5 Flavors

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-04 Print this article Print

There are five versions of the product: the free open-source edition, the consumer and business e-mail editions for service providers,; and the network standard and professional editions for enterprises and service providers. Pricing varies according to the version and number of users.

"We saw a sixfold increase in our customer base in 2007. We now have some 20,000 paying customers with more than 11 million paid mailboxes. This latest release is also the result of feedback from partners and the 13,500 active members in the Zimbra development community," Robb said.

In the enterprise space, Zimbra counts Microsoft Exchange and IBM's Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino as its biggest competitors, while Google Docs competes with it in the SMB (small and midsize business) space, Robb said.

"While we most often compete with Microsoft Exchange in the enterprise space, we have done some big replacements of Lotus Notes. The main reason these customers want to move to us is that we support the Mac, Linux and Windows, and IT administrators want better support and an open platform that addresses multiple problems like anti-spam, archiving and anti-virus," he said.

The new desktop, which is a 30MB download, lets users define whatever synchronization they want with other e-mail clients and access that offline and online, without having to have a server installed.

"They will then have offline capabilities for their e-mail, address book and calendar, all of which leverage a browser-based paradigm and familiar user interface," Robb.

Some customers, such as Dervilla Mullan, the head of ISP Eircom Online, welcome the move. "Zimbra has the broadest device and desktop support options of any messaging and collaboration solution, plus advanced Web 2.0 features in the browser," Mullan said in a statement.

As a result of being acquired by Yahoo, Zimbra now serves customers in more than 70 countries, while more than 300 new universities have adopted the product over the past year. The company is also now able to seriously consider offering the product as a service it hosts itself, which is something customers have said they want, Robb said.

Asked about what changes a Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo could bring, and if he was worried that prospective customers might hold off until there is certainty on that front, all Robb would say was that the company remains committed to its customers and giving them the products and technologies they want.

"Going forward, we will of course look at possible areas of additional interoperability with Yahoo and its existing products, where appropriate, as well as build on the new features and functionality we delivered in this release," he said.


Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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