How can Novell and/or the Linux community change [things]?

– Submitted by Steve, edited down and into sections for brevity: “Without getting to long winded with my question, in your opinion, how can Novell and/or the Linux community [change these three problems]?”

How in the heck can I answer without being long-winded? I’m long-winded at the Burger King drive through. 😉

1. Applications like Cisco unified messaging just don’t play well with GroupWise out if the box. Meaning yes, you can get it to work, but you have to install some sort of 3rd party product to do so.

True. This is very much in-line with the VHS vs. BetaMax problem of years ago. Superior products and ideas do not always succeed. One must decide if they are consuming ideas and products based on whether or not they satisfy a “need”, rather than because they are part of a particularly shiny and pretty contagion. If the owner of an idea or product succeeds, it is likely because he delivered the message in an easily relatable and consumable way; *not* necessarily because it is the *best* idea. This is true. It sucks. It’s life.

Microsoft Exchange (in varios versions) has the biggest groupware consumer footprint. You cannot blame a vendor for writing a tool that satisfies the largest consumer base. On the other hand, you had GroupWise *first*, then chose to implement a product that you know did not currently integrate fully with it. So, unfortunately, the expectations have been met, in a way. If you really like GroupWise (and it sounds like you do), and really think it’s superior (as I do), then the fact that solutions *exist* at all, can be comforting.

As a consumer, I cannot directly force software vendors to write software the way I want them to. However, with my purchasing dollar, I can *help* to seed the market by buying only products that integrate with the technology I support, and not those that don’t.

I guess it all comes down to “business need”. If you decide that you “need” GroupWise, and “need” Cisco Unified Messaging, then you *need* to find a solution, third party or otherwise. If you only have a “need” for Unified Messaging and a “need” for single-vendor out-of-the-box integration (which, in practice, is rarely the case), then you have to use what is dictated by the needs case, and accept all consequences.

Cisco may, or may not, have a bias toward Microsoft; I’m unwilling to state my opinion on that publicly. You might want to review their documentation and their business history to draw conclusions.

On a final note, I have never had the chance to attempt to integrate Cisco Unified Messaging and GroupWise. I don’t know the features that supposedly do or do not integrate, and whether or not they can be *made* to work, whether or not Cisco supports it, etc. Maybe someday somebody will offer me the chance to try and find out… Hint, hint.. 😉

2. All of the software vendors that I deal with do not support Novell and or Linux with their product.

Big shock. As long as I’ve been in this field, I’ve seen this. I think it’s partly a “religious” issue, where a vendor gets the Microsoft “religion” and defends it against all opponents, regardless of the customer need.

Ironically, the majority of the vendors I deal with *do* support Novell and Linux. 😉

3. Novell and or Linux is not a buzz word with upper level execs like “Microsoft” is.

True. Never was, never will be. Nobody has the money Microsoft has (therefore, the power of influence on customers and vendors and suppliers and so on…). And nobody is as savvy as Microsoft marketing, and their market strategists. And nobody is as willing to spend buckets of Money on Microsoft products as the executive crowd in general. “Everyone else is doing it so why don’t we?” It is an interesting contagion…

Since I work with alot of customers, I see how Linux is spreading: from the bottom-up. IT staffs everywhere are implementing Linux servers in their data centers to save costs and time, and increase scale and stability. Many times (heck, *most* times) the execs don’t know about it; the staffs just seem to be doing more with less somehow. When I’m in a meeting with mixed crowd of execs and/or upper-IT management and IT staff, I often ask, “Do you run Linux here?” Invariably, the word from the higher-ups is, “No”, while the staff simultaneously says, “Yes.”

I do not care if Linux over-takes the server world, or desktop world, or not. I just want to find superior, appropriate solutions that fit customer needs: Use-case needs, budget needs, etc….

Sorry for being long-winded. It is IMPOSSIBLE to discuss this without being so. And, this is only a short answer for the sake of a blog entry!!


1 Comment

  1. amy

    As the wife of Your Linux Guy, I’d like to verify that he’s not really kidding when he says he’s long-winded at the Burger King drive through.

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