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GWCheck.com Exclusive Interview with Ken Muir, CEO of GWAVA



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July 25, 2011 1:31 am

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GWCheck had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with the new CEO of GWAVA, Ken Muir. Read on!

Welcome Ken,

Gert: Tnx for giving GWCheck the opportunity for an interview. You are the next CEO for GWAVA, the company with GWAVA, Reload and Vertigo – to name a few. What else is there to know about Ken Muir?
Ken: Well, first of all, thanks for this opportunity to talk with you Gert. One of my passions is obviously Collaboration and the part of my job, when I was at Novell, that I enjoyed the most was working with great partners and with great customers. I am excited to be able to remain working within this great community. It’s an honor to be associated with GWAVA. GWAVA is a world-class company and I am very pleased to have this opportunity to grow the company and even better serve our customers.

Gert: You have been with Novell. Novell is now part of the Attachmate Group. How do you see the development for Novell as a company you left (1)
Ken: It’s an exciting new chapter for Novell. I think it will bring focus to the company and enable Novell to better serve its main staple products in GroupWise, OES and ZENworks. It takes pressure off Novell to “serve Wall Street” as was required when they were a public company. Novell can focus on taking care of the customers in their main products and innovate within those products versus having to constantly look to build the next “killer app” that would drive the next billion dollars to please investors and the street.

Gert: and for GWAVA being the biggest GroupWise partner (2)?
Ken: For GWAVA (and all Novell Partners) it will bring tighter relationships and cooperation within these main products to drive mutual success. GWAVA is Novell’s largest and most loyal and committed partner. We share in each other’s success and have the same focus on driving solutions to help our joint customers.

Gert: Like said, GWAVA has strong and intelligent products, like GWAVA, Reload and Vertigo. What can we expect in the near future?
Ken: We already have new releases for all our products in the works which will deliver additional value and innovation to our customers. We also have some awesome new ideas that we are proving out that I think are very revolutionary in this space. I am please with the ingenuity of our worldwide engineering teams.

Gert: What strategy do you want to set for GWAVA? Why and what is the philosophy behind it?
Ken: GWAVA has established itself as the leader in GroupWise security, compliance, archiving, monitoring and disaster recovery. For most Novell customers that run GroupWise, they also run our products. Our strategy is to continue ensuring we provide the most innovative, secure and robust products in this area for our Novell customers. We will also establish our brand and products into other email and collaboration platforms and serve those customers that do not use GroupWise.

Gert: GWAVA has made the move towards Exchange support. This is easy to explain IMO cause technically the software supports both systems, hence customers, hence market value, hence revenue..
This move needed explaining to the GroupWise community via a letter by Charles Taite, CEO then. What is your view as the next CEO on the two market segments GWAVA now supports?
Ken: I want to make it clear that GWAVA is committed to GroupWise and Novell. I think this is why Charles felt it was important to explain our move into supporting Exchange. We have heard from those customers that have left GroupWise for Exchange that they are lacking the same quality of tools for the Exchange platform that we provide. Our decision to support Exchange was both to take care of these customers, many of which use other Novell products, and to build our business in a new addressable market.

Gert: I recall a great statement from you: “email is only a feature of collaboration”. What does collaboration mean for GWAVA and where does it take GWAVA customers or should I say the GWAVA community?
Ken: GWAVA’s products will support current email solutions, i.e. GruopWise and Exchange. However, as I have said constantly over the past two years, the collaboration market has expanded. Email will not be the center of the collaboration universe in the future. It will always be present but will become a feature of larger collaborative systems that include document sharing, social messaging, blogs, wikis, team workspaces, etc. All of these next generation systems will require Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, compliance, eDiscovery, archiving, monitoring and backup/restore. From what I can tell from my experience with Novell Vibe Cloud, Jive, Sharepoint, Quad, SocialText, and the other next-generational platforms, there are few vendors like GWAVA that are jumping to meet the needs of this quickly changing market. It’s a great opportunity for us.

Gert: BlackBerry is supported by Retain, a GWAVA solution for archiving. Does GWAVA have an agenda for mobility or mobility partners?
Ken: If it involves messaging, our strategy is to provide solutions in security, compliance and disaster-recovery regardless of the messaging platform or the device being used.

Gert: GWAVA supports Windows, NetWare/OES and Linux on the server. It has a knowledge base for its customers, and supports GroupWIse as a Novell product. What can we expect from GWAVA for support for these server OS’s? I say this cause Attachmate still supports NetWare.
Ken: Surely we will continue to support Windows Server and Linux. Where/if we support NetWare in a current product, I don’t see us changing that because I am sure those loyal NetWare customers will still require it of us. However, future developments will not be done on NetWare.

Gert: Tough question: which one is more important to GWAVA, the next version of GroupWise, the next version of Exchange, the next version of BlackBerry or the next version of GWAVA?
Ken: In order to take care of our current customers, the answer is the next version of GroupWise and ensuring all our products work well with it.

Gert: GWAVACon is a favorite for GroupWise admins. How will GWAVA continue GWAVACon, and will there be changes?
Ken: . You will see GWAVACon continue to be the premier place for Novell customers to learn about Novell product developments as well as GWAVA product developments and vision. However, like our business, we will expand GWAVACon to include information about Microsoft and Exchange and other next-generation collaboration platforms such as those mentioned above. Ultimately, you will see GWAVACon become the premier event to learn about anything related to messaging/collaboration security, compliance and disaster recovery regardless of the email platform you use.

Gert: Where can we meet you in person? What does your agenda look like for the next months? Presenting, board rooms, travelling, etc.
Ken: I plan on spending the next few months being very inwardly focused on the company, our employees and our strategy. Shortly after I will turn my focus on visiting our customers and partners and driving those relationships. I will be at GWAVACon Munich in October and I hope to see our European customers and partners there. I will obviously be at BrainShare in Utah the following week where GWAVA is not only a Platinum sponsor but we are the Cornerstone Sponsor for the entire event.

Gert: Tnx for the time and have a great time being the CEO for GWAVA, Ken.
Ken: Thanks Gert. I appreciate all the hard work that you and all our great partners do for GWAVA and for the entire community.
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