IT Columnist: 'Without Groupware, Apple Loses Credibility'

John Welch, writing for the Jupiter Research Web site IT Management, used his Friday column to lament the lack of mature groupware servers that run on Mac OS X. He notes that the solutions in use in his office work well with Microsoft Exchange, while there are only "some products [for Mac OS X] that come close for a subset of those features."

He lists the best solutions heis found, ticking off their strengths and weaknesses, and then writes: "If you need the kind of groupware functionality you get from the Exchange ecosystem, thereis really nothing for you on Mac OS X, and thatis a real problem for Apple, which is trying to gain traction in the Enterprise."

With groupware "a mission-critical need in corporate America," according to Mr. Welch, Apple "lose[s] a lot of credibility outside of the server room ... every time [it] has to throw up its hands when asked about groupware and admit that its only calendaring solution is .Mac."

Mr. Welch adds: "Web-only clients arenit going to cut it, either ... The truth is, while Web clients have improved by leaps and bounds, there are times that you still need to be able to work in a disconnected state, and for that you need a fat client."

After detailing what he would like to see in a groupware offering from Apple, the columnist sums up with: "I know a lot of companies that regularly evaluate competitors to Exchange, but other than Domino, GroupWise or possibly Oracle Collaboration suite, there really arenit any. And on Mac OS X, there are none. The opportunity is there. Itis rich, and itis waiting for someone to iThink Different.i"