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Novell fans are passionate about GroupWise but why isn’t it popular?

Opinion
Mar 28, 20062 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Why do some GroupWise users jump to other e-mail systems?

My visit to Novell BrainShare last week was interesting on a couple of levels. First, BrainShare is different than many other trade shows because of the commonality of the audience: virtually everyone in attendance has their use of Novell and/or Linux software in common. Second, unlike several of the recent trade shows I’ve attended during the past year or so, the vendors with whom I spoke were quite upbeat about the quality and number of leads they were generating at the show.

And now for the question as it relates to GroupWise, Novell’s e-mail and collaboration suite. Most of the GroupWise users to whom I’ve spoken and traded e-mails are very passionate about the system. They praise its reliability, its ease of administration and the overall utility of the system. GroupWise users and administrators remind me a bit of Mac users in terms of their almost religious zeal for the product, a zeal based largely on their satisfying experiences.

My first question, then, is why does GroupWise sit in a distant third place behind Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes in terms of market share? Not to cast any aspersions on Exchange or Notes – both sound products with a strong following – but I have yet to hear the kind of praise for either of these systems that I commonly hear about GroupWise.

My second (and third) question is this: If your organization used to use GroupWise, but migrated to Exchange, Notes or some other system, why did you do so? If your organization is currently using GroupWise, but is considering migrating to another platform, what are the processes involved in that decision and how difficult is the decision, what kind of politics are involved, etc.? Please drop me a line at michael@ostermanresearch.com.