As most of you know, we just launched GroupWise 2012 this week, and there’s a lot to celebrate. We not only have a great product today (one that includes many customer-requested enhancements focused on hot topics like mobility, social collaboration, and end-user productivity); we have a robust roadmap to carry us far into the future. So what’s the rub? The fact that media coverage about GroupWise is anything but fair and unbiased.
To begin with, you may have seen this article, offering the sweeping conclusion that “no one cares about GroupWise.” Some of you have weighed in to rebut this claim, and we thank you for that! If you haven’t seen the article until now, consider it a rallying cry to stand up against this kind of false perpetuation of the “old Novell” story. And in case you’re tempted to believe such fatalistic predictions about the demise of GroupWise, consider my response to this article:
First, the points on which we agree. Yes, it’s been awhile since our last release. Yes, Novell’s past focus on GroupWise has wavered. And yes, like all on-premise email vendors, we face competition from Google and the cloud.
But if you’d like to know the noteworthy facts (versus the tired refrain) of the contemporary Novell GroupWise story, consider this:
- GroupWise still offers the security, reliability, ease of management, and cross-platform flexibility that put it on the map back 20-plus years ago—a big part of the reason that “10,000 customers and 47 of the 50 US state governments” use it.
- GroupWise is enjoying a resurgence of focus and commitment from The Attachmate Group, which acquired Novell in May of 2011. As a proof point, check out what Bob Flynn, Novell President and General Manager, had to say about GroupWise in this video from our recent BrainShare event.
- Novell has increased its engineering staff (based in our Provo, Utah headquarters) for GroupWise by 33% in recent months and has a roadmap featuring much more frequent releases. See what we have planned by visiting our dynamic roadmap application.
- Novell and GroupWise leaders have been hitting the streets over the last several months, contacting hundreds of GroupWise customers around the world. The purpose of these visits? To rekindle relationships, to listen, and to learn what customers need from the product.
These are the facts of the GroupWise story. We invite Mr. Strom to speak with us about any of these developments–or to talk with GroupWise customers and partners who care deeply about this product and its future. Let’s stop belaboring the past. It’s a new day for GroupWise, and the future is bright.
But is that the only press-related injustice we need to address? Definitely not. There’s also the slew of articles on the City of Los Angeles’s high-visibility migration from GroupWise to Gmail. Is anyone else growing weary of these unoriginal variations on the same tired theme? I definitely am. And while we certainly don’t speak for our customers—or publicly second-guess the wisdom of their decisions—we DO find fault with the media for continually portraying GroupWise as the goat in this story.
The truth is that the City of LA was running an older version of our product—a fact that any amount of due diligence on the part of the press could have uncovered. And what about the age and configuration of the hardware it was running on? Ever seen a single one of these articles dig into THAT extremely relevant fact? Nope. Some of the basic tenets of “investigative reporting” seem to have been missed. The bottom line is that reporting on GroupWise based on its 2003 merits is patently unfair, and we’re crying foul. Since when did the press ever write about Windows 95 or Exchange 2003 with such contemporary zeal and vigor? Never. That’s when.
And let’s not forget that even this older version of GroupWise meets fundamental needs that Google currently can’t, which is why it remains in use in certain pockets of the municipality. So, again, why the flat and utterly unimaginative quest to find new ways to portray Novell as old? How about reporting on the facts as they stand TODAY? Better yet, why not report on who Novell IS today, and what that signals for TOMORROW?
These kinds of articles not only do a tremendous disservice to the companies they cover, but to the readers who rely on them for perspective and information-gathering. If you’re tired of this kind of GroupWise coverage from the mainstream IT media, pass this post along. Reblog it, tweet it, and share it with others who want the REAL story—the story of Novell’s recommitment to its customers, the story of GroupWise’s return, and—as time will undoubtedly tell—the story of a company that found its place serving customers again. You don’t have to believe me until the proof points are in. But please don’t believe what the press feeds you in the meantime.
Kari Woolf, GroupWise Product Marketing Manager