The Many Shortcomings of Groupwise Email
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2012 11:03
On Novell's website, Santa Clara's Chief Information Officer is quoted as saying, "We have nothing but positive things to say about Novell," but I have yet to hear any positive feedback from the actual Novell users on campus.
As a cutting-edge Jesuit university in the Silicon Valley, it is a shame that we are using such antiquated technology as Novell. I, and a number of students and professors alike, frequently express frustrations at the inadequacies of Novell's email services. If the university is truly committed to espousing innovation, we should consider alternative systems that are clearly more powerful, efficient and intuitive for our communication and collaboration needs.
I will be admit that I am not fully versed in the university's process for determining which client to use, nor am I an expert on technology. Nevertheless, as an end-user, I am hard-pressed for answers as to why we continue to use a system that causes so much frustration and dissatisfaction.
Novell's GroupWise has a number of deficiencies that are not unknown to many Broncos. It has limited storage capacity, inefficient organization capabilities, horrible spam filtering, very low support for mobile devices and a lackluster user-interface.
One argument against using an alternative client concerns security. I have difficulty trusting our on-campus servers due to the recent denial of service attacks and hackings.
Moreover, a number of businesses are starting to turn management of servers to other companies like Google and use cloud computing. Four million businesses use Google apps to run their operations, according to Google's site. The city of Los Angeles converted from its internally hosted Novell GroupWise platform to Google in 2009. Every city department except the Los Angeles Police Department had already made the switch.
These are compelling examples of enterprises that realized the need to change in order to keep up with the ever evolving technology computer software industry.
Novell is to Gmail as VHS is to BlueRay. In its defense, Novell probably offers features that are under-utilized or unknown to Santa Clara users. However, why should we waste time trying to "figure it out" when we could easily use a more intuitive service like Gmail? Eric Schmidt, current executive chairman of Google, was the former CEO of Novell. He made the switch and I believe we should too.
For Santa Clara, Novell does not seem to match the image of innovation and progress that we should project as a Silicon Valley-based institution. Our strategic location is greatly under-capitalized and we should strive to establish more partnerships with Silicon Valley tech companies to both boost our reputation and better serve our students, faculty and staff.
Melba Mathew is a senior economics major.