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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Anonymous
  • 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
  • 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
  • Peter,

    Thanks for the feedback. The Linux client has not been a principal focus of most of our customers. We have spent a lot of time meeting with and listening to our customers in order to work on the most important things first.

    Having said that - I certainly realize two important points.

    1. Not everyone has the same priority or list of needs.
    2. Ultimately, we need to do most, if not all, of the things on our list.

    As a small consolation - As part of GroupWise 2012, we did add HTML Signatures and multiple signatures to the Web Client which can be run on Linux!!

    Dean
  • Alan,

    Thanks for the feedback - anything more specific you would like us to focus on. Client bugs and annoyances is a pretty big target. If you have SRs or defect # - that might help us prioritize. Not everyone experiences the same annoyance or issue.

    Thanks,

    Dean
  • I agree with Jeff. No one cares what it takes me to manage Groupwise. What they care about is what they can do with their client. How it integrates with other applications. How it integrates with other iPhone / iPad applications even with DataSync running integration stinks. I am told daily how much easier it is to use the OutLook Client. All client side driven.

    We are moving to Gmail (Google Apps) and the end users are thrilled to be done with Groupwise. I can tell them all the things they will not have in Gmail; but they don't care because for every 1 thing they will not have they get 10 things the currently don't have in Groupwise.

    The industry is driven by end users now. They expect technology to just work and to integrate. They will pick the app that best suites them. Only those of us with Pocket Protectors care about what happens behind the screen. End users expect to be able to go into Evernote; add Groupwise Document store and pull documents. Oops! can't do that. Oh wait. iPad Reminders, sync with Groupwise Tasks - nope.

    Oh, and just a heads up. Most kindergartners have email addresses already. I don't think there are that many "NEW" users out there. I would focus on keeping the "old" users before we are all gone.

    Do you know what the "old" users need to keep your product(s) as a key components of our IT architecture? Based on the product development road map it does not seem you understand that.
  • For the record, I'm a GroupWise fan. I've ran it since version 5 and will try and get away with running it for as long as possible. But honestly, a few features that will be missing if you leave is not going to make people want to stay. Get the client bugs and annoyances fixed, get the product rock-solid like it once was, and maybe then bosses like mine won't lean on so many people to look elsewhere!

    Alan
  • We have the year 2012 and it is still not possible to create an HTML Signature in the newest Linux Client. From my point of view this is very disappointing.

    Peter
  • You point out a major concern of mine... one of priorities.

    If you had to choose to spend development time on AD support, Web management, or the Client front-end - which of those areas do you imagine will have the largest impact on an existing customer's decision to stay with GroupWise?

    Web Management and AD support are both something I would welcome, but I have a workable solution today - and having to use c1 to manage users, or IDM to connect to AD, are not going to be a big motivator for moving. For new customers looking at GroupWise, these features are necessary, but why is Novell so interested in new customers vs holding on to the customers they already have?

    The big motivator for moving is the client-side (face of GroupWise). It's not admins driving migration because of the back-end, it's end-users who are frustrated with the current state of the clients.

    My point is simple - GroupWise management should put AD and Web Management of the back burner for Windermere, and move their focus back to the clients. AD and Web Management will be a wonderful thing, but how many GroupWise customers will Novell have lost by then?

    Jeff
  • I certainly share our desire to see news on the Macintosh front, and I know that the current GroupWise team as well as Attachmate management knows that as well.

    You will notice that the current GroupWise roadmap at www.novell.com/.../ ends with next year's Windermere release in early 2013. That release includes two enormous features that will be soaking up all available engineering time: Active Directory support and the new management interface (along with its API). Either one of those is a huge undertaking, and they have to be done right, so I would not expect to see additional Mac support in that release.

    My speculation would be that Mac news will come whenever the roadmap is next updated -- at the latest, Brainshare 2013 when the current roadmap is coming to a close, Windermere is shipping (or close to it), and major announcements will improve publicity.

    However, I think we can see which way the wind is blowing: OES just licensed Kanaka for Mac as its official "client", ZENWorks 11.2 added Mac support (so 2 of 3 major Novell products have included Mac support), and every GroupWise piece includes iOS support as part of its roadmap. The GroupWise team may not know exactly what its Mac story is going to be, but I bet they are close to having one if not already in-development.

    I am on a Mac in a GroupWise 8 environment, and I am using WebAccess exclusively at this point, so I share your pain. Nonetheless, I suspect we are close to resolution.
  • Dean,

    While interesting, this document it's nothing more than preaching to the choir. My community and I recognize all of these features as being wonderful (except if you're a Macintosh user), and some of them have likely extended the life span of GroupWise here at my campus, but they are greatly overshadowed now by other shortcomings.

    There isn't a single Macintosh user that would take the Mac GW Client, and the features on the list that do work, over something modern and well integrated as Mac Outlook. It makes me sad to say that, but it's the absolute truth.

    If you want to keep customers, fix/address the reasons why we are leaving.

    Let's see something from you on the Macintosh front...

    Is there a new client on the way?
    Is CalDAV and CardDAV in the works?

    Moving from GroupWise isn't free, but when your customers are willing to spend the money, and accept the loss of some "coveted features," it's time to think different.

    Jeff
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