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March 2008

Features

Personal
Overdrive

Hold on! The new
release of GroupWise will
put your people into overdrive
Tech Talk 1 Ken Baker

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Knowledge workers in today's business world must often act as their own personal CEOs. Gone are the days when the boss had the knowledge, inclination and time to look over everyone's shoulder and direct every move. Today, knowledge workers have the opportunity to drive their own progress and achievement, which in turn drives your business success. Key to their ability to drive that success are the personal productivity tools you provide?tools that bring them emerging technology that leads to greater innovation and efficiency.

As a keystone of the innovative collaboration solutions from Novell, the upcoming release of GroupWise will play an integral role in enabling that innovation and efficiency. With this release, Novell has taken a significant leap forward in catering to the way successful individuals get things done. It leverages Web 2.0 and other leading-edge technologies to enable you to collect, process, organize, manage and review better than ever before. This article explores some of the coming enhancements that make GroupWise a personal assistant that can shift innovation and success into overdrive.

Make Yourself at Home

Much to the delight of GroupWise users, the home view made its debut in GroupWise 7. The home view revolutionized the potential for productivity by bringing together all of a knowledge worker's daily activities and processes into a single personal productivity dashboard. Not only will the home view be available on the Linux and Mac clients in the next release of GroupWise, but it has also been significantly enhanced to enable you and your users to work even more efficiently.

The first major improvement you'll notice to the home view is the increased number of available and fully customizable columns and panels. With GroupWise 7, you were limited to two columns with two or three panels each. Now there is basically no limit to the number of columns, allowing users to fully leverage the ever-increasing screen size of today's laptops and desktop monitors. The information you can manage in those panels has been expanded as well. While GroupWise 7 allowed you to point panels to data located in your mailbox, you can now use embedded browsers to point any panel to any URL. Figure 1

The addition of these Web panels means that you can have your most-frequented Web sites integrated into your home view. You can also configure a Web panel to automatically refresh on a regular basis, so the information it presents is always current. And you can point a Web panel to any Web-based application, such as ERP or CRM systems, Web portals, or even Novell Teaming + Conferencing team workspaces.

The new home view also offers more real estate without requiring you to purchase a bigger screen. You used to have the folder panel on the left-hand side of the screen, which you have probably used to sort and file your e-mail or keep track of running issues. You can still leave it there if you want, but you now have the ability to move it somewhere else or make it disappear until you need it. To make it (or any panel) disappear, you simply drag it to the edge of the screen and drop it. Another panel will take up the vacated real estate. If you don't have your folder list visible, you can still easily drag and drop items to it. You simply drag an item to its location and it temporarily pops up to allow you to drop the item into the appropriate folder.

One of the nice real estate enhancements is the ability to expand or reduce panel sizes. If you want to focus on a single panel, you can make it temporarily occupy all the space on your home view by simply double clicking its header. If you double click the header again, it will return to its normal size and location. For example, you might have a portion of a Contacts folder displayed in one of your small panels. When you double click the header, it can be expanded to show you a much larger selection of contacts, enabling you to find the one you are looking for much more easily.

You can arrange the panels in your home view in whatever shape, size and order you want. When defining your panels, you can configure three main attributes to meet your specific needs:

For the panel type, you can choose Folder, Address Book or Web page. If it's a folder panel or address book, simply select which folder or address book in your folder tree the panel will represent. If it's a Web page, enter the URL. The display settings let you decide whether to view the details of a panel in business card mode or as a discussion thread. (See Figure Discussion Thread!.) You also have the options to view in a custom panel, calendar, task list or RSS feed.

The new ability to have RSS feed panels greatly extends your capabilities in the home view. It allows you to receive live, real-time updates on information or news items critical to your work. You can even subscribe to RSS feeds in your Teaming + Conferencing workspaces so your home view can automatically deliver updates on team projects. (For more information on Teaming + Conferencing, see the product home page and two previous articles in Novell Connection: Teams that Work and Your Presence Matters.)

Next

  • Figure 1

    The addition of Web panels in GroupWise means that you can have your most-frequented Web sites integrated and into your home view, automatically refreshing on a regular basis your ERPs, CRMs, Web portals, Novell Teaming + Conferencing team workspaces, and other Web-based applications.

  • Figure Discussion

    Panel display settings provide a variety of options, including the ability to show panel details as a discussion thread.

  • Figure 2

    The upcoming version of GroupWise allows you to aggregate your shared calendars so you can overlay your personal calendars with shared calendars, giving you a better overall view of everything you have going on and need to do.

  • Figure Contact

    To give you a quick overview of your contacts, GroupWise will let you display your contacts in business card mode, showing you at a glance their photos and other key information.

  • Figure 3

    GroupWise enhances task management with integrated checklists and tasks, subtasks, percent complete graphical indicators, colored categories, and sorting and display filters, making it a more flexible and productivity-enhancing personal project manager.

  • Figure WebAccess

    The WebAccess client has been enhanced with scrollable lists, improved contact management, multiple calendars, drag-and-drop appointments, HTML message editing, auto-save, spell checking, quick filter, dynamic time-zone detection and a host of other new interface features.



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