Years ago Novell established the precedent that add-ons and additional functionality with Novell GroupWise would be free. The clamor for out-of-the-box solutions that come free has been heard at every BrainShare for a decade.
The problem with free is that it hurts the enduser, the very person who screams for free products or product integration is the one who ends up hurt in the end.
Free is bad.
Today Nokia announced the discontinuance of the Intellisync division. The solution that Novell had decided on for their GroupWise Mobile Server.
You are building your business, your organization, your reputation, on the solutions that you, as an IT Manager or consultant, recommend. Do you really want to stake your reputation and relationship with your customer, your boss, or your end-users on a piece of "free" software?
Now, I don' have the room or time to argue the whole Open-Source issue about free vs proprietary. That is not what this conversation is about. I'm here to argue that if you want some thing of high value then you will have to pay for it.
Novell customers have demanded that they get device syncronization for "free". Well, Novell obligded and provide the opportunity to have a syncronization experience out of the box.
They got a free solution but now they are faced with a non-solution because Nokia couldn't find any way of making money with the Intellisync product.
If you want something bad enough, then pay for it. Nokia pulled the plug on Intellisync today which has placed all of Novell's GroupWise Mobile Server users in a tight spot. Their free server doesn't seem to have a future.
I've never been a fan of Novell offering everything for free even though it supposibly causes them to lose business.
An ActiveSync process will make more sense for Novell in the future.