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Novell is Rapidly Losing GroupWise Business

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Mail, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell loses several more contracts, some of which are worth millions

NOVELL’S latest major defeat (for GroupWise at least) was the City of Los Angeles. Millions of dollars may be at stake. It gets worse though.

According to the news from Australia, Macquarie University is dumping GroupWise in order to save millions.

GOOGLE has struck a landmark deal with Sydney’s Macquarie University to provide staff members with its free, web-based offering, Gmail, a move that reaps millions of dollars in savings.

From ZDNet Australia:

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.

Novell is shaken by the above and it has formally responded through ITWire (AU):

Announcements were made a couple of days ago that Macquarie University was discarding its corporate GroupWise email infrastructure in favour of one provided by Google’s Gmail. Novell responds to the reasons offered for the change.

Here is GWAVA getting dumped again: (also here)

Replacing the GWAVA email filtering components on Sunsweet’s Novell GroupWise collaboration server, Sendio reduced system load over 93% by eliminating all of the 33,500 average daily “junk” email messages that bombarded the company. In addition, the Sendio solution allows the Sunsweet IT department to save over three man-days per month that were previously required to manually maintain the email filtering software.

What a bad week for Novell. Novell’s loss in Los Angeles was also mentioned in The Register yesterday. 30,000 seats are being lost.

That emerging market leaves big on-premise email providers like Microsoft and Novell fending off threats from the likes of IBM, Google, and a handful of smaller players.

High profile wins for Google include transferring the city of Los Angles’ 30,000 employees from Novell communications systems to Google Apps.

According to this new press release, a tool was created to assist migration away from GroupWise, which is one of Novell’s big sources of revenue (mostly proprietary).

Transend Migrator for IBM Lotus Foundations includes powerful “batch templates” which allow new Lotus Foundations customers to migrate mailboxes from competitive products (like Microsoft Exchange/Outlook or Novell GroupWise) to Lotus Foundations, quickly and reliably.

This new blog post claims that Novell “has retained its user base” in mail. However, based on what we see in the news, Novell’s user base keeps shrinking, not growing or staying steady. Evidence will be required to show that Novell “has retained its user base”:

Novell, the third largest market participant, has retained its user base but has not seen significant growth. A handful of open-source vendors and smaller providers offer an alternative to the Exchange and Lotus platforms, but they have a small market presence.

The claim above is very questionable. Novell lost $200,000,000 in 2009 (fiscal) and it keeps getting worse despite the layoffs and the offshoring [1, 2], which were supposed to lower expenses.

As Novell is "going downhill", negative developments such as the above are likely to come in greater volume. Novell has also just made the list called “Five Notable Tech Layoffs Of 2009″:

2. Novell

Novell’s woes continued last year. In addition to being mired in litigation over the UNIX operating system, its earnings faltered also. Then, in November, the Linux vendor announced it was cutting 100 to 130 of its 3,900 jobs and that it was also suspending contributions to employees’ 401K pension plans. Earlier in the year, back in March, Novell laid off 100 employees as well.

Novell is at number two for notable technology layoffs, according to CRN. Not good.

“Last year, Ximian’s Miguel de Icaza had the audacity to publicly say that “Gentoo is eternally broken.””To make matters worse, Ximian’s Friedman left Novell last week [1, 2, 3, 4]. Last year, Ximian’s Miguel de Icaza had the audacity to publicly say that “Gentoo is eternally broken.” Well, based on the facts as we have them, “Novell is eternally broken,” not Gentoo. Just to be clear, Miguel de Icaza makes other such remarks to belittle GNU/Linux and he echoes the Microsoft lies about the market share of GNU/Linux on the desktop. That Microsoft MVP award which he received last week [1, 2] is a perfect fit. If/when Novell goes bankrupt/sold [1, 2, 3], Microsoft can probably squeeze him in for a job. He can 'pull an O'Kelly'.

To finish this post on a positive note, here is a decent new article about the success of GNU/Linux on the desktop:

Desktop Linux Market Share Will Rise, Thanks to Microsoft


Yes, Microsoft was happy to let China pirate Windows in order to get them “addicted” to it. A decade later just as Bill Gates said, they are in the business of collecting from the very junkies they created. One has to wonder what China would be using, had Microsoft not allowed this to happen. Exactly ten years since Bill Gates’ speech, Microsoft stepped up anti-piracy campaigns in China.

Microsoft is searching for ways to make people pay for Windows (and rightly so) but the harder they make it and the more they lock the system down, the more attractive other options become.

In August last year, four Chinese people were fined and sentenced to 3.5 years jail for distributing a pirated version of Windows XP, called Tomato Garden.

Microsoft said:

“The case served as a warning to anyone thinking about knocking off Windows 7, a new-generation Windows operating system.”

Microsoft allowed the Chinese to pirate previous versions of Windows, but now with Windows 7 out it’s finally time to collect. This court case did serve as a timely reminder of the consequences of piracy, but will it have the desired effect that Microsoft is seeking?

It is important to keep GNU/Linux Mono- and Moonlight-free. Microsoft is desperate to trip its competition up.

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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm


    Well, this:


    would go far in explaining that:


    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    NASA got Windows viruses going in orbit around Earth in 2008 (probably more often than that, but it’s scarcely reported). CNET spoke about their use of AV software some months ago.

    See the following (regarding Microsoft in NASA):


    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    The sad part is that there is no longer anyone that can do it the right way. Nigeria was solving these kinds of mail and connectivity problems back in the 1990′s;


    Maybe NASA can contract out to Nigeria since at home they don’t seem to find (or maybe allow) any technical competence.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    NASA does deploy some F/OSS as well (I give about 15 examples/references here), but recently there have been a lot more Microsoft shenanigans inside NASA.

  2. jmmarton said,

    January 16, 2010 at 7:42 am


    Try reading the articles first before posting them here. With the case of Sunsweet, the article CLEARLY states that they did NOT replace GroupWise. They simply replaced the GWAVA anti-spam solution with a solution from Sendio. That’s all.

    Also, why is the Transend news a “big story?” They have tools to migrate between any one of a number of e-mail systems, and in fact they also have tools to migrate TO GroupWise.


    All they’ve done is add another platform (Lotus Foundations) to their portfolio. In fact, if you read what you posted, you’ll see the tool also supports migrating from Exchange to Lotus Foundations. So is this “bad news” for Microsoft as well?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I did see that. I did not call it a “big story” and it is bad news to GWAVA, which is Novell’s close ally.

    I’ll clarify and fix the grammatical slip (“getting dumping”).

    jmmarton Reply:

    Ok, perhaps you did not call it a big story, but I do not see the relevance to this blog posting. The title is “Novell is Rapidly Losing GroupWise Business.” So GWAVA is a Novell partner. And? Discussing this is about as relevant as discussing the weather in Beijing. The fact that a Novell partner lost a customer has no bearing on anything at all. Different vendors lose different customers all the time. Why don’t you make a blog entry with the title of “Microsoft is Rapidly Losing Exchange Business” and the reference this article, discussing Panasonic moving from Exchange to IBM’s LotusLive cloud-based solution?



    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve already done that. Are you not subscribed? :-)

    JohnD Reply:

    @jmmarton – You’ll find that Roy has a unique take on most published articles. I seldom agree with his conclusions. He does, however, do a good job of gathering news from a variety of sites. I just make sure to read the articles for myself rather than rely on his interpretation. For instance a casual reader of BN would think that Novell lost 200 millon in cash last fiscal year. After you read the financials you’ll see that the “loss” was a paper one relating to decreased value in things that were purchased. The last time I checked the company that is “going downhill” had over 900 million in the bank and had cut their debt.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There is also debt that remains to be paid.

    jmmarton Reply:

    Of course there’s debt. Most companies have some form of debt. Heck even Microsoft now has debt.


    The tax laws are written in a way that for most companies it is beneficial to leverage debt as they are able to write off the interest in a similar fashion to how individuals write off mortgage interest. In fact, there are financial formulas for determining the amount of “leverage” a company is using which calculates the amount of debt as it relates to shareholders’ equity. There is nothing wrong with having debt and does not mean that a company is doing poorly.

    It’s simple finance.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I wrote approximately 10 posts about Microsoft’s debt and approximately 3 about Novell’s. Debt is better than no debt.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Sorry, I meant for that last one to be a question. Debt is better than no debt?

    jmmarton Reply:

    From a tax basis, yes, having debt can actually be better than not having it. It all depends upon each company’s financials.


    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Why did Microsoft avoid having debt until it nearly ran out of money?

    jmmarton Reply:

    Again, it depends upon each company’s financials. I would hardly say Microsoft “nearly ran out of money” though.


    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Two years ago it was going to borrow over $20 billion it did not have.

    JohnD Reply:

    @jmmarton – You’ll find that Roy has a unique way of interpreting articles.

    JohnD Reply:

    Ooops – sorry it didn’t look like my first submission took so I started again.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s a caching issue we have.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We resolved this issue around yesterday.

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