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Why Does Novell Have Two Messaging Products?
NetMail Cool Solutions Article
by Richard Bliss
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Posted on 23 May 2002

If you're one of Novell's 30-plus million GroupWise users and have recently heard or read about NetMail, you may be wondering why Novell has two messaging products. The answer boils down to this: Novell has one messaging product for each of two distinct messaging markets. GroupWise lives in the marketing space controlled by organizations' demands for feature-rich collaboration applications, also called groupware applications. NetMail, in contrast, fits organizations' demands for bare-essentials e-mail applications, which comprise the second messaging market.

Collaboration applications are more mature than the relatively new fundamental e-mail applications and, not surprisingly, widely known and used, particularly in the business world. In fact, when you say "e-mail application" most users immediately think of one or all of the three applications that dominate the collaboration space: Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange, and Lotus Notes.

Above all else, collaboration applications were designed to enable groups of coworkers, often at different sites, to work together on a project with the help of network technologies. These applications typically provide much more than e-mail alone, enabling users to create, store, share, and act on information by integrating other non-messaging applications, including word processing applications.

The twelve-year-old GroupWise is a strong player in the collaboration space for several reasons, including the following:

  • GroupWise provides the complete suite of collaboration tools: email, calendaring, scheduling, resource management, task management, and document management.
  • GroupWise runs on multiple platforms, namely Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT/2000.
  • GroupWise extends the collaboration zone to web and wireless workers, that is, workers who spend most if not all of their time away from a desk. GroupWise enables web and wireless workers to access their GroupWise inbox via the web or wirelessly using cellular phones or handheld devices.
  • GroupWise is not subject to the same viruses that plague Microsoft Exchange and the Microsoft Outlook e-mail client.
  • Most important, GroupWise offers a stable platform on top of which organizations can build additional collaboration services.

While GroupWise and other collaboration applications meet specific collaboration needs, not every organization needs all of the features these applications offer. In many cases, some or all of an organization's users need e-mail alone. For these users, a collaboration application is overkill. Simply put, buying a collaboration application when you need only e-mail is like buying a dining room suite when you need only a chair.

When some or all of your users want or need only e-mail, bare-essentials e-mail applications are a better fit. Above all else, these basically-e-mail applications were designed to enable the free exchange of messages over the Internet. As a result, web access to e-mail is not a feature these applications have recently added on to their core product. Enabling web access to e-mail is more or less the point of these products.

Several players compete in this Internet e-mail market, including iPlanet, OpenWave, Sendmail, and Mirapoint. While each of these service providers' or vendors' products provides Internet e-mail, Novell NetMail 3.1 stands out for several reasons:

  • NetMail 3.1 scales to over 200,000 users on a single server.
  • In addition to e-mail, NetMail 3.1 offers calendaring and scheduling features through its support of iCal.
  • NetMail was built from the ground up on Novell eDirectory, which means, among other things, that in distributed environments it will scale to millions of users, while still being easy to set up and manage.
  • At U.S. $15 per user license, NetMail is available for much less than traditional collaborative applications.
  • NetMail 3.1 is client-independent, and supports your users' favorite email applications, including Eudora, Entourage, Netscape Messenger, and of course Microsoft Outlook.

Some of the other e-mail applications can compete in some of these categories, but no other e-mail application can compete in all of these categories.

So why does Novell have two e-mail products? Because there are two dynamic e-mail markets. Whether your organization needs a collaboration application alone, an Internet e-mail solution alone, or a combination of both, Novell is there to meet your messaging needs.

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