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Hello Again GroupWise!

Mike Bills

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October 1, 2014 10:43 am

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I am very excited today to be able to re-introduce myself to the GroupWise community and talk about my new role with Novell as the Product Manager for Collaboration.

Before I get started I do want to tip my hat to my predecessor, Mr GroupWise Dean Lythgoe. I know he was an admired and respected member of this community and I wish him well in his current endeavors. He left me with a great team and a great product. Thank You Dean!

Moving into this position with Novell is like a homecoming for me. GroupWise is where it all began for me in my career and I have a great affection for GroupwWise and the entire Collaboration product line. I took my first job in the industry doing technical support for WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (Yeah I know that dates me a bit :)). In less than a year I moved into working with what I felt was the most exciting product in the WordPerfect portfolio at the time, WordPerfect Office 3.1.

Next came the merger with Novell and the re-branding of the product to Novell GroupWise. With GroupWise I believe I worked at nearly every level of support at one time or another. From Client Support, to Admin Support and then the famed Gateways team. (Well it was famous internally to us at the time, We actually had a softball team one season called the Gaters) I was one of the main Pager, Phone Access and GWIA Gateway support techs, oh and do you remember the MHS gateway? I Do!

Later I left Novell and started working for myself. For a couple of years I was an independent contractor/consultant. I worked mostly with NetWare and you guessed it, GroupWise! I also remember working on several “Opportunity Tours” for Novell. I presented on the NetWare 6 and NetWare for Small Business marketing tours. Traveling all over showcasing the release of those products. That seems like a lifetime ago, I wonder if any remembers attending those events and if they can remember me?

Even though I was away from Novell, the Novell product line was my lifeblood. In 2001 I returned to Novell and have been here ever since. When I returned I started back with GroupWise support but was soon asked to develop a GroupWise ATT (Advanced Technical Training) course for Novell Education. My support manager loaned me to the education department to develop the course and once it was done the loan became permanent and I spent the next several years traveling all over the world for Novell teaching GroupWise ATT courses.

Somewhere along the line I was asked to help out with our ZENworks ATT team and I started writing courses for the ZENworks product family. It was a great experience and I have had roles with Novell Training Services ever since.

Now its time to come back home to Collaboration, to GroupWise. Internally as my new role was announced I have been called, emailed, and approached in the hall at the corporate offices with so many welcome back handshakes and words of encouragement that it has been overwhelming for me. I truly feel invited back into the fold.

I want this community to know that I embrace this new opportunity and I will be an advocate for you. I hope that you will welcome me and I look forward to hopefully what will be many years and a great relationship.

For those of you that do not know me, I look forward to working with you. BrainShare is fast approaching and I hope to see you there. Please find me and introduce yourself. For all those old friends the same invitation stands, I hope to see you at Brainshare.

If you can’t make it to BrainShare or you just can not wait, feel free to contact me. Over the next several months I will be working hard to introduce myself to our customers and our partner network.
See you soon!

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Categories: Collaboration, GroupWise, GroupWise Blog, Messenger, Mobility, Vibe

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4 Comments

  1. By:Paul Lamontagne

    Great news for the GroupWise community, to once again have a strong advocate in their corner.

    Looking forward to seeing you at Brainshare and working with you to make GroupWise and the other Collaboration products the best that they can be…

  2. We’re glad to have an experienced, passionate person in the Product Management chair, Mike.

    Let’s make great things happen!

  3. By:mraymus

    Congrats, Mike! Looking forward to good things from you, man!

    Matt Ray
    mray@groupwiseguru.com
    http://groupwiseguru.com

  4. By:Dean Lythgoe

    Congratulations Mike! You will be wonderful in this role and I wish you all the best!

    Sincerely,

    Dean

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