Watch out Exchange, Google;
Zimbra’s coming up from behind


blog Regular readers will know of the somewhat … intense debate that has been going on between various factions in the Delimiterverse over the past few months with relation to the question of what is the best corporate email platform.

On the one hand you’ve got the centralised command and control communist shock troops representing Microsoft’s dominant Outlook/Exchange ecosystem, while on the other side of the coin you’ll find the idealistic dreamers; the flower power hippy love children evangelising Google Apps.

Now without going into the specifics of that debate, I’d like to pose a question: Is there room for a substantive third player? And I’m not looking at you, Lotus Notes; you’ve had your day and will now shortly be consigned to the graveyard where bloated legacy software suites go to sleep until you are awakened for a second open source renewal.

The reason I ask is because of this interesting little job advertisement posted this week by that doyenne of virtualisation, VMware, relating to its Zimbra collaboration suite, which has recently slipped in between the covers with that hot young thing, iiNet. Writes VMware:

The Zimbra Solution representative — ANZ is responsible for building Zimbra’s local business in ANZ. [The successful applicant will] build a local Zimbra community of partners, customers and developers to promote open source email and collaboration [and] establish Zimbra as the open source leader in the local market by holding off-site events, speaking at open source and software events in ANZ.

Frankly, I haven’t used or administered Zimbra myself, but I’m informed the solution is fairly robust … and clearly iiNet — an innovator itself — must believe in the package if it is prepared to commit a million mailboxes to it. So let’s hear your thoughts. The Google Apps vs Exchange war is still raging in Australia … but could Zimbra come in unexpected and sideswipe them both?

Image credit: Adam Blum, royalty free


  1. Zimbra competes in an Exchange replacement space that itself contains plenty of competition. In my opinion, Zimbra isn’t the best option in that sector let alone outside it.

    • It may be time to do some kind of review comparison feature to look at the different packages and what they offer. There aren’t many out there — it shouldn’t take much to do it.

  2. My previous employer migrated to Zimbra, and overall, the users love it. In that environment, it was a far better solution than Exchange would have offered both from a technical and a cost perspective.

    • Interesting Mark — curious to hear more if you can say. I understand the cost thing, but what were the technical advantages that the company felt Zimbra offered?

    • Did they migrate from Exchange to Zimbra or something archaic? (Groupwise, Notes, Pop3…)

      Not sure you’d see much diff as a user going from Exchange to Zimbra (unless the original Exchange setup was unreliable).

      • All I know is that in iiNet’s case, I’m pretty sure they migrated from one of those really old-style solutions — Sendmail, Qmail or similar. Most of the ISPs have been using those. I think an Exchange -> Zimbra migration wouldn’t make much sense.

  3. I can agree with you on a few lines in regards to Lotus Notes. This product is as much legacy product as the Exchange. Moreover IBM introduced the IBM cloude in a form of which is matching Microsoft offering in features and price.

  4. Have to give it a try to justify any comments. Been using it for years. Not perfect, but prefer Zimbra to Exchange anyday.

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