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Blown Away - The Emergence of GroupWise as a Market Leader

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Richard Bliss

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Posted: 7 Apr 2005

Oftentimes momentum is most clearly seen in Hindsight. When the event is past, we are able to see the small yet significant events leading up to a change in momentum.

GroupWise has been around a long time. It has a healthy and vibrant install base that crosses industries and countries. From Legal and Healthcare to some of the most well know Universities around the world, GroupWise meets the needs of millions of users, and the numbers are growing.

This month, Richard Bliss has written an article for the Novell Connection Magazine that identifies the shift in momentum. That GroupWise is a growing force in the Corporate Messaging Marketplace and is now the clear contender for being the #1 alternative to Microsoft Exchange. You will be blown away by the information covered about how well GroupWise is fairing against the competition.

Blown Away: The Emergence of GroupWise as a Market Leader
by Richard Bliss
Novell Connection Magazine - Mar/Apr 2005

Here's an excerpt:

Novell GroupWise has been under constant attack and intense competition over the past few years. Many skeptics and loyalists alike are watching and wondering about the role it will play in the future of the Novell Linux story and the messaging market as a whole. To get a good look at what role GroupWise plays in the emerging messaging landscape, let's start by looking back at the past.

In 1987 the Iran-Contra affair dominated the US News. For the first time, e-mail as a powerful tool of discovery caught the attention of the masses. A few highranking US government officials were caught lying when some of their past emails were brought to light.

IBM PROFS was used by the US Federal Government and was the dominant e-mail system on the market at the time. It was a unified calendaring, e-mail and scheduling application that ran on mainframe hardware and software. PROFS' biggest weakness was its inability to make its product more accessible to much of the smaller business community as well as the general public. This weakness was exploited in the mid 1980s and the IBM PROFS system was dethroned as the dominant e-mail application.

For 15 years Novell GroupWise has been built on the idea that security and low cost are what makes it unique. It wasn't another mainframe system that supplanted it, but rather a low-end LAN system called cc:Mail. With cc:Mail, its low cost and flexible deployment meant that you didn't need to invest in the high cost of a completely integrated system like PROFS, where new hardware, new software and new training meant that a smaller organization couldn't take advantage of email. cc:Mail wasn't as robust as PROFS, but its low cost and flexibility meant that many more organizations could take advantage of e-mail.

IBM, having lost the e-mail advantage to cc:Mail made a strategic acquisition by buying Lotus, the owner of cc:Mail. Then owning two of the most powerful e-mail applications, cc:Mail and Lotus Notes, IBM encouraged the millions of cc:Mail users to move to Lotus Notes by slowly phasing out cc:Mail. The strategy succeeded to some degree because millions moved to Notes, but millions moved to other platforms as well.

Two major platforms emerged during this migration from cc:Mail. The major player to emerge was Microsoft Exchange. With its flexibility of the client, Outlook, Exchange became a user friendly application used by millions of individuals as well as many small companies. However, one of its biggest assets was the fact that Exchange and Outlook were separated on the back end. Since Outlook was available through Microsoft Office, individuals, small business and Enterprises all could use the Outlook client anywhere to get their email. The popularity Outlook enjoyed soon catapulted Exchange to the front of the email market. Although Exchange was complex and expensive, the Outlook client provided a new level of flexibility. The second major platform to emerge was Novell GroupWise. GroupWise brought different characteristics to the market that made it a desirable alternative to Exchange. Three of the main characteristics were security, stability and low cost of ownership. Because of these alternative characteristics, GroupWise popularity grew steadily. It found popularity with law firms, federal and state government, health care and financial institutions. But its biggest market was the education market, both higher education and secondary schools.

Read the full article here

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