Novell touts future of GroupWise package

Novell is expected to release the newest version of its collaboration and e-mail package, GroupWise, to beta testing this week and is already talking about how the product will evolve into a package for enterprise network customers and application service providers.

Codenamed Bulletproof, the next version of GroupWise will enter testing this week, with a final shipping version expected by year-end. Next year, Novell will start working on the Copenhagen release of the product, which is aimed at companies that want to outsource their e-mail. Copenhagen will come out of the chute mid-2001, the company says.

Perhaps the most important feature of the Copenhagen release is the separation of management functions between ASPs and customers that lets each monitor and manage tasks they are interested in. With Copenhagen, ASPs will be able to set up, install and manage post offices, optimise message flow and troubleshoot problems with the message store via software. Customers will be able to use a different set of utilities to create their own e-mail accounts, reset passwords and determine the functions individual users are able to access.

E-mail outsourcing is a relatively new field and currently appeals to only a minority of enterprise users, although the number is growing, according to analysts. Gartner estimates the market will reach $US1.3 billion by year-end.

"I can have someone who is an e-mail expert host this service for me and use a relatively small amount of money," says a network manager for an electronic components manufacturer. "This type of ASP service adds value to my shareholders. Administering such an application internally does not really add value to my product."

With the Copenhagen release, users will also be able to do all the things they can with the Windows client from mobile phones and other wireless devices. The WebAccess client lets users employ any wireless phone, pager, two-way radio or smart phone to send and receive e-mail, schedule meetings or tasks, and check their calendars.

Copenhagen will also fully integrate Novell Directory Services with GroupWise, and incorporate new messaging standards such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the extensions to Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. TLS provides secure transactions between hosts on the Internet.

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