The demise of Novell GroupWise…
Author: Michael Osterman on February 4, 2009 - 8:00 AM

….will have to be put on hold.

It’s conventional wisdom that Novell’s primary messaging and collaboration offering, GroupWise, continues to shed users and customers and that’s it fading away into oblivion.  However, like much of conventional wisdom (which often is light on actual wisdom), that definitely appears not to be the case.

At GWAVAcon last week, Novell announced that GroupWise had increased its number of users by 3% over the past year, bringing the total to 29.4 million people.  GroupWise 8, launched in November, was named by eWeek as a “Product to Watch” in January.  GroupWise has 10,000 customers and is used by 47 of the 50 US state governments.  GroupWise continues to be adopted by new customers, particularly outside of the United States, including a few very large customer adoptions.  Novell is focusing on new opportunities for GroupWise, particularly with regard to ActiveSync integration and the Mac, both of which are high priorities for Novell.  GroupWise has a very strong partner community, including GWAVA, Messaging Architects, SilverDane, Omni, Notify, RIM and many others.  Plus, Novell has more cash on hand per employee than some of its key rivals in the messaging and collaboration space.

To be sure, GroupWise is in a distant third place to Exchange and Notes and won’t threaten the position of the market leaders anytime soon.  GroupWise will continue to face intense competition from Microsoft and IBM, as well as a slew of competitors attempting to knock it out of its third place position in the workplace messaging and collaboration market.  Microsoft and IBM have substantially more marketing resources to bring to bear for Exchange and Notes, respectively, than Novell has for GroupWise.  All of that said, however, GroupWise seems to be holding its own and is putting development dollars into the offering.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of GroupWise has been greatly exaggerated.

OR Commentary for Messaging Wire

Soviet Union of Email
All the supporters of groupcrap on this site are groupwise admins or work for novell. If the soviet union were to have email it would be groupwise. If given a choice between groupwise or FREE GMAIL 90% would chose GMAIL. From its lack of design and calendar sharing to SLOW ADAPTATION OF MOBILE SUPPORT. New groupwise accounts are FORCED upon people by entrenched groupwise admins who would be out of a job in the tech industry without its consent care. IT STINKS
Posted By Anonymous on 09/21/2010 12:03 PM
Groupwise 8 problems whening cashing old version
We were trying to cashing the mails from the groupwise server. It turn up that it have version issue after the mail had been cashed. It keep showing to convert the old mails to groupwise version 6 and it seem to hang the groupwise 8. How to solve this issue?
Posted By Lawrence Goh on 09/19/2010 9:09 PM
GroupWise Far easier/friendlier than Outlook
In my current position, I have used GW for 6 years and we recently converted to Outlook Exchange. I HATE Outlook. It is fairly easy to use overall, but there are some pesky differences that are really annoying. You cannot easily schedul appointments that occur on a regular basis, but on different days (ie, a monthly call that takes place on a different day each month). GW easily allowed you to simply click on the day in each month. Nothing like that exists in Outlook. Also, sharing address books is non-existent - yes you can share contacts, but it is not the same as sharing an entire book - require licensing to create another account, etc. It is justa big headache. I would not recommend Outlook. I am not a techie, but a daily user. i
Posted By Sue N. on 03/18/2010 6:46 AM
GroupWise - No brainer!
I have worked with GroupWise since 1992 and it is without doubt the best collaboration product available today. cost, reliability, upgrading, patching its all to easy! I have used outlook and the problems and costs involved ensure that we will NEVER introduce it as long as I work here!
Posted By TomD on 04/02/2009 6:55 AM
Very happy with GW
GW is a small and solid part of our total IT solution, and takes care of itself. Having just absorbed another company that was trying to implement Exchange2007 I'm horrified at the extra steps required in Exchange to do run of the mill admin tasks... and don't get me started on the amount of disk exchange eats and the consequent backup time. Exchange has won in the past because of Outlook, but Outlook 2007 is poor in comparison to GW8's client. We will consolidate on GW..
Posted By Dave R on 03/06/2009 1:30 PM
Bagging GroupWise makes for more profit
It’s is easy to understand why GroupWise is constantly getting unreasonable comments and bad press. Just follow the dollars. GroupWise requires little expert level IT expertise to deploy, is simple to administer even large deployments, almost never fails, and requires little effort to upgrade! If you are a system integrator your business depends on the profit you make on new system deployments, upgrades and failed system recoveries. This makes system integrators very interested in products that give them a healthy and constant return. You join the dots!!
Posted By Scott on 03/02/2009 9:39 PM
Everythings not all roses
We've been using GroupWise for about 7 years and the people who administer it like myself like it and understand it I cant help get the feeling that if this article was about exchange or notes you would get much the same comments from their user base. GroupWise has issues. The main one we see is integration. Which is either partial, non-existent or requires a 3rd party tool (which increases complexity and support requirements). It means you end up making a product choice based on what will integrate and not on whats the best solution for the particular task. Eventually you get to the point where one of the other 2 is just easier. Not that we want to change anytime soon but it may not be our (ICT's) choice.
Posted By Craig on 03/01/2009 6:16 PM
Best Collaboration Product Out There
I've been a GroupWise admin in our organization for the past 5+ years. Clustered it a few years ago, just upgraded back end & clients 8. No other collab. product is as feature rich & stable. Nice to see it getting some love from the press. Keep it up Novell!
Posted By Tom on 02/24/2009 12:17 PM
But why the hate?
As a GroupWise administrator, I agree totally. But, a few days ago a did a Twitter search for "GroupWise" hoping to find other admins to follow and all I found was hate for the product. Why?!?
Posted By Farren on 02/20/2009 8:01 PM
Carving my heart out with a spoon - it hurts more!
GroupWise works. This makes it much better than any other competition to Outlook. I've used both extensively. Groupwise definitely comes across as the poor cousin, trying to be "like" Outlook. It's full of bugs, annoyances, and does not follow the windows conventions for dialogs, configurability, or keyboard shortcuts. I would rank the clients in this order: Outlook, Thunderbird, GroupWise, OutlookExpress, Sneaker Net, Carrier pigeon. Overall I rate GroupWise as usable.
Posted By Shrike on 02/13/2009 6:24 AM
I'm Convinced!
I am new to the GroupWise Community and am very impressed with user ease and functionality. Never before have I been introduced to a product where you can hit the ground running. I too was at GWAVACon and impressed by Novell's numbers. Looks like GWAVACon is creating momentum. Very Powerful!
Posted By Renee on 02/10/2009 9:03 AM
GroupWise at last...
Nice to see some coverage of GroupWise... Novell have a great product that is more reliable and secure than any other enterprise caliber solution out that and it often goes unlooked and uncovered. Those who know GroupWise know its great, those who don't need to hear about it more often!
Posted By Robin on 02/09/2009 6:39 AM
With many years of experience with both GroupWise and its competition, I can honestly say that GroupWise is both safer (far less likely to be hacked or compromised) and considerably easier to maintain (regardless of the truthless propaganda stating otherwise). It JUST works !!!
Posted By Anonymous on 02/06/2009 6:40 PM
Too Good
Wonderful Product with few cons of itself but again you cannot expect everything to be fool proof. Grow Up & Wise with GroupWise :)
Posted By Samir Shaikh on 02/06/2009 5:45 PM
Stable, Reliable, Efficient, and Budget-Friendly
Mr. Osterman, thank you for your positive article on GroupWise. I am continually amazed that more people haven't discovered this product. It's a breeze to administer and simple yet powerful for our users. The hardware requirements are far lower than that of Notes or Exchange which means we can keep our data centers nice and tidy. We currently run a mix of GroupWise 7 and 8 on NetWare, SLES, and a Windows server (for BES), across multiple sites around the world and are extremely pleased with it.
Posted By Rick L. on 02/06/2009 1:05 PM
GroupWise is growing
GroupWise is a messaging platform to not only watch, it is the messaging platform to use! For me GroupWise makes many other e-mail systems look like plain old postal mail.
Posted By Travis on 02/06/2009 12:13 PM
GroupWise vs. Exchange? No contest
As someone who used GroupWise for a good 10 years, Lookout! and Exchange for 3 at a new company, only to change companies again to one that uses GroupWise, I'm always amazed that there is any contest. Perhaps the problem is that Novell itself doesn't unambiguously believe in its products: the same self-fulfilling, downward trend happened to NetWare.
Posted By Russ on 02/06/2009 12:12 PM
GroupWise is a great investment
Having worked with Exchange since 5.5, I can tell you what a great relief it is to work with GroupWise, even though I've only used it for a few years now. (started with GroupWise 6.5) Administration on Exchange used to be such a chore, and when things went wrong boy did they go wrong. With GroupWise its such a different story, it just works, its a shame Novell doesn't market this product. Third party support is also great there are so many add-on products everything from anti-spam to archiving and retention.
Posted By David on 02/06/2009 11:53 AM
GroupWise works for me
I have been a GroupWise user for years. I almost consider myself a power user. Having the misfortune of being asked to use other clients like Outlook, I must say that I have truly grown accustomed to the ease and simplicity by which I can conduct my business day, using GroupWise. Demise.... Not in my world.
Posted By Mitch on 02/06/2009 11:38 AM
What can I say? It just works !
Group Wise was introduced to our organization, 2000 + users, in 1998 and has been upgraded three times to GW 7.0. Although I am no longer in the operations department we devote less than .5 FTE to the position of GW administration. Down time is minimal, upgrades are seamless, administration is easy. We went through a period of "lets migrate to MS Exchange", after a year in POC it was decided that there would be no net benefit to migrate. Current plans are to migrate to GW 8
Posted By L Wilson on 02/06/2009 8:09 AM
It just works
I administer a 3000 user GroupWise system and it just works. I spend most of my time dealing with non GroupWise e-mail issues like SPAM and Data Loss Prevention.
Posted By Seant on 02/06/2009 8:01 AM
GroupWise can be boring
I administer 4000 users, and spend less than 15% of my time dealing with issues regarding it. At some points I worry about "job security", as my skills with it are not challenged much at all while maintaining it In my last 8 years of administering email, I've had about 4 hours of unscheduled downtime. Most due to power issues in our data center. It just works.
Posted By Turky Tom Justice on 02/06/2009 7:02 AM
GroupWise - great choice!
GroupWise is stable, efficient, and easy to administer. We have roughly 2,000 mailboxes, complete with quotas and archives being manually administered. With automated GWChecks, I can complete all of my typical admin tasks by noon on Monday (durning which I also have 2 meetings taking up roughly 2 hours of my time). I've also administered Exchange systems with about the fewer users which took more time to administer. When it comes to efficient use of resources, GroupWise is hard to beat! And it leaves my time open to do other tasks and projects.
Posted By Mary M. on 02/06/2009 7:00 AM
If only...
If only all the products we used here were as stable as GroupWise I could spend a lot more time goofing off.
Posted By Brent on 02/06/2009 6:30 AM
Easy to manage, easy to implement, easy to adjust
I've been working with GroupWise for many years and I haven't seen another collaboration product that's that easy to manage and that easy to adjust for changes in Companies. And changes happen all the time. Still the greatest collaboration product.
Posted By Sabine on 02/06/2009 3:49 AM
All of our clients use it
We are a Novell reseller in South Florida and have been since Netware came on 360K disks (a lot of them :) We got involved with Groupwise in the mid-nineties. Since then, we've installed several systems. Nearly all our clients run it on their internal mail servers. We also provide an external Spam/Virus filtering service for them. As maintenance free as the Netware version was, the Linux platform has proved to be even better.
Posted By Dan Sadaka on 02/05/2009 11:04 PM
Most of the companies we work with in the GroupWise space, consist of skilled IT personnel and Educated Management team. Making decisions based on the total IT impact. If management took the time and looked at their decision they will notice the impact of one small change. It all starts with "lets change this small thing" and then.... Great article
Posted By Dirk R on 02/05/2009 8:58 PM
Exchange is fiscal irresponsibility
Seldom does a company make a decision to move away from GroupWise unless it is driven by someone within the organization exercising fiscal irresponsibility. Microsoft does not bring better value nor functionality and drives IT costs higher. Any organization looking to become more closely focused on the bottom line needs to be looking at GroupWise as the number 1 alternative to deploying costly systems like Exchange.
Posted By Richard Bliss on 02/05/2009 4:39 PM
GroupWise = messaging we can depend on
Our users depend on GroupWise running 24x7. They want to get to their mail at any time from any where. GroupWise delivers. We host GroupWise for many locations around the world, supporting multiple languages. We depend on the ability to share documents via the shared folder functionality. When vendors ask why we don't use Sharepoint, we tell them that GroupWise meets all of our collaboration needs for our organization. Most of our user's work day is driven out of GroupWise. They depend on it like a metronome to pace their day. Personally, they will have to pry GroupWise out of my cold, dead hands.
Posted By Kevin J. on 02/05/2009 2:27 PM
Running strong
We've run GroupWise for almost 15 years supporting more than 15,000 mailboxes with people accessing their email from PCs, Macs and many mobile devices (via Web, BES and other synchronization solutions). Its been stable, has a low administration cost (run by less than 1 full time employee) and continues to get better.
Posted By Todd on 02/05/2009 2:04 PM
Too Good!
I migrated an older GroupWise system to Linux two years ago. I have had zero unplanned down time. Planned down time, three minutes, to reboot after a patch install. My new GroupWise accounts and modifications are created and maintained via Novell Identity Manager. HR creates/modifies the User in PeopleSoft and the GroupWise accounts are automatically created, populated and ready to go. I am almost bored! Being a GroupWise Administrator frees me up to help the Desktop Group with their Applications, Hardware and Operating System issues. We will upgrade to GroupWise 8 in the Spring of 2009 and introduce Novell Teaming & Conferencing to our User Community. In our most recent Lunch and Learn we previewed GroupWise 8 to our Users. They are very excited! I love saving my CIO money and making my people happy!! Keep up the good work Novell! You allow me to keep my job!
Posted By Kathy on 02/05/2009 12:35 PM
Very powerfull und very easy to administrate
Groupwise is very stable and very very easy to administrate. We always make major updates (6->6.5,6,5->7) during business hours (with a little preparation before), we have over 2000 User and 7 Postoffices, with 1Tb of data and nobody notices that we upgraded the backend. I don't know if there is any other collaboration software where you can do this so easy and so fast. Cool to have Clients on all major Operating Systems.
Posted By clausw on 02/05/2009 12:35 PM
Reliable & easy to manage
I've been a consultant in the collaboration space for 12 years and a GroupWise user for longer than that. I've administered email systems of several flavors but GroupWise has been the most reliable and easiest to mange of all of them. I'm happy to see it get some favorable press!
Posted By Jon C. on 02/05/2009 12:25 PM
Works well
I've been the GroupWise admin for a company of >2000 mailboxes for the past 5 years. Groupwise itself has never taken up more than half of my time. Now that's real value to a business.
Posted By Brent on 02/05/2009 12:17 PM
May not be number 1
This product may not be number one in the minds of CxO's, but any system admin that has software like this that just runs and runs well knows it's a life saver. In the 10 years I've been working with Groupwise, I have a 98% uptime. Novell, well what can you say it just works.
Posted By Alan Bens on 02/05/2009 5:27 AM
Stand up and be proud!
GroupWise is still the best collaboration product on the planet. And the good thing is, that customers from other directions are now moving into GroupWise, because GroupWise has a very attractive price, is running on linux, has lots of interesting integration opportunities, does have great communities (specially in Europe). So we might never get to position number one or two, but GroupWise is the clear and unbeatable number three in the market. Be proud, if you are using GroupWise. You have the better product and less downtimes compared to any other collaboration product.
Posted By Herbi on 02/05/2009 5:03 AM
GroupWise is a gem
I've worked extensively with GroupWise in the past and can say that it's one of those gems in the IT world that doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves. Glad to hear it's still churning along out there.
Posted By Kevin B. - Principle Logic, LLC on 02/04/2009 12:54 PM

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