Well, yes, actually
I have a BES tied to our Groupwise system. Works a charm, since we use Groupwise. Wouldn't do much good to have the Notes or Exchange version, now would it?
As to staying current, yes, except for Microsoft, I tend to stay current. I had an MCSE for Win2k many years ago but let it lapse. Just got tired of wasting time and money learning stuff that in a few years wouldn't be worth a plug nickel (according to Microsoft). So I play a lot in the Linux/FOSS space, since, from a learning perspective, that's far more stable and memorable than the ever-changing coat of many colors that Microsoft puts out every few years. I'm none too keen on the "upgrade because there's a new version and we have to be cool" mentality - my job is to make things work. Netware and Groupwise still WORK. The users still get their network drives every day because Netware is a NOS built like a refrigerator, humming quietly in the corner, doing its thing.
Now I might give you points for Exchange/Outlook, from a user perspective anyway, but from an Admin perspective, GW is great. The POAs are wonderful at knowing when things go wrong in the message store files and fixing the problems. It's rare that I have to manually "fix" anything in Groupwise - maybe half a dozen times a year. It just works.
Oh, and the other clencher for the deal - for $6.50 per head per year, I can run all of the Netware and Groupwise servers I want. To my knowledge, there is no similar deal from MS at that price point.
You are right about integration. Sadly nobody is integrating things with NW/GW anymore. And there are more and more things coming out that require AD: VMware View is first to mind. But OTOH, it keeps the headaches low since if things can't integrate, they can't break... And it helps by keeping us creative in how we do things, since we have to come up with our own procedures and such to mimic integration. So when our procedures break, we know where they broke and how to fix them, we aren't sitting on the phone waiting for some tech rep with a heavy accent to read his answer off the screen.
We do run some MS stuff. Our main Admin/Accounting system is on MS SQL. I used to like the simplicity of the SQL2000 GUI admin tools, but the GUI tools for 2005 are an abomination, and haven't seen 2008 yet. Then there's IIS, for our users who simply cannot give up their Frontpage/Sharepoint Designer lifestyles. But that's about it. Other than those two instances, we don't really have any need for other Microsoft stacks.
So, no, the Novell software stack is not a liability any more than the Microsoft or Red Hat stacks are a liability. They are getting long in the tooth, and their potential for use is decreasing, but for those areas where they are still useful, they are great for the job. Calling them useless is just foolishness.