outlook/groupwise calendar dilema

Hey guys,

Hope I explain this well... we were bought a year ago by our parent company in Europe and they use Groupwise. We are an Outlook organization. Well, they wanna convert us to Groupwise as well and it seems not to be going over well here and I do not want to loose control of email. Well, it seems the main reason they want us to convert is because they cannot see our calendars and we cannot see theres. They wanna have the ability to see what we are doing on certain days as well as us being able to see what they do.

So, I am looking for a solution I can propose that will help us to keep outlook and give them the abiltiy to see our calendars and for us to see theres on Groupwise. Is there anyway to do this?? Is there any plugins or software solutions???? Please help guys!!
sbodnarAsked:
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sbodnarAuthor Commented:
anyone out there with any suggestion????

Buhler.....Buhler.....Buhler..??
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Scott KunauSr. Consultant/Managing PartnerCommented:
Yes there is a great solution for this from Novell.  However, what version of Exchange are you running?  Novell has programmed a gateway that runs on an Exchange server (2003) that will allow you to co-exist perfectly.  It will allow busy search/free busy between your Exchange/Outlook and the parent company GroupWise system.  It will process email, tasks, calendar natively through the gateway rather than on the Internet.

I've put this solution in many times to allow co-existence during a migration or to facilitate exactly what you need.  The gateway is free from Novell and (not to look for business here but) I can set the gateway up remotely...that is if you have Exchange 2003 or can add an empty mailstore server (meaning no user mailboxes on it) to your Exchange system.

It is the only solution that works.  The Microsoft connector for GroupWise doesn't provide calendar support, busy search, and barely provides email between the two systems.  Plus it requires a NetWare server because the API gateway is NLM only.

To look into this, go to www.novell.com/downloads and look for GroupWise gateways.  There is also a document at www.novell.com/documentation (search GroupWise and gateways).

BTW, if the parent company takes you to GroupWise, you won't lose control and can still use Outlook as the front end.  They would put a secondary domain in place with a post office and you'd have control of it for your users.  Migration to GroupWise is a very clean easy process and not near as expensive as going from GroupWise over to Exchange.

Scott
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sbodnarAuthor Commented:
Hey Scott,

Two points:
1. I just installed SBS08 with Exchange 2007 here.
2. We are two seperate domains with no common link or interest in one another.

Is this solution still viable??

Well, it seems they want us on Groupwise and for us to eliminate Outlook. My concern with them taking control is the time difference. they are 6 hours ahead from me (east coast) and if we have west coast reps that would be a 9 hour time difference. So, if something goes wrong here with any of the potential points of failure...we are done for.
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Scott KunauSr. Consultant/Managing PartnerCommented:
1) In order to put the Novell gateway into place, it must run on Exchange 2003.  You have to build the Exchange organization with 2003 and then put 2007 servers into it.  Once the migration is done, you shut off the 2003 server and run 2007.  In your case, you would shut off the gateway when the migration to GroupWise is done.

2) If you're two separate everything then use iCAL.  It won't let you busy search though, just put calendar events onto each other's calendars.

So with SBS08/Exch07 no the solution won't work.

Now, when the change you to GroupWise, you will want to have a secondary domain and a post office running on Windows server or Linux (possibly even NetWare).  Since you have a point of presence with the Internet, you could have a GWIA to send/receive to the Internet.  You could also have a WebAccess that would take the place of OWA.

If the link to them goes down all is not lost, email routing to/from the Internet could be configured to failover to your GWIA and users could put in a different URL to get to their mailboxes in your post office via your Internet link.

GroupWise is probably the best messaging system on the market BUT it is the POOREST in terms on marketing and because of this simple fact, companies have gone in droves to Exchange...but we still migrate them back from Exchange when they realize that the cost to run Exchange versus GroupWise is significantly more.  Outlook offers some cool things but so does GroupWise.  GW is much easier to manage and is quite a bit faster.  Plus you get a lot of benefits that Microsoft deems not something users "should" be able to do like know if a recipient opened an email or not.  GroupWise does background status tracking without the user/recipient doing anything.  FWIW, I've worked with GroupWise on a daily basis as an engineer/consultant for over 16 years and worked with Exchange for nearly 14.

Let me know if I can help as they convert you to GroupWise...perhaps I can suggest some design considerations.

Scott

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sbodnarAuthor Commented:
well the truth is im fighting them not to convert to groupwise. I want control of email here and not have to hand it over to them...this is why I am looking for a solution that will give us teh ability to keep our domains and email clients seperate but provide a solution that will let the two systems talk and share calendars, appointments and such..
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Scott KunauSr. Consultant/Managing PartnerCommented:
And that is fine. Perhaps if they are running GroupWise 8.x they can look into the Calendar Publishing Agent that installs into Apache web server and allows them to publish a calendar (for each user) and then send it to you to access via browser (not Outlook).  It won't go both ways nor offer busy search/free busy lookup though.

I can't think of any third party software that will accomplish what you want to do.  I'm sure they would be very open to the Novell GroupWise gateway for Exchange as mentioned in my first post but I don't think that will work for you as you've built Exchange around 2007 and probably don't want to 1) re-do and start with an Exchange 2003 you'd have to buy a license and probably a server for and 2) get SBS included version of Exchange to go into that Exchange 2003 system you've rebuilt to support a gateway between your two systems.

The gateway will also provide native address book sync both directions so you can see each other in the System Address Book (GW) and the Global Address Book (Exch.)

Scott
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sbodnarAuthor Commented:
how about novell teaming??
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Scott KunauSr. Consultant/Managing PartnerCommented:
Hmmm...hadn't thought of that.  You may be onto something.  It integrates right into GroupWise (not as well as it should) but it provides calendar, chat, collaboration.  

I think it would require you (your Exch. users) to put calendar stuff in twice though: once in their Outlook/Exch. mailbox and once into Teaming.

Teaming has come along ways since it was first introduced and might just solve your dilemma.
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sbodnarAuthor Commented:
ZENandEmailguy,

Are you familiar with teaming at all?? If so exactly what is it?? Ive done a little research on it and am still trying to grasp a better understanding of it
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Scott KunauSr. Consultant/Managing PartnerCommented:
My company has installed it for two customers recently but I've not personally done much other than play with it.  Novell has a big push into this realm with the Teaming and Conferencing product and have begun making it a great product.  It has been marketed as the real alternative to Sharepoint, with vastly less cost, much easier setup and is much easier to use.

Here are links you may want to look at.  Outside of EE, I can try to provide references for you to check/talk to about Teaming.

http://www.novell.com/products/teaming/

At the above site you can view a demo, get a white paper comparing Teaming to SP Server (there is big difference between Share Point Server and Services when it comes to cost and complexity) among other things.  My company is a Gold Partner and can assist your company(s) with Teaming if you like.

Scott
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sbodnarAuthor Commented:
still looking for a potential solution
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