The Desktop Computing Services Department of Hopkins NTS, in coordination with a variety of other information technology staff, has recently completed an exhaustive 10-month effort to upgrade the university's GroupWise system.
GroupWise is a nearly 10-year-old integrated messaging system that enables users to consolidate and manage information, including e-mail, address books, calendars, documents, notes and tasks into a single "mailbox." In function, it works much the same way as the new Johns Hopkins Enterprise Messaging System, both of which can be accessed from off-campus locations. Currently, GroupWise is used by more than 15,000 people throughout the Hopkins institutions, primarily those on the East Baltimore campus.
Steven Sears, director of Desktop Computing Services and project manager, said that the system now has significantly enhanced Web access and security, and it can support people who use personal digital assistants.
"But the most important thing is that GroupWise has become more reliable and stable than ever before," said Sears, who added that the system can currently boast a 99.9 percent level of availability. "In addition, we now have the luxury of telling our users that we can support the software to the full extent of its features."
One notable system enhancement, according to Sears, is the increased reliability of the document management feature that allows users to store, sort and share files. It also will be easier to store large files on the system.
Sears said in the near future GroupWise will become more integrated with JHEM and another feature will be added, instant messaging.
"As compared to what AOL users are accustomed to, however, ours will be more of a business-class instant messaging system, like a professional Hopkins chat room," Sears said. "What we are presently looking into is how we would manage instant messaging in a secure fashion."
Sears said he expects "another round of system upgrades" to begin in roughly six months.
For more information on GroupWise, go to http://groupwise.jhu.edu or contact the Desktop Computing Services staff.