IBM and Microsoft gag Gartner over groupware

IBM and Microsoft have succeeded in pressing the analysts at Gartner Group into silence about the results of a groupware survey. The analysis reveals that the total costs of installing and running GroupWise, from competitor Novell, are significantly lower than the expenses connected with IBM's Lotus Notes and Microsoft's Exchange. It's a result that neither IBM nor Microsoft - who both sponsored the survey, along with Netscape, Novell and Oracle - is satisfied with. So the report, titled "Intranet and Workgroup Computing", based on a survey which included 12,000 phone calls to 300 US corporations from April to October of this year, is being witheld.

IBM and Microsoft have succeeded in pressing the analysts at Gartner Group into silence about the results of a groupware survey.

The analysis reveals that the total costs of installing and running GroupWise, from competitor Novell, are significantly lower than the expenses connected with IBM’s Lotus Notes and Microsoft’s Exchange. It’s a result that neither IBM nor Microsoft is satisfied with.

Groupware enables employees to communicate and share tasks via internal networks.

The withheld report, titled “Intranet and Workgroup Computing”, is based on a survey of 300 US corporations from April to October of this year; some 12,000 phone calls were made.

The survey was sponsored jointly by IBM (Notes/Domino), Microsoft (Exchange and Internet Information Server), Novell (Group-Wise), Netscape (SuiteSpot) and Oracle (InterOffice).

The analysis documents that Notes is by far the most expensive product, with a total cost of ownership (TCO) of $US719 per user per year, followed by Exchange at $US470 per user per year. The winner of the analysis was Group-Wise, with a TCO of $US136 per user on a yearly basis — a fifth of the cost of Notes and about a third that of Exchange.

It had been intended that press coverage would start in October.

IBM and Microsoft “could not live” with the result of the survey, and so far they have succeeded in withholding the report, says Novell Denmark CEO Mette With Petersen.

“Novell is co-sponsor of the survey, and I can confirm that the above-mentioned are the results from the survey,” says Petersen. “It is also correct that IBM and Microsoft tried to stop the publication of the survey. But we want to keep good relations with Gartner Group, so we refrain from publishing the report. But we are quoting from it to our customers and potential customers.”

Novell’s interest in confirmation is proportional to the good results in the analysis. But the urge to comment is non-existant at IBM, Microsoft and Gartner Group. Each one has offered to investigate the information that Petersen confirms, but answers have not been received.

From the Microsoft office in Stockholm, there is a confirmation that Microsoft is co-sponsor of the survey TCO Analysis — “Intranet versus Workgroup and Office Systems”, but Eva Öhman, product manager, intranet, at Microsoft Nordic, has not been able to get any details of the report.

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