Chris J Powell

GroupWise vs. Exchange

Thought to be in a rapid decline for years, the venerable Novell GroupWise continues to reinvent itself in new and exciting ways.  On Monday, Novell announced the release of their GroupWise 2012 product that from its core has set out to improve the way users work and interact.

Microsoft Exchange and the collaboration platform from Microsoft – SharePoint may be stealing a lot of thunder in recent years but I have been a fan of the GroupWise environment for years and my clients who use it truly do swear by it as what has allowed them to remain competitive even if users are saying they want more Microsoft.  With the latest iteration of GroupWise, I think that the hold outs of the ubiquitous “upgrade” to Exchange 2010 may be very happy to know that despite some hiccups for Novell in 2011, the GroupWise product is stronger than ever.


Novell GroupWise: US$143 license + US$36 priority maintenance (or US$33 for standard maintenance)


Microsoft Exchange US$699 standard license + US$67 per User CAL (or US$3999 for enterprise license)

It is interesting to see these numbers laid out this way and if you look at things purely at the Licensing cost….it would appear that Microsoft is a clear winner but when I input the information for a 500 user enterprise into Novell’s own TCO Calculator a completely different story begins to play out:

You can download the Novell Whitepaper on Total Cost of Ownership


Microsoft Office has taken more than just a dominant role in the modern enterprise and I think it would be safe to say that 99% (if not more) use the Office Productivity Suite in their business but when we don’t leverage the power of Exchange…is their any point in having the underlying power of Microsoft Outlook to connect with a GroupWise Server, the simple answer is, the GroupWise Client replaces the need for Outlook and is included with the License of GroupWise (no additional Licensing cost as with Microsoft).

In my past roles I have used several email clients and always felt that Outlook was missing something.  From IT Clients that I work with…GroupWise does exactly what it is supposed to do and much, much more.

In the 2012 edition, the additional productivity and social collaboration services that are included extend out to integrated Skype, SMS and click-to-call features.  Complete integration with the Novell Vibe Collaboration suite ensures document and content management and also eases business process automation.

For the price and the level of commitment that Novell is putting behind GroupWise (this is just not another revenue stream for Novell) I would say that especially in the SMB market, if it is time to migrate, upgrade or replace your existing email system…give Novell GroupWise a real close look.

Well, after a very busy weekend and far to much time away from the office…it is time to return and really focus on making the most out of what I have.


Chris J Powell



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