There are so many things to blog about, it has been difficult to pick just one subject. So I may ramble a little bit here!
GroupWise Advisor in Miami. I was in Miami most of last week to present Bonsai, Novell Teaming + Conferencing and Open Collaboration. The show had light attendance, but still a strong showing for GroupWise. The SharePoint, Notes, Access Database, etc break-out sessions were mostly ghost towns. 3-12 people were about the norm. GroupWise, on the other hand, had about 40 people in the Keynote and always had 25+ people in almost every GroupWise session. Several of our partners and consultants were there. RIM, Nokia, SilverDane, GroupLink and Computhink were all part of the partner pavilion.
Novell Teaming + Conferencing was a big hit. Lots of interest in the social networking capabilities and extended teaming functionality. The Conferencing piece seems to get a lot of people's attention as our customers try to control travel costs, need desktop sharing and want whiteboarding capability within their organizations without having to pay per minute charges.
Bonsai, of course, was the main event and the excitement is continuing to build. Almost all of the attendees are already running GroupWise 7 and so they are seeing all of the great benefits that release has brought their users. Bonsai will be even more dramatic! My recent favorite feature is being able to 'Reply' or 'Reply to All' without having to deal with that annoying intermediate dialog. You will see exactly what I mean when you get your hands on this code.
I was also able to go bike riding through the Everglades. We saw plenty of alligators, turtles and fish. One alligator was right beside the rode and had about 15 baby alligators huddled around it. Alex was perfecting his alligator call, which sounded like a a southern drawl of "C-mon". It was a great time! Ask him to do it for you the next time you see him!
GWAVACon Berlin. In a couple of weeks, we will be in Berlin at GWAVACon. We will have another strong presence from GroupWise. Engineering, Marketing and Product Management will all be represented. We are expecting great things and hope to see and meet several of you there. GWAVACon is October 20-22 in Berlin. GWAVA continues to be a great partner and we appreciate their efforts in bringing the GroupWise community together. We hope to see many of our partners there and we will be showing Bonsai and Novell Teaming + Conferencing extensively. Hands-on demos and live code!!
Advansys. I have been working with Greg from Advansys for a long time, but just recently I have been testing some of his products on the Bonsai BETA code to see how well it performed. What a GREAT set of tools and a strong platform, Formative! The Stationary, Templates and the Mail Merge are such excellent extensions of GroupWise. They are things users will utilize everyday. They have so many products - you should visit them at advansyscorp.com. I could never list all of their great products here, but Archive To Go is another product that is very handy.
BrainStorm Inc. BrainStorm has agreed to help us during our BETA process. They have produced some down loadable, short training clips to help us introduce some of the new features in Bonsai. These will be available to our Authorized BETA sites to help us teach users about the new features that are available and to point our BETA sites to the areas we need them to test and to concentrate their efforts. We are looking forward to this new approach during our Bonsai Beta.
All of Partners are great and I will spot light one here in my blog from time to time. Bonsai BETA. I am fielding questions on a regular basis about 'when' is BETA. As you know, there have been a few dates that have come and gone. This has everything to do with wanting to have a good/solid BETA and to make sure we are date sensitive, but quality driven. Over my many years with GroupWise and Novell, almost universally I hear that quality should always trump the ship date. Creating software is an art and good art takes time. We are trending down our BETA show stoppers - currently we have about 60 or so outstanding. We are fixing about 100+ per week and our testing is getting deeper and deeper. The back end pieces (Engine, POA, MTA) are very solid and we are actually chasing down some bugs that have been difficult to reproduce and that have existed prior to Bonsai code - there are 4 of these bugs across this area. The clients are looking very good, still a few small glitches in Tasks,Contact Management, and WebAccess. The two areas of concern and that are holding up Authorized BETA are with Install and our new Document Converter. We have been testing these areas very hard and we have shaken the tree harder then normal. We want these areas to be better than 'BETA READY'. We hope to be ready by the end of October.
My next blog will be to announce our Authorized BETA release and to provide an extensive What's New list of what will be in Bonsai - so keep reading and stay tuned!