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March 2008



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

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Contact Currency

For many knowledge workers, their contacts are like currency. The increased value that people place on their contacts has motivated a shift from the address book concept in GroupWise to a contact management perspective in the solution's next version. It sports a whole new look and feel, with quick searches across all contact folders and an enhanced user interface. It also simplifies the process of managing business contacts and personal contacts with multiple phone numbers and IM addresses.

The new product version provides a lot of flexibility in displaying contacts, including a new business card presentation option. With a quick double click, you can use the whole screen to show your contact information. It's easy to resize the window, drag and drop information, and change the view. The History tab on a contact also allows you to quickly view all e-mails, appointments or tasks associated with that contact. And to help you better manage the personal aspect of your relationships, you can associate contacts with birthdays, anniversaries and other calendar information. There are also hundreds of other fields for things like children's names, hobbies and interests.

The contact management capability greatly extends what you can do with your contact information. You can click on View Map and automatically access a Google map based on the contact's address. You can associate contacts with jpg or bmp photos, which is nice if you are good at remembering faces, but terrible with names. And, when displaying your contacts in business card mode, you get a quick overview of contacts including photos and other key information.
(See Figure Contacts!.)

One of the most powerful new features added to contact management deals with notes. For example, while you're on the phone with one of your contacts you can bring up their contact view and enter notes about the conversation. The notes you make are linked to the time and date you entered them. This makes it easy to maintain and review your history with this contact. You can also look at your calendar, quickly see all the contacts you talked to on a specific date and easily bring up notes on those conversations.

Another productivity enhancer associated with contact management deals with the solution's calendar subscribe and publish capability. If one of your external contacts has published free/busy search information, you can associate the URL with that contact. Every time you need to set up a meeting that involves that contact, free/busy searches will automatically check that contact's published calendar and integrate it into your search results.

Personal Project Management

IT managers and users have placed high importance on task management in GroupWise. Because of this, Novell has enhanced some task management features in the next version of GroupWise to provide a more powerful set of tools to help people be more effective.

A subtle indicator of these changes is the renaming of checklists to tasks, but the enhancements go well beyond semantics. While it shouldn't be viewed as a full project management tool, GroupWise provides a significant step up in enabling you to manage your personal to-do items.

Integrated checklists and tasks, subtasks, and percent complete graphical indicators are a few of the things that take the next GroupWise to a whole new level. These capabilities—combined with the ability to nest tasks within other tasks—are what give the newest version of GroupWise the feel of a personal project manager.

You can prioritize tasks, show all the steps needed to complete a project, drag e-mails into tasks, and apply categories to tasks and associated e-mails. You can assign colors to categories to more easily find and access items related to certain tasks. You can also sort tasks by due date or apply various filters to display tasks that meet certain criteria. These enhancements let users manage tasks, and the items related to those tasks, in more flexible and productivity-enhancing ways than ever before.

Elevating Personal Productivity

While GroupWise has always led with the Windows client, a major focus of this release has been to draw closer to client parity. In fact, Novell has come a long way in making GroupWise a personal productivity dashboard that delivers a rich user experience whether you're on Windows, Linux, Mac or the Web.

The WebAccess client has been improved with an updated look and feel. Its enhancements include 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 others.(See Figure WebAccess!.)

The enhancements to the Linux and Mac clients are equally impressive. These clients have not only achieved functional parity with the GroupWise 7 Windows client, but they also enjoy all the benefits of the home view and Web panels, navigation bar, multiple calendars, POP/IMAP/NNTP support, appointment notification, find filters, auto-save and more.

The bottom line is that a lot of innovative changes are coming in the next release of GroupWise. These enhancements will help you and your users elevate the way you manage your work and life, boost your ability to get things done and ultimately drive your achievement and success. In short, GroupWise, now more than ever, empowers users to put personal productivity and efficiency into maximum overdrive. Figure 3

  • 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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