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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  • 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.
  • 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
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  • 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
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  • I disagree that AD integration and a new admin interface are features aimed primarily at new customers. For years we have heard about customers who like GroupWise and only maintain an eDirectory tree for it. These customers will be more likely to stay if they can use GW with AD.

    Similarly, ConsoleOne has been showing its age for a very long time. Without going down the road of "which admin interface is better", I would submit that the rest of Novell left C1 a long time ago. Keeping it running only for GroupWise has meant that it doesn't get proper feature refreshes.

    Beyond that, there is a larger issue of architecture that encompasses both of these Windermere releasables: To expand GroupWise's functionality over the longer term, APIs need to be created that are A) Cross-Platform (since we don't know what systems will hook into GW in the future) B) Easy and Stable for Developers to Use (So that Developers will look at GW as part of an ecosystem that they can support or leverage) C) Comprehensive (So that any functionality provided by the system can be accessed by an API with the other characteristics above).

    We know that customers have been indirectly clamoring for such an API because of the constant demands for 3rd-party integrations (CRM, Blackberry, etc.) that it would provide. Moreover, the complementary products in the GroupWise family like Data Synchronizer and Vibe also depend on such an API for their existence. While the SOAP components did provide some of this functionality, a lot more needed to happen and we can see from the growth of SOAP over the life of GW 8.x that engineering has been steadily improving and expanding the API. Coincidentally, all of the APIs required to support additional directory services and a new administrative interface just happen to be a subset of the API work that needed to be done. Possibly a new means of integrating or supporting OS X would also depend upon this work. In GW 2012 I think there is a minor example of this dynamic at work with the new WebAccess pieces.

    Now, all of this should have happen years ago, but Novell's old management was focused on the wrong priorities, the GroupWise team was on a different planet, and resources were not allocated correctly. I believe, as a customer, that Attachmate understands and is correcting all of these deficiencies. It has been a year since Attachmate acquired Novell, and they had to ship 2012 with its current featureset. Then we have "2013" (Windermere) which has the large features we are discussing and which both soak up engineering time and provide prerequisite functionality for other feature sets. Then the roadmap ends. Presumably the real fruits of Attachmate's ownership will become apparent when that roadmap refreshes.

    On one point I do agree with you very strongly: They need a high-quality Mac client, and they needed it a decade ago when it was obvious to many of us that Apple had righted the ship and OS X was going to be a growing force in the market. Instead, Novell got onto the Linux bandwagon (which we could debate about endlessly: My own view is that management at the time had the right ideas but executed them poorly and then got rid of the people who could have brought them to fruition) and what we got was the Linux Java client ported messily to OS X. This blindness to native Apple technologies is just now being rectified within Novell as a whole, and I am not certain of the speed. I do know, however, that the GW team is dead last in its understanding of the Apple ecosystem.

    I will reserve my judgement on the future until the roadmap is updated, although on the GroupWise front I am cautiously optimistic (and am wildly optimistic on the OES and ZEN fronts). Bob Flynn and his management team have been very vocal about their processes in regards to GroupWise, and the customer outreach that they have been doing. It has been a year -- I would hope that by August we would have some roadmap announcements beyond what previous management had committed to.
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