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Mailbag: Readers love GroupWise but their bosses prefer Microsoft

Apr 04, 20063 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging AppsMicrosoft

* Microsoft elbows out Novell GroupWise

My column last week asking why Novell GroupWise gets more praise from its users than its competition receives from their users, and yet some organizations decide to replace GroupWise, generated a fair amount of response. Here is a sampling of the comments I received:

* “Yes, I was one of the passionate ones about GroupWise. As an administrator and user, it has been a pleasure using GroupWise these last six years. That is coming to an end, however – my company is midway through a migration to Outlook/Exchange. The reasons are not because of poor performance or an inferior product, but we are also migrating from NetWare file and print services to Windows. Management made the decision to become a ‘Microsoft Shop’.”

* “From an administrator’s point of view, GroupWise is a dream. It just runs. I never have to touch it. Although I only have a single post office with around 1,200 users, I know folks who are supporting thousands of users with only one or two post offices and they echo my sentiments. When I was supporting Exchange and Notes I could never get that type of scalability and I always had to mess with the servers to keep the thing running.”

* “We have been using GroupWise since the days of GroupWise 4.1 and Asynch Gateways. We have had very good luck and ease of administration has been the key to our continued use. However, no matter how passionate we are about GroupWise, the major stumbling block is the reliance on the Novell client and systems. Yes, I know that we can run the NLM and other connector pieces on Microsoft servers, however, our environment is to be completely reliant on Microsoft systems and applications, i.e., desktops, servers, databases.”

* “When we got a new CIO several years ago, we were told Novell had to go and everything (other than some ‘require-Unix’ applications) had to be migrated to Microsoft. I still have a hold-out NetWare 6.0 machine, believe it or not, but it is only a matter of time before it is gone.”

* “As a consultant, my experience has been that the main reason companies often migrate from GroupWise to Exchange is the Outlook client. Novell has recognized this and has updated the support for using the Outlook client with GroupWise to help prevent this from happening. It gives IT departments who are very happy with GroupWise the ability to give power-users the client they want without migrating from a collaboration suite that is reliable and easy to support.”

Thank you to everyone who provided their comments on the article.