This week I was at GWAVACon and Ken Muir, Director of GroupWise Engineering spoke to us about a few things you might want to know about.
1st things 1st. SP1 was always going to ship within the first half of ‘06. Ken’s team’s personal goal was Brainshare, but because of some
issues with the Intellisync integration, Ken felt strongly that they shouldn’t start the Beta just yet, which will push SP1 back to a time after Brainshare. He gives no gaurantees, but says that SP1 will probably ship shortly after Brainshare. Beta for SP1 should start in February.
In SP1 the following things are being added:
GroupWise Mobile Server, powered by intellisync, free to all customers on maintenance with wireless push sync to most devices
Cross Platform Client
1200 bugs were fixed from the original release. 🙂 🙁
Those were his emoticons as he’s happy that they fixed so many bugs, however disappointed that there were so many bugs. A bittersweet
He also gave us some additional timelines:
1. There will be an independant Outlook Connector SP some time in 06. This is to address a number of issues with the Connector that didn’t show themselves until it was too late to put them in SP1 but they’re important enough that they’ll be shipping a separate support pack.
2. They’re also working on a lot of 3rd Party App Integrations in 06, such as Seibel and SAP. There were others listed, and I’m sure Ken
will share some of those with us.
3. GW7 SP2 will ship sometime in ‘06
4. Aspen, the next version of GroupWise will ship sometime in 2007
5. Cedar, the release after that will probably ship in 2008+
He wanted us to understand that Novell is extremely committed to GroupWise and that Novell sees GroupWise as one of the key applications
that will help people get to Linux and a strategic application within Novell’s future. He gave us several examples of how Novell is deepening their commitment to GroupWise.
1. They are actively looking at open source projects that are compelling for GroupWise. They are looking at ways to augment
GroupWise with open source applications. GroupWise isn’t completely open yet, but Partners are starting to help Novell with small patches
that address specific issues. GWAVA, for example wrote a small patch for the GWIA and sent it to Novell. Novell reviewed the patch and put it in the code.
Novell is just starting an initiative to make the migration of GroupWise from NetWare to Linux much easier. They realize the pain and
want to make it better.
To further show committment to GroupWise, the following occurred last year at Brainshare 2005:
1. Published and committed roadmap
2. 10 year product support announcement
He mentioned that Ron Hovsepian and other senior executives are strong supporter of GroupWise. At the recent layoffs, the GroupWise
development was protected from some of the deep cuts seen on other teams.
For those of you who are not aware, Ken managed the ZENworks team for the past 5 years and was instrumental in bringing about a lot of change there, particularly in the Linux space. He is bringing that same expertise to the GroupWise Team and is making huge changes in the GroupWise space. Richard Bliss said that there are many people at Novell who are amazed at what Ken has been able to do in the past 7 months. Even though he’s somewhat new to GroupWise, he’s responsible for a lot of the changes that occurred within ZENworks and he’s impacting change in GroupWise as well.
Ken mentioned that his GroupWise Team is just as talented as his ZENworks team, however, he’s been extremely impressed with the passion the GroupWise engineers have for the product. Ken has gone to bat and has gotten some funding to add to the testing efforts. There has also been an improvement in groups that want to work closer to GroupWise. Everybody is starting to do things to improve GroupWise. In the past ZENworks hasn’t had a lot of policies defined around GroupWise, but with Ken’s connections with the ZENworks team, that is changing as well.
There’s an initiative at Novell called Novell Managed Services where they are hosting GroupWise Systems. They built Novell Observer that
allows for more extensive monitoring and reporting of the system. He also said that GroupWise is the most visible product in the company
right now as far as everybody’s desire to have it succeed.
Here are his 2006 Key Engineering Objectives:
1. Ship GW7 SP1, SP2, and GWIM 2.1 on time and with high quality
2. Integrations team formed and engaged via PRD
3. CPR team and processes fully integrated into department. They now report to Ken whereas before they didn’t. This is the team that
Morris now heads up.
4. Improved development processes.
5. Test Case DB and automation strategy in place
6. Aspen must be locked, loaded and on schedule for 2007.
7. Strategy in place and being executed to accomplish top engineering requirements.
a. He wants to remove Novell Dependancies from GroupWise. Eliminate the requirement for eDirectory which will allow everybody to sell
GroupWise to non-Novell shops.
b. Get GroupWise Unicode enabled
c. 64 bit support for GroupWise
8. Continue to ensure that GroupWise is at the center of Novell’s Linux strategy.
9. Take care of internal and external customers by exceeding their expectations at all times. Do this by being professional, thorough,
enthusiastic, over-communicating and delivering on our promises.
10. Continually promote GW product and team to management, sales, consulting, etc.
Short and mid-term direction is very well defined. Outstanding product management and marketing team evolving our long
term vision and direction. Novell, its partners and customers create a strong team. GW7 has tremendous sales momentum.
80% of the revenue in the quarter for GroupWise was for GroupWise 7 – This show strong uptake of the new product. “We had our best quarter in 8 quarters and our 3rd highest quarter in 6 years with GroupWise 7. And it was only out for 2 out of the 3 months in that quarter. We have the right people developing and leading the product. Novell and its executives are all excited about GroupWise. ”
Lastly, he mentioned that RIM and Novell were very tight and making strides towards improving Blackberry Enterprise Server. They’re
looking forward to complete integration between GroupWise and Blackberry some time down the road. Also, as some of you already know, RIM will be offering GWIM on the BlackBerrys as well.
-End of Ken’s presentation
I’ve gotta say that it was very refreshing to hear Ken speak about the future of GroupWise. I didn’t feel like he was putting a marketing
spin on anything. He’s a developer turned Engineering Manager who manages the GroupWise Development Teams and everybody I spoke with thoroughly enjoyed his candor and honesty.
Thought you would all want to know this information.
MC Consulting – GroupWiseGuru.com
MCNE, CNI, LPI, CLS, CNS
Novell Gold Reseller
661.885.2699 – Phone
Just arrived today to be at GWAVACon II in Dallas, Texas. It’s been a lot of fun so far. The conference doesn’t even really kick off until tomorrow, but there was a golf tournament today and a dinner tonight. Got to meet a bunch of people from GWAVA, including a lot of the European folks. Of course, the Queen of GroupWise was there, Danita, and there were a few other GroupWise Junkies there like Morris Blackham, Sean Kirkby, David Muldoon, of course Richard Bliss, Michael Bell, and oh yea, Matt Ray, the GWGuru (shameless plug for GWGuru….www.gwguru.com)! Richard Bliss brought up an interesting concept with the rest of the group tonight. He said that there is now a new classification of GroupWise proficiencies. There are GroupWise Experts, GroupWise Gurus, and GroupWise Legends. In a phone conversation with him earlier this month I talked to him a little about it. I asked him what the qualifications were and he said, “Oh, they needed to have worked with GroupWise since around 1993” (which is probably about the time Richard started working with GroupWise, nudge, nudge). I said, okay, what else? He said, “They have to have been involved with the GroupWise community for most of that time, not just as a player, but as a contributor.” I thought that was fair. Then I asked him who was on his short list and how I got to be on it. He just smiled.
Are you a GroupWise Legend? I think you should email Richard Bliss and ask him how to get on the GWLegend list. I know I am. 🙂