announced the general availability of the GroupWise 5.5 Internet Enhancement
pack on November 1st 1999. The enhancement pack allows for enhanced GroupWise
"WebAccess" through any JAVA enabled browser, enhanced NDS integration for simplified
administration, enhanced remote access and a Windows NT Server enhancement which
allows GroupWise to run as a Service and not merely as an application. According
to Terry Ulanch from Novell's Collaboration Marketing, "The Enhancement Pack
simply makes the Web client better. Now GroupWise WebAccess, though accessible
through any browser, is more like the Windows client in its functionality: Each
message pops up a new window, so users don't have to go back and forward with
their browser; users can select and delete multiple messages without opening
challenge with the 5.5 Internet Enhancement Pack is that it needs a service
pack, which has not yet been made available. GroupWise newsgroups are overflowing
with web access issues, spell check issues, disappearing folders and various
administration concerns. We spoke to one of Novell's reference sites, supported
by Jaime Shifrin. Mr. Shifrin has not as of yet implemented the enhancement
pack and does not expect to do so for several quarters, indicating that the
present web access release "is functional but needs help." When asked if the
firm makes use of either the integrated document management or imaging features,
Mr. Shifrin said " As we do not use them I would like to remove them from the
product." Furthermore, Mr. Shifrin stated the primary reason for the GroupWise
implementation was its tight integration with NDS.
enhancements included in the GroupWise Enhancement Pack are overdue and some
feature functionality, such as the enhanced web interface with spell checking,
will give the competition a reason to be concerned. GroupWise is in direct competition
with both Microsoft's Exchange and Lotus Notes Domino Servers. Both Lotus and
Microsoft recognized the demand for enhanced Internet access and administration
over two years ago, and implemented e-mail based Internet solutions. Microsoft
released the Outlook Web Access e-mail client two years ago, which allows a
user to access his or her e-mail from any Java enabled Internet browser; Lotus
released its Internet rich Domino Server in the same time frame.
has had a solid presence in the messaging market since the early 90's. Unfortunately,
GroupWise is consistently functionally behind the competition and will have
to make larger strides to regain lost market share. The Internet Enhancement
pack is a first step that targets existing GroupWise 5.5 client sites to prevent
a migration to a competitive e-mail system. The demand for messaging is growing
rapidly, and the big three of Lotus, Microsoft and Novell are scrambling for
5.5 Enhancement Pack Pricing
5.5 Enhancement Pack 5 User
5.5 Enhancement Pack 50 User
5.5 Enhancement Pack 100 User
Strategy and Trajectory
is positioning GroupWise to compete head to head with Lotus Notes and Microsoft
Exchange by enhancing its Internet and administrative functionality. However,
with the advent of Microsoft Exchange 2000's "WebStore" and the current functional
strengths of Lotus Notes Domino, the future for Novell looks bleak. Lotus Notes
Domino offers an integrated and stable web server capable of integrating with
the Notes E-mail system and able to handle a production web site with Notes
database integration. GroupWise is the second most expensive of the three messaging
platforms at approximately $120 per client seat. The GroupWise 5.5 enhancement
package retails for $20 per seat, increasing the overall total cost of ownership
to just shy of $150 per seat, approximately $20 per seat less than Lotus Notes.
the future, Novell will continue to enhance GroupWise in an attempt to catch
up to Lotus and Microsoft by securing NDS integration, improving administration
utilities and developing multiple platform support. GroupWise Servers will run
on UNIX, Windows NT and NetWare servers, but not Linux.
strength of Novell's GroupWise lies in its existing 20,000,000-seat customer
base. Unfortunately, after polling numerous Solution Providers, the overwhelming
choice for either new or migrated message systems is either Lotus Notes or Microsoft
Exchange, with just a small splattering of GroupWise. Novell will try to maintain
its foothold by enhancing the current revision of GroupWise and providing clients
with the Internet functionality demanded by its corporate clients. Novell will
also continue to stress its above average document management capabilities,
which offer support for revision tracking, workflow routing and document imaging
via digital input. While the Internet Enhancement Pack is Novell's next step
to creating a truly Unified Inbox, we believe that Novell may be too late to
maintain a truly competitive position within the messaging leadership race.
However the next release of GroupWise, code named "Bulletproof", will be built
around XML technology to allow for an open interface.
had one of the best "out of the box" packages available during the early 1990s.
As messaging systems have developed, GroupWise has rested on its laurels, and
Novell is now tasked with catching up to Lotus and Microsoft. The product continues
to be comparatively weak in Internet utility areas such as an Internet/Intranet
access client and a URL addressable object structure, areas that Microsoft and
Lotus have virtually secured.
must dedicate a strong team of developers to provide GroupWise the following
it must improve the current database structure to allow for a distributed architecture
while improving availability and stability.
all objects within the GroupWise directory must be able to be directly URL accessible
from any point.
GroupWise must be able to run out of the box, offering a turnkey solution that
is easy to install and administer.
Novell must offer a lower entry cost to appeal to cost conscious organizations.
While the GroupWise server component is priced competitively, the client access
license must be shaved down to no more than $40 (USD) per seat.
million seats provides a good deal of upgrade and support revenue, but ultimately,
if the product is not revamped those seats will migrate to a new platform within
2 years (probability 60%).
will need more than a facelift to compete with Lotus and Microsoft. A team of
experienced, user-savvy developers must be dedicated to revamp the GroupWise
messaging system. Some of the correct steps are being taken, such as Internet
enhancements, cross-platform support and enhanced remote access, but cost may
be one of the mitigating factors in Novell's messaging decline. Novell must
make a strong effort to not only improve the actual software, but to also improve
the image of the software through advertising and a lower entry cost into the
marketplace. Novell should consider expanding the once a year "BrainShare" conference
and holding a separate, dedicated messaging conference, to not only educate
consumers and resellers, but to attract more attention to the product itself.
a new mail system should not purchase GroupWise unless the existing Network
Operating System (NOS) is primarily Novell and the client would save funds on
an expanded support contract. Users should always evaluate either Lotus Notes
or Microsoft Exchange as an alternative enterprise messaging solution, as both
Microsoft and Lotus are greater than 24 months ahead of GroupWise in database
structure and high availability, and both messaging systems will integrate seamlessly
into a Netware environment. Users strongly concerned with document management
should be aware that although GroupWise is a viable candidate, it is the most
expensive alternative, and Lotus and Microsoft offer a plethora of efficient
and cost effective 3rd party document management add-ons. Simply because you
may be a NetWare shop does not mean that you are limited to a Novell messaging