Joe looks up to see a package being plopped down on his desk. The delivery person pushes a clipboard toward him with a request for his signature. A package? He wasn't expecting anything. Opening the package, he realizes that it is his new nifty SmartPhone. Has someone made a mistake? Did the IT magicians already configure it? How could they work on it if it was sitting on his desk? Most important, would there be a delay that would affect his cool factor at the party this weekend?
Immediately Joe hits the speed dial to the help desk and subconsciously starts to hum the on-hold music. While waiting, a GroupWise notification pops up on his computer screen indicating that he has a new e-mail from the help desk. He clicks to read it. It is a note from the Telecommunications Admin announcing the arrival of his new SmartPhone. Included in the e-mail is a set of simple instructions for configuring the phone to work with the corporate email system. What? Was he kidding? Were all of the help desk personnel offsite in a meeting and this was their idea of a cruel joke or stalling tactic? The instructions were listed as:
- Unpack the phone, plug it in and turn it on.
- Go to the specified URL using the phone's browser and log in with your GroupWise name and password.
- Select Setup | New Sync Device and then Next.
- Select the device and enter your phone carrier, phone number and e-mail address and click Submit.
- Wait for a text message to be sent to the phone. (Text messages are also known as Short Message Service, or SMS messages.) When it arrives, open it and select the link in the message.
- The phone's browser will launch. When the page loads, choose the Install SmartPhone option and follow the instructions.
- Synchronization of e-mail and other data will then begin.
As Joe fumbles with the packaging, still wondering whether he is being secretly videotaped for the next company party, the hold music stops and someone at the help desk answers the phone. He begins to explain his amazement at what has transpired. While talking, his instinct tells him that something isn't quite right on the other end of the phone. He gets the distinct impression that the technician is smiling. The technician listens for a few moments and then responds with a simple statement: "Yeah, with GroupWise Mobile Server, it's really that easy!"
> Supporting Mobile Device Proliferation
According to a recent IDC report, the mobile worker population will grow from 676 million in 2004 to more than 850 million by 2009. In case you're not tracking global population trends, that's more than one quarter of the global professional workforce (IDC, Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2005-2009 Forecast & Analysis, #34124, October 2005).
Novell, a leader in open collaboration services, is well aware of this significant growth trend. To help administrators address the rising mobile tide, Novell is releasing GroupWise Mobile Server. Powered by Intellisync, the wireless e-mail offering from Nokia, GroupWise Mobile Server extends the comprehensive, cross-platform collaboration services of GroupWise to the rapidly expanding mobile workforce.
How? By supporting two-way, real-time, wireless push delivery of GroupWise e-mail and Personal Information Management (or PIM) data. Currently in beta testing, GroupWise Mobile Server will be available concurrent with the release of GroupWise 7 Support Pack 1 (which must be deployed to run GroupWise Mobile Server) in the first half of 2006. Better yet, GroupWise 7 customers with maintenance or upgrade protection contracts are entitled to GroupWise Mobile Server at no additional cost.
In many organizations, new mobile devices seem to be coming out of the wood work. Beyond the popularity of the BlackBerry device from Research in Motion (RIM), many other devices, which used to fly under the radar, are now blipping the scopes of administrators. Users of these devices request, and even demand, that the devices be integrated and supported by the IT department. The sheer variety of these devices has often required administrators to implement several different mobile synchronization systems that were costly to acquire and difficult to manage. But now, administrators have two simple options for embracing and supporting mobile devices with GroupWise in the enterprise: BlackBerry Enterprise Server for GroupWise for BlackBerry devices, and GroupWise Mobile Server for just about everything else.
> Adding GroupWise Mobile Server to Your Infrastructure
Because GroupWise Mobile Server supports more than 400 mobile devices, you might believe the feature set will be shallow. You might wonder if it will be hard to implement. Or you might think that GroupWise Mobile Server will require new, expensive licensing or piles of new hardware. With GroupWise Mobile Server, you would be wrong on all counts!
> Basic Configuration and Data Synchronization
The first thing you should understand with regard to GroupWise Mobile Server is that all traffic flowing to and from the server does so via TCP/IP. This means that in order to implement GroupWise Mobile Server in your environment, you can use the networking and security skills you already have. In addition, all of the TCP/IP ports used to communicate are configurable after installing the software. Because synchronization takes place over the classic Web ports of 80 and 443, there's usually no need to make changes to your firewall.
According to a recent IDC report, the mobile worker population will grow from 676 million in 2004 to more than 850 million by 2009. In case you're not tracking global population trends, that's more than one quarter of the global professional workforce.
A number of secure configurations are available to meet a variety of customer needs. For a basic configuration, the GroupWise Mobile Server sits behind the firewall and between one or more GroupWise POA servers and the wireless devices being synchronized. (See Figure 1a.) Changes in GroupWise e-mail and PIM data can be automatically pushed to wireless devices, or the users can initiate sync requests from their devices. To enable push, you'll need to open port 3102 on the firewall for outbound traffic.
The GroupWise Mobile Server is registered on each GroupWise POA Server that supports mobile users. When e-mail messages arrive or PIM data changes on the GroupWise Server, a notification is sent to the GroupWise Mobile Server, which then reads the information using the GroupWise SOAP interface and makes a local copy of the changed data. The GroupWise Mobile Server then sends notifications to the mobile devices, signaling that changes are waiting to be updated on the device. The device connects back to the server over HTTP (or HTTPS) and downloads the changed data items. By default, all data is encrypted using AES encryption before transmission. You can also use Triple DES.
When e-mail or PIM data changes on a wireless device, the client software is configured to initiate contact with the GroupWise Mobile Server and synchronize the changed data. The GroupWise Mobile Server then synchronizes the changed data with the appropriate GroupWise POA.
> Requirements and Installation
The GroupWise Mobile Server should be installed on a dedicated machine running either Windows 2000 Server (SP4) or Windows 2003 Server. (Novell and Intellisync are currently working to add support for the Linux platform.) The machine should have an Intel or AMD 1GHz processor or better, with at least 1 GB of memory and 1 GB of available disk space. GroupWise Mobile Server can support 1,500 users on a single server, with an average volume of 40 messages and 10 tasks per day for each user.
The software includes a checklist you can complete with required items such as server names, IP addresses and GroupWise configuration information. With this checklist in hand, installation of GroupWise Mobile Server is simple. The installation begins with the Environment Analyzer. (See Figure 2.) The Environment Analyzer ensures all of the system requirements and configuration setup are correct. After accepting the EULA, enter your license code and pass the environment check. Next, enter the information from the installation checklist—and that's it!
Installing the client software on the mobile device is also very easy. The client software can be installed in a variety of ways. It can be installed Over-The-Air (OTA), as was described in the example at the beginning of the article or via standard cradle sync.
Installing the client software on the mobile device is very easy and can be done in a variety of ways: Over-The-Air (OTA) or via standard cradle sync.
Finally, GroupWise Mobile Server provides the ability to create a custom client install package for distribution, via any systems management service or even via a Secure Digital (SD) memory card.
Management and configuration of the GroupWise Mobile Server is done through a console. All of the configuration information and port assignments can be changed in this console after the install. (See Figure 3.) In addition, server names, authentication sources, security, users and groups, wireless devices, logs, reports, alerts and statistics can all be viewed, configured and managed in this console.
> Added Security
If you want a higher level of security, use the additional security configuration. You'll need another physical machine called a Secure Mobile Gateway. (See Figure 1b.) Place the Secure Mobile Gateway inside your DMZ to provide a reverse proxy service for data synchronization with the mobile devices. You can configure the Secure Mobile Gateway to allow outbound-only push connections for added security. Neither PIM nor e-mail data are stored on the Secure Mobile Gateway.
> The Mobility Horizon: BeyondWireless E-mail and PIM Synchronization
As the workforce becomes more mobile, companies will uncover competitive advantages through wireless technology and tools. Wireless e-mail is certainly at the top of the list. But executives and IT decision makers are looking beyond wireless e-mail to provide the business case for going mobile. Data from customer relationship management (CRM) software, sales force automation (SFA) software and other collaboration applications are often needed for users to stay productive and make informed decisions on the go.
> Application Mobilization
The Intellisync XML Connector provides an ideal foundation for addressing these needs. Using the Intellisync XML Connector (and custom development or professional services in some cases), PIM information (such as calendar appointments and contacts) from applications like Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel, SalesLogix and many others can be synchronized to and through GroupWise to wireless devices. The Intellisync XML Connector is part of a broader XML Platform available from Intellisync. The full Intellisync XML Platform includes all the tools necessary for developing server-to-server applications: the XML connector, XML server, development environment, sample source code and documentation.
Nokia also provides several add-on solutions that extend the capabilities of GroupWise Mobile Server. For more information, visit the Intellisync Web site at intellisync.com.
> Got GroupWise?
If you have a highly distributed mobile workforce that requires real-time access to critical and strategic application data, PIM data and e-mail, then GroupWise Mobile Server is a must. And if you're a GroupWise customer on maintenance or upgrade protection, you're entitled to GroupWise Mobile Server at no additional charge. What? You don't have GroupWise? There's no better way to extend the comprehensive, cross-platform collaboration services of GroupWise to the rapidly expanding mobile workforce. So, what are you waiting for, a text message?