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Groupwise to Outlook conversions

By July 8, 2005web-tech

Our firm is getting ready to migrate our email system from Groupwise 5.5 (plain; no enhancement pack) to Microsoft  Exchange 2003.  Have any people out there had experience with a conversion like this?  I’m particularly interested in conversion of calendar information, but any observations you might have are helpful. 

Update:
(click on the ‘continue reading’ link to catch the latest news on our upgrade)

So, it looks like upgrading from Groupwise 5.5 is sort of dicey.  What we’re having to do is to use the Groupwise 5.2 client (not readily available from Novell, but obtainable nevertheless) to do the migration.  Here’s the latest email report from our IT guy:

"It looks like 5.2 wins.   I have had problems with the calendar in 5.5 sporadically and it has problems with some of the emails/attachments.   In 5.2 the calendar and ALL emails comes over with zero errors.   It finished about 20 minutes faster too.

I received no errors and verified that the emails that 5.5 had problems with were there along with the attachments in 5.2.   The only thing that is still an issue is that some of the calendar entries are not highlighted.   I say some because I had put some in manually and they show up with the day highlighted.  It looks like the ones that came in from someone else as an email to accept do not show up highlighted."

We’re set to do the migration this Friday.  I’m sure there will be lots of bumps and hiccups.  Hopefully all the data will manage to survive the perilous voyage from Novell-land to MS-land.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Well, we crossed the Rubicon, and it appears that most of the users are up and running.  Well, their computers are up and running.  The users are busy scratching their heads trying to figure out how to make their Outlook World exactly like their Groupwise World.  Which, of course, isn’t going to happen.

First, the ‘autocomplete’ feature for emails isn’t working because, while Outlook has an autocomplete feature, it the frequent contacts’ database (or whatever it’s called in Outlook) has to be populated.  This will be a step by step process.  No way to automate this, unfortunately.

Another thing that annoys some people is that there is no easy way to tell if someone has read an email you sent (I’m talking internally only).  Outlook requires you to send a ‘receipt requested’ which everyone (even the people who like to find out if others have read their mail) seems to despise and never authorize.

Shared folders used to seem hard to set up in Groupwise and so not everyone did this.  But many people did.  In Outlook the shared folder feature is much more intricate and, therefore, harder to set up.  So it appears that only an elite class of Techno-Brahmans will be using shared folders.

Of course, all of this is really a ‘training issue.’  I’ve talked about this before and I see it in high-def now: we need to take the time to really show people how to use their email program.  This will take time and commitment.  But, it’s the only way to dissipate the confusion.


P.S. If you appreciate my observations, you might want to join my inner circle.

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