[ngw] So long and thanks for all the fish

Thys de Beer thys at nwpg.gov.za
Mon Jun 12 08:10:44 UTC 2017

HI Jeff,
If they would just listen...... ;-)...

Kind Regards,

Thys de Beer
NWPG Office of the Premier
GITO: Infrastructure
Deputy Dir: Server Administration
018 388 3828
Novell -- CNE
Microsoft -- MCITP- Enterprise Administrator
Microsoft -- MCSE- Private Cloud
Vmware -- VCP5

>>> "Jeffrey D. Sessler" <jeff at scrippscollege.edu> 2017-06-08 09:00 PM
My campus recently hit the two-year retirement mark for Groupwise after
our move to O365. The last GW servers are shut off, and with nothing
left active, I feel it’s time to say, “So long and thanks for all the
fish.” Many of you, and especially Danita, have been invaluable
resources here and on the official forums for well over twenty years, so
thank you for all your help. I especially appreciated this groups
ability to have those more difficult conversations about our beloved

I had considered a final post-honeymoon update on the move, but figured
having those discussions are painful and now best left along. So
instead, with time in the rear-view mirror, and greater familiarity with
O365, I wanted to offer the following as recommendations/observations to
GW product management. I believe it could have a positive impact on
GroupWise futures, including EDU. While these comments are EDU
perspective (especially cost), they likely apply to other sectors too
e.g. non-profit.


  *   Separate client development and client release cadence, from the
backend agents.
  *   Shift to high-cadence release cycle for client e.g. monthly,
where new features/updates are released constantly. This is the face of
the product, so faster incremental updates get features in front of
customers sooner, while at the same time demonstrating innovation is
alive and well. Take items from the Ideas portal and translate them
quickly into the product. It provides visible value to the customer,
even if they opt to stay on the slow (stable) release train. This is
similar to MS’ monthly feature updates as well as their insider
slow/fast programs.
  *   Make the client backward compatible with some older GW releases.
Going forward, have one client for development to maintain that supports
several older releases, so that all customers have the latest security
fixes/improvements. Those on newer backend get features tied to it,
everyone else gets the incremental client-based updates e.g. new Ux
improvements or other client-centric updates e.g. rule wizards, order
starbucks plug-in. It would likely incentivize or entice older customers
into upgrading the backend to get those features they can see but not
use. It would free development to focus on one client.
  *   Need Mobile Clients – Customers have shifted from needing only
mail on their phone, to mail and calendar, to using their smart devices
for all communications. There needs to be a full-featured GW client with
access to advanced features (and integration with other apps). A good
majority of our users opt for the Outlook mobile app over standard
ActiveSync or IMAP. It’s a testament to how critical mobile devices have
become for users, often supplanting laptops.
  *   Mac Client – Goes without saying. Don’t need to beat a dead
  *   Embrace external ecosystem – The client needs to plug-in to
third-party systems e.g. adding/storing attachments from BOX, Google
Drive, OneDrive is just one example. WebEx, GoToMeeting, Zoom, Slack,
universal communication, message translation, order starbucks, and the
list goes on.  Be the platform of open choice and less inward-focused.
This goes for desktop, mobile, and web. The third parties aren’t going
to write them for you, but they all have API’s on how to integrate.

GroupWise Platform

  *   If it’s desired to get close to the base O365 EDU offering, the
following products would need to be bundled and as close to free as
possible. GroupWise, GW Mobility, GW Messenger, Filr, Retain, Reload,
GWAVA, Vibe, and OES. I say free since the customer still has to provide
the hosting for all of these products. If the customer isn’t
risk-adverse to cloud, licensing plus local hosting costs make GW a hard
  *   Cloud – formulate a cloud/hosting strategy. EDU - Offer free
hosting for some/all of the above. Driving down costs makes it harder
for a customer to say so long. For other customers that are getting out
of on-prem, it provides an option to continue using the product. With
the cloud offering, innovate faster, keep providing those customers new

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