Mac Uni cans 'inferior' GroupWise for Gmail

Mac Uni cans 'inferior' GroupWise for Gmail

Summary: Macquarie University has revealed plans to ditch its "inferior" Novell GroupWise staff email platform and replace it with Google's Gmail offering, following an earlier successful roll-out among students.

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Macquarie University has revealed plans to ditch its "inferior" Novell GroupWise staff email platform and replace it with Google's Gmail offering, following an earlier successful roll-out among students.

We were spending a significant amount of money each year maintaining our own inferior email infrastructure

Mac Uni vice chancellor Steven Schwartz

Less than two months ago, Mac Uni customer relationship manager Kathy Sewell defended the GroupWise platform on the blog of the university's chief information officer Marc Bailey.

The institution had executed a major upgrade to the infrastructure underlying its GroupWise platform, migrating to a new gigabit network.

"It turns out that GroupWise itself, though it has its own issues, has not been the largest source of operational email problems and risk," she wrote. "Until today, the legacy network that messages had to flow through actually offered multiple critical points of failure."

But today the university's vice-chancellor Steven Schwartz described the GroupWise platform as less capable than Gmail, announcing that the university intended to move its staff onto the latter system.

"We were spending a significant amount of money each year maintaining our own inferior email infrastructure that, despite our best efforts, was falling further and further behind staff expectations each year," he said.

Macquarie had previously migrated some 68,000 student accounts to the Gmail platform. The staff roll-out is expected to touch a further 6000. The success of the student roll-out had fuelled the staff switch, despite initial concerns.

"We knew our staff would have questions about using an external email service, particularly around privacy and intellectual property and regulatory ramifications," CIO Bailey said in the university's statement.

"But to their great credit, Google worked with us to mitigate all of these concerns and we're now very comfortable in rolling out Gmail to all of our staff."

The university did consider Gmail's educational rival, Microsoft Live@Edu — which has stolen a march on the search giant at a number of large Australian universities — but Bailey said Google's solution was "more cost-effective, both in terms of initial pricing and ongoing operational cost".

The Gmail roll-out will kick off this month, with three major stages planned by the project's scheduled completion in September.

Topic: Enterprise Software

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9 comments
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  • What version?

    What version of GroupWise were they running? Many of these "conversion" stories are of an older version of GroupWise to the newer version of Brand X. Yet if you compare the latest version of GroupWise to the newer version of Brand X, guess what? GroupWise isn't so "inferior" anymore.
    anonymous
  • Chipsteroo

    I hope Swinburne University dumps Groupwise soon.
    anonymous
  • Surely NOT

    I didn't know anyone wa still using Groupwise.

    Anyone still using Notes out there ??? I guess they're next !
    anonymous
  • Clarification by MQU

    Thanks to ZDNet for picking up this story. Here are a couple of clarifications for your readers:

    We're not making a statement about Novell GroupWise in this announcement, and there are plenty of people who love it passionately.

    The fact is that any internal system will have trouble when compared against cloud based offerings from performance, reliability, capacity and ultimately, value perspectives.

    Of the cloud offerings we chose Google for three main reasons, namely:
    - Best commercial bet for open standards computing within a 3 year window.
    - Incumbent student base of approximately 68,000+ existing GMail accounts
    - Cost/benefit efficiencies; this was a distinctly third tier consideration and was not enough on its own to differentiate against competitors.

    Marc Bailey
    CIO Macquarie University
    http://cio.mq.edu.au
    anonymous
  • 7.0

    Groupwise 7.x on OES2v2.
    We're not transitioning because we want to ditch GroupWise in particular.
    We are transitioning because we chose GMail to replace over 40 internal mail islands of various flavours.
    anonymous
  • GW on OES?

    That's a recipe for disaster if ever there was one. GW on NetWare is *so* much more stable, reliable, etc. Novell's SLES and OES are two different puzzle pieces that Novell still hasn't quite got working together nearly as well as NetWare and the services it provides (DNS/DHCP, GW, ZEN, etc). I can see why you want to move to GMail, considering the system you have in place now.
    anonymous
  • features

    I guess it comes down to the features of the mail platform you are using. If you are mainly dealing with student accounts then basic email functionality is all you need. If you were dealing in an office environment where you need features like capable calendaring, proxying (accessing other users email accounts from your own, eg PA for a manager) then GroupWise or a similar mail system is preferable.

    I guess as long as you have consulted with the business users and they understand what they are getting so be it.
    anonymous
  • New Notes

    Yep - we're still using Notes. Just upgraded from cr@ppy old version to brand new version 8.5 which is excellent.
    anonymous
  • privacy
    what is so good about gmail that people are willing to give up their privacy and allow google full access to the contents of their emails?
    peter29-40f83