Cool Solutions

GroupWise: Sick and tired of negative GroupWise press?


January 27, 2012 12:43 pm





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

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Categories: Expert Views, GroupWise, GroupWise Blog


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  1. By:kbannister

    Where is the Like button!

  2. By:hendersj

    Clearly a sign of a new Novell, and I hope of things to come.

    The old Novell seemed to tend to let the press steamroll them on important stories like this. I can’t count the number of times I read articles about Novell that I thought “someone at Novell should take the time to rebut this nonsense”, but nobody ever did.

    It’s *fantastic* to see Novell alive and KICKING – with *heavy* emphasis on the “kicking”. For too long, I watched Novell take bad press lying down, and as a long-time customer and supporter I felt somewhat burned by it because I was fighting for the continued implementation of Novell solutions, but it appeared that Novell itself had given up.

    No more!

    Something that would be fun to see is a modern spin on the old “sawtooth” logo. Novell’s got its teeth back, and that would be one very visible way to show it 🙂

    Novell Knowledge Partner

  3. By:skapanen

    message is good – you have noticed and responded..

    Hopefully outside of these Novell blogs too? this is somewhat wrong audience.

  4. By:txrjohnson

    Keep up the great work and look forward to the future

  5. By:emerson

    Having the 3rd largest product in it’s field would mean that the product is BIG if it was in any other field, so, true, media och public discussions are both unfair and quite wrong.

    But honestly, having beeing pro-novell approx 20 years, I regretfully believe that the biggest issue
    isn’t the media or the end-users/customers but instead the fact that we, like many others like us, simply started to give up eventually. Zenworks, Groupwise, OES, all products that could be gr8 instead of good. There’s a lot of potential in each to be a leader in its field. Truth though is that as a reseller or partner, one finally comes down to the fact that it’s a loosing battle out there.
    Loosing customer due to patches for the nwclient that takes almost a year,
    Zen 10 or 11 that shows much promise but instead delivers issues and problems,
    Groupwise that’s simply taken to looooooooooong with each release and each required patch.

    I really do keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best and that this turns around,
    if not else, this is the stuff I know, Im not very competitive in the MS field, so I would really really like this to work.

  6. By:dzanre

    Dean we must be diligent. Only today I had to correct some misinformation on the Macrumors forum (while also hopefully helping a GroupWise user who was having difficulty setting up Apple Mail). I’m sure some of it is unintentional, but the tone of most of the posts and articles that talk about outdated and/or antiquated GroupWise systems lead us to believe that the “slams” are definitely with purpose.

    Keep up the good work!


  7. By:JohnFolkes

    Nice to hear the positive support out there for an excellent product. Keep up the good work!

  8. By:jaystoeber

    I just posted my $2.00 worth…..never mind $.02!

    I hope they bring a smile to everyone’s face, because my experience with Exchange, Lotus and GroupWise are made very, very clear in my candidly curt, factual, honest and with a modicum of tongue in cheek humorous rebuttal.

    We love our GroupWise and Open Workgroup Suite in general, and can’t wait to get 2012 deployed and our travelling and remote users even more productive out of the box alongside Data Synchronizer and Vibe.

    2012 has been a long time in coming…..and the future is looking much brighter and forward-moving indeed.

    Jay Stoeber

  9. By:ucba

    We migrated recently from Exchange to Groupwise. I received this IM from my IT Manager

    NS (1:28:55 PM): I just heard something I never thought I would hear.
    NS (1:28:57 PM): Ever!
    NS (1:29:10 PM): Like this is something you would just never expect to hear
    NS (1:29:14 PM): very shocking in fact
    NS (1:29:30 PM): If you are not sitting down, I would recommend it, cause it is very shocking
    Eric Belcher (1:29:40 PM): i’m sitting
    Eric Belcher (1:29:54 PM): I’ll also play your silly game
    NS (1:30:04 PM): actually likes the new system
    NS (1:30:13 PM): and is enjoying learning it
    NS (1:30:25 PM): I think she must be having a mid life crisis or something
    Eric Belcher (1:30:41 PM): This is Groupwise I assume
    NS (1:30:45 PM): yes
    Eric Belcher (1:30:53 PM): wonders will never cease
    NS (1:31:07 PM):
    doesn’t like change. She doesn’t like learning new things, and she is very very particular about her computer
    NS (1:31:17 PM): I am really quite amazed
    Eric Belcher (1:32:01 PM): I’m posting this!
    NS (1:32:19 PM): posting it where?
    Eric Belcher (1:32:37 PM): No names ofcourse, on Novell’s website
    NS (1:32:42 PM): oh right
    NS (1:33:10 PM): Oh and she mentioned that she really likes the spell checker in GroupWise
    NS (1:33:21 PM): She likes that it gives so many more options for words

    It’s a nice way to end a week. We started the migration on Monday.

    • By:MikaA


      can you share what was/were the fundamental reason(s) for migrating to GW? I’m asking as we will be migrating later this year to Exchange and our bosses’ reasoning was “need to move to solution commonly used in open markets”..