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6/21/2011
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Migration Issues Thwart Changing Collaboration, Messaging Platforms

Fear of lost productivity can stymie plans to reduce costs and standardize platforms by moving to the cloud. By synchronizing Exchange and GroupWise data, Quest Coexistence Manager for GroupWise promises to ease migration woes.

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Many IT managers and users alike have suffered through the pain of moving over to a new platform. Whether it is a new operating system, new network, or new set of applications, there is always an almost unbearable level of inconvenience, which saps productivity and negatively affects end-user satisfaction.

Nowhere is this more true than with the horrors of attempting to change messaging and collaboration platforms, where emails, notes, schedules, and a multitude of other important bits of information are put at risk. Add to that changed client software and new user interfaces and you have a recipe for all-out disaster.

Quest Software is looking to ease those migration woes, at least for those users of Novell's GroupWise and Microsoft Exchange, with Quest Coexistence Manager for GroupWise, which was launched Monday.

The company says Quest Coexistence Manager for GroupWise is the first product of its kind that provides direct coexistence between Novell GroupWise and Microsoft Exchange's 2007, 2010, and Online versions.

That should prove to be an important capability for those looking to migrate from one of those platforms to the other, or even have both platforms coexist in a heterogeneous environment. Coexistence may prove to be a critical capability for companies that are undergoing mergers or acquisitions, where in most cases, different collaboration platforms may be in use.

Michael Tweddle, Quest senior director of product management, said in a statement, "Mail migration and coexistence projects require flawless execution so that day-to-day business activities are not disrupted. Using Quest Coexistence Manager for GroupWise gives customers peace of mind, knowing that business productivity will be uninterrupted throughout the migration and coexistence period."

What's more, many companies are looking to move towards the cloud as a method to reduce costs and standardize platforms. In those situations, an organization usually has to go through a messy export and import process to bring critical data into a cloud service. Quest Coexistence Manager for GroupWise offers a shortcut to migration for those users, as long as the target is an online implementation of Microsoft Exchange. While that may seem somewhat limiting, more and more companies are getting involved with hosted exchange solutions, which means Exchange may become the de facto standard for many providers.

There are certain circumstances, especially with mergers, where running both platforms may be a necessity--simply because of client licenses; an organization may already have thousands of paid-for seats on a particular platform. In those cases, having what are essentially alien platforms co-exist and share data may prove to be a big money saver.

Mark Pierce, a managing consultant with Infrascience, said in a statement, "Clients constantly tell us that one of the biggest pains in moving from GroupWise to Exchange is the inability to have free/busy lookups and directory coexistence between platforms."

Quest says its Coexistence Manager for GroupWise solves many of the above mentioned problems by incorporating three key technologies:

-- Free/Busy Connector: Enables free/busy queries between GroupWise and Exchange, enabling users to view availability and schedule meetings with other users, no matter where their mailbox resides.

-- Directory Connector: Provides complete directories in both GroupWise and Exchange, allowing users on both platforms to view a common list of users, groups, and resources.

-- Calendar Guard: Ensures accuracy of calendar appointments, including custom recurring meetings, reschedules, and cancellations sent between platforms. GroupWise and Exchange users can collaborate and schedule meetings with each other throughout the coexistence period.

Those technologies keep all critical elements synchronized, giving users access to each other, while easing migration woes.

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