way, we have completed most of the new hiring for the engineering team, we have been trying to determine the velocity of this expanded engineering force. We have been looking at several options regarding the Mac client including the update already scheduled for Mac - GroupWise 8.0.2 HP4 - which is scheduled for this summer. We know that this will not meet all of our Mac users' needs. Additional options are now being explored. We will share those details when they become available. I know you want answers and information yesterday, but I simply can't share anything until we have complete alignment.

    Thank you for your continued interest and demands. It helps to know exactly where each of you want us to focus our attention. We are getting there as quickly as possible.

    Dean
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  • Thank you for all of your input and feedback regarding Windermere, the Mac Client, new client features, admin focus and suggestions for different priorities.

    We have spent a considerable amount of time over the last 12 months meeting with existing customers to determine what the short term focus should be regarding our collaboration strategy.

    While I realize that not all customers will have the same priority or list of pain points, it is important to at least understand and share back with our customers, end-users and administrators how their input is shaping our decisions.

    First of all - let me be very very clear. Novell is almost exclusively focused, and has been since the Attachmate acquisition, on our existing customers. Every release, roadmap, product and deliverable has been done for the express benefit of our current customers. While it is always true that a company would like to attract new customers, we are reserving the right to pursue new customers only after we have significantly satisfied our existing customers.

    To that end, Novell completely revamped its Sales force, compensation model and account management thinking to accommodate this focus. With some 300% increase in Sales, Sales Engineering, and Account Managers, this workforce has now been deployed world wide.

    As we met face to face with CxOs throughout our customer base, we found that one of the top issues that they wanted addressed was Administration/Active Directory support. This was not so that it would be easier on GroupWise Administrators - although that is always a good side effect - it was so that GroupWise would better integrate into their overall network infrastructure and that it would be perceived as 'relevant' and 'current'.

    Obviously this is not the only feedback we received. We requested priority on 15 different categories. The GroupWise Windows Client features and improvements along with WebAccess improvements and new functionality was also at the top of many customers' lists.

    The Mac Client - obviously a hot topic. Novell recognizes that we owe our customers and the community an update. The engineering team has been heads down trying to get a handle on several deliverables over the last year including GroupWise 2012, Mobility, Vibe, GroupWise 8.0.3, new Messenger updates and a new co-existence solution. Every one of these has been requested/demanded by our current customers. Not one of these deliverables was specifically targeted to new customers.

    Now that we have many of those under way, we have completed most of the new hiring for the engineering team, we have been trying to determine the velocity of this expanded engineering force. We have been looking at several options regarding the Mac client including the update already scheduled for Mac - GroupWise 8.0.2 HP4 - which is scheduled for this summer. We know that this will not meet all of our Mac users' needs. Additional options are now being explored. We will share those details when they become available. I know you want answers and information yesterday, but I simply can't share anything until we have complete alignment.

    Thank you for your continued interest and demands. It helps to know exactly where each of you want us to focus our attention. We are getting there as quickly as possible.

    Dean
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  • Dean,
    A year wasted with no work on a Macintosh client solution? You’re only now exploring additional options?

    You’ve lost another EDU GroupWise customer today. With Macintosh being the largest part of our community, I simply can't wait any longer.

    Let me recap just a few of the other EDUs that have left recently. There are many more that have moved within the last 12-18 months. If you'd like, I'll add the rest later.

    <removed by blog administrator>

    Jeff
  • same message posted in NGWList

    I'm sorry that you took such an extreme view of the message/response posted on the GroupWise blog. I can certainly understand the need for information and details. It is also challenging to be able to communicate all messages to all people in a forum like this or in the comments of a blog.

    It is kind of like trying to explain the planning, thinking, design, financing and logistics for the continuing building of a skyscraper to a community who needs the entire building to be done immediately while a particular group of people simply want to know if the 8th floor will have the same size/layout as all of the other floors.

    The answer is YES - but its tough to start on the 8th floor when you just got done building the 4th. :) In addition, to characterize our efforts regarding Apple as 'not much else has happened' is frustrating.

    I also understand that you and others can't wait. Unfortunately, I can not turn back the clock or change previous corporate strategic priorities. Not all things in software development can happen simultaneously. We had to stay the course and ship GroupWise 2012. That obviously consumed our engineering resources and any significant course change would have had even more serious consequences.

    It does not mean - however - that we have been waiting around trying to figure out what we should do. We have been engaged on multiple levels and with a variety of initiatives to right the ship and straighten the course. Supporting Apple devices and Mac users is a significant part of the skyscraper.

    For example:

    1. Novell Data Synchronizer - provides mobile synchronization for iPhone, iPad and iTouch (all iOS devices)
    2. GroupWise 2012 - provides additional support for iPad users through Web templates
    3. GroupWise 8.0.2 HP4 will include a Mac update for the current GroupWise Mac client
    4. GroupWise 2012 WebAccess has improved many users' experience - including those using Safari on Mac


    Everyone one of these technologies and capabilities was either updated or delivered in the last 12 months. We are also very committed to continued support for Apple products and Mac users.

    There are really only two other options. Build a brand new native GroupWise Mac client from the ground up AND/OR support a few standards like CalDav, CardDav to allow native Mac applications like MacMail, iCal and Address Book to synchronize GroupWise data to the Mac desktop.

    Both of these options require conversations around trade-offs, opportunity costs, time to delivery, strategic fit, etc. If you think that those of us who are heavily invested and involved in the success of the skyscraper are just now wondering about this analysis, you have underestimated our commitment. While you may not agree with the amount of details/information, the timing or even the decisions that are ultimately made, I assure you we are looking at the entire business, the entire collaboration portfolio and the entire set of opportunities. We hope to build a skyscraper where everyone on each floor has what they need.

    Please don't assume that no progress is being made just because we have not openly shared which latest technology will be used to provide natural light on the next floor of the skyscraper. We intend to choose an option/strategy that aligns with business drivers. This includes costs, resource demands, market drivers, and competitive offerings.

    Keep in mind - the best option for one customer may compete with the right option for another customer. I wish we could do everything right away. Now I sound like one of my children. :)

    Thanks for the opportunity to discuss. I request that you not share customer information\organization names in a public forum. Those customers have not given permission to do so and this may violate their own policies. It is also not productive or helpful.

    Dean
  • Dean,

    Obviously I do not know the results of your internal polling or the meetings that Bob Flynn has been having with customers or in the war room. But the last several years of talking to my fellow educational customers and various other forums (including cool solutions) have shown a great deal of clarity on the issue of Mac connectivity. This is not new to you, I know, but let me state it again for the record in 2012, and put it here so that others may comment upon it.

    We, Your Loyal Education (and increasingly Corporate) Customers, Want:

    1. Novell to hire some programmers familiar with OS X Cocoa technologies or to retrain existing Novell programmers to understand Cocoa and its frameworks.

    • The above Cocoa programmers, the most grizzled GW programmers, the GW product managers, and the most beaten-up of your sales force to gather in a room for a very long meeting to discuss the GroupWise architecture and feature set, the OS X architecture and feature set, and how a new Mac client might leverage the best of both worlds without compromising either experience.

    • Then we want them to write a new OS X GroupWise client from the ground up.

    • And we want you to announce it so that we know it is coming and that points 1 and 2 happened.


    Yes, this will cost a lot of money. Yes, it will require completely new skill sets in your team. And we understand that as much as we wanted this to happen a decade ago, it will be a bit longer still. But this is not only a feature we want as new functionality, it is a feature whose lack is seen as a great (in my environment probably the GREATEST) defect in your product.

    It is also feature that your three largest competitors do have. Lotus Notes for Mac has some famous complainers, but I can report from experience support it that it has been a proper Mac application since the OS9 days. Microsoft not only got religion on OS 9 with Entourage but learned that Entourage itself was not sufficient and has shipped a new version of Outlook. Both Outlook and Entourage were built by the MS MacBU using Apple technologies from the ground up, and it makes a positive difference in their quality. I have personally met this team on two occasions. They are small, but they are capable of shipping great products in regular cycles. And then there is Google. They don't have a Mac client, because they don't believe in clients per se, but even so the GMail product demonstrates a much better idea of how Macs work in the enterprise than the GroupWise team, and my discussions with Google engineers reflect this knowledge.

    Even your colleagues within Novell have shown more traction on the Mac front in the last year than you have. OES still ships with the most scalable AFP server in existence, and with every release it improves. Now that they have Kanaka, I expect the entire OS X experience with that product to get better and better. Similarly, the ZENWorks team has shipped functionality equivalent to your GW 8 Mac client in this release, but they have indicated that this is merely the start of their Mac journey, not its end.

    If you think the engineering effort is too costly for a new, full-featured Mac client, then perhaps you should propose a way for your customers to pay for it as an add-on. While ZENWorks ships their Mac client as part of ZCM, much of their other infrastructure ships as add-ons, and I am currently budgeting to pay for two or three of them in the coming year because the functionality and quality coming out of that team in 2012 is worth the budget fight. Moreover, we have been a Kanaka customer for years when it was a separate Condrey product.

    Does anyone else feel this way, or am I off-base here? Other customers, how do you feel?
  • Quote: "As we met face to face with CxOs throughout our customer base......"

    Seriously... Why only meet with HIGH Level VP's? Why not "meet" face to face with the GroupWise Admins, the folks who work directly with the GroupWise product line on a daily basis. We are the one's getting certified on Novell products.


  • Thanks for your comment.

    Let me clarify...

    1. We did not meet exclusively with CxOs. However, they are the ones who are forcing decisions within a lot of organizations. It was very important to talk to the decision makers and the decision influencers within each organization and not only share with them what Novell/GroupWise is doing, but also solicit their feedback and input. This obviously includes CxOs and Admins.

    2. For the most part, the GroupWise Admins are already our allies and advocates. Obviously, it is difficult to speak in absolutes, but in general, this is true. End-users also tend to be fairly satisfied - as long as they did not come from Outlook/GMail and simply are resistant to learn a slightly different way to accomplish the same thing.

    Hope that explains it better.

    Dean
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