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Thread: Open Discussion about NetworkEdt/Pricing etc

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Lightbulb Open Discussion about NetworkEdt/Pricing etc

    I want to start an Open Discussion about Zimbra Pricing and Edition Policy.
    Why i wanna do that? because on one Hand i belive in Zimbra but on the other Hand a contructive Discussion about that (what i think) wrong way they are going might help in the long Term.

    I am aware that this might be Pointless, maybe never noticed,.. but hey maybe im am wrong.

    And yes im am aware that this Topic might be dificult.

    So here is my actual Problem. We wanted to use the Networkedt. as Product for our Customers. So i have to see things no only form the admin /linux side also from the user and of course cost side.

    So first i want to mention some (of sadly to many) technical lacs in an Productive Enviroment.

    Buggiest thing ever. First you cannot specify your primary emailadress (its always your account name - attention security). 2 Personalitys - edit them and you got your hole list twice
    i know its a small bug. i know workaround delete those doubles (you not gonna add personalitys every day anyway)
    BUT HOW CAN YOU SELL THAT ONE? Customers ask me - youre seriouse this is the exchange replacement .. (thats what they see)

    and im not gonna loose about the pst importer - sorry this is unuseable - and i do not understand why the networkedt. has one (while the outlookconnector works much better here) but oss dont - heres no replacement - i know you guys wanna sell it but this is pointless and cost userbase

    Desktopedt - no send to - and very slow - why no seriouse c client or an replacement or at least working outlook connector ? hard to sell that one either - they ask me hey your great peace of software cant even do that ...

    Or some other Basics like move a folder structure to or from an shared folder. i mean sorry to say that so rude but this is a real joke

    or calendar - only outlook can show your hole calendar - the webinterface only for a month max ... and such small things...

    and hey imports at all - migration (except a bit outlook) isnt a strong part of zimbra... not really...

    i could go on with this list until next week but a 8k list in the bugtracker shows it anyway :-)

    so beside so many (special for user visible) lacks we come to the cost. 40% / year a seat - but not enought about that 25 seat blocks - which brings us to problem #2

    in my country hosted exchange cost about 9$ - so you cant serously go higher for zimbra so lets say we make it 9 too -
    lets say you start with the products and got your first 30 customers (which isnt that easy with those technical problems and price - specially against gmail which is for free - and exchange which comes as SB edt to every company for free)

    so 30 customers brings you 3240 but cost you 2000 (okok you get rebates and stuff but i calc with list prices) but even for lets say 1800 - give you 1400 (beacuse many seats running emtpy.. which cant even cover the runing cost for the hardware - you may sell another 20 next month but what if you sell 21 - another 25 seat to pay

    that means if you start with zimbra you work for free. you need at least 150 customers (cal with zimbra rebates) to get real even money (hardware/maintanance cost and hardware replacement, license and support)

    Sorry but i am the only one who cant understand this policy?

    Okok it would be dueable if its much superior over exchange but it isnt.
    I also hear steady its better that ms .. but honestly .. thats not the hole truth.

    there are some features more yes . but the thing is those must be an argument for users to buy it. and for the most it isnt - standard company uses email - and a bit calendars - a bit sharing folders - thats it
    and here zimbra sadly lacks to much.

    But what bothers me most is the policy of 2 different Editions.
    What happens is now that many community work goes into replacements for features only the networkedition has. understandable..
    But this is the result.

    Why not make one Edition and sell Outlook/mobile/admin accounts access seperatly in 5 blocks for a decent price - no matter how many users are total. give everyone backup let them cluster - charge extra to brand..

    i would outlook,mobile,domainadmin sell as one special account type
    so if you buy 5 peaces you can for example use 2 outlook 2 dom adin 1 mobile.

    make it more transparent and easier to handle..

    also why rent everything - let us buy we wanna better calculate - charge us for support if we want it / need it...

    That way i think the community can concentrate on improve the hole product instead of workarounds against zimbras income :-)

    another thing is to consider. google got strong. (honestly i dont understand why someone give google their company mailsystem but they do) - and with ms small busniness (which can be extended with cals) and google on the other hand (with android) its really really hard to sell emailaccount for 10 or 15 dollars in the long term

    dont get me wrong - at the moment its still possible - but not in midterm (aka 2-3 years) on that level its a dead animal at least in my country...

    and if zimbras pricing easier to handle user/provider and community will grow much faster...

    And hers is my Problem. On the one Hand i wanted to make a first Year Dry Run with 50 or 80 Users - but here the Costs for support (yes we still support our users :-) and license are to high.

    If i make a jump start into cold water i need about 200 and more - which might be possible BUT .. you see i dont really wanna do that one :-)

    So i think this is going in the wrong direction. Zimbra can (if development goes into stablelising direction and documentation - and please more than english) get a real replacement against the Majors

    But also the type of license/pricing should change - otherwise the hole soho market - gone. starting providers - most wont do that so gone
    Bigger Providers might also go to ms - simply because of the customer support thing (and zimbra have to be good supported - its different to outlook and not well documentated)

    so right now at the moment. ife to say we will wait and invest time and money in other directions bevore we go into that adventure...

    But please .. feel free to open my eyes .. tell me im sooo wrong ... maybe ife no idea what im talking about :-)

    Edit: You should not forget that Zimbra NetworkEdt is in fist Hand a Busniness Only Product .. in Times where gmail is free, and every provider gives you xxxx emails for free you cant sell that to private customers not even for 20$ a seat.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Minneapolis MN
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    This topic has come up several times in the past. Search the forums and you will find answers to several of these questions you bring up. The biggest answer: it is simply a business decision by Zimbra/VMware to do it the way they've done things.

    Zimbra has also just recently changed their Network Edition licensing a bit. In addition, they have the starter edition and now an appliance.

    If the prices are too high for you, there are several resellers out there that will offer Zimbra Hosting for you, for a fraction of what you would pay if you bought the licenses yourself.
    01 Networks, LLC /
    Zimbra NE and OSS Cloud Hosting
    Shared Web Hosting
    Consulting Services

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    lol... zimbra hosting.. you didnt read it at all did you ?

    we are a hoster.. its not about the money its about if its able to sale at a price you have to take to cover the costs (not to mention to earn a bit)

    the only real way i see is to sell it without support.
    the problem is if you seel exchange / outlook you do not have to support the client - its a industry standard and a lot of documentation is in any language availible

    if you sell zimbra you have to offer free support for the client too or you cant sell it (not in the long term) and get your customers - short or long angry

    you can do that as a simple online provider, sell by kreditcard and make enought adwords advertising you get your customers.
    our sell a very expensive package with support and migration - this might have work 2 years ago might work still but this isnt a real business modell

    so in our enivorement we have to support.. and this is a bit nightmare
    1st you have to extra train your support team (which i dont have to for standard products) for 1st and second level.
    Second you have to write your own documentation
    Third you have to sell your customers "workarounds" and here a lot of them

    this - compared to the price - cant be a working busness modell - expect you got only customer who already know zimbra and know what they are dealing with

    we do already exchange hosting .. we wanted to replace it with zimbra but now we have to go in antoher direction .. we stay on exchange and offer oss version as a free (or nearly free) service .. which is unsuported then...

    maybe that way we can switch someday those free users to the network at once (in a decent number)

    everything else would be a supportive and cost nightmare .. you try to fill you licenseblocks as fast as possible while you try to avoid to many new customers or you cant support it anymore... and at the end you got a 0 in the balance at best...

    btw that the whole point about vmware .. and about the busniess modell...

    the thing is .. that modell cant hold up a long time .. they block their community by themself - expect high paying customers to fill out bug reports while lease them a beta (at best) software.
    in the meantime price already falling

    cheapest exchange hosting i found in 2 minutes 4$ icluding 500mb

    if you want 2 gig and push service (mobile) 8$ - so tell me if the basic price is at 3.5 or so dollar a month (with all those disadvantages) how is it possible to compete here with the price ?

    simply you cant ....
    if they say hey pay 5k for 500 user, and a 20%-25% upgrade fee to next major it might a hole different story...

    but again stillt the issue with 2 different versions - so community versus network - and this is the next point - wont be the first open (or at least free) product from vmware - got unsuported over night - let all customers upgrade or die

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Berkeley, CA
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    This might be a worthwhile discussion, but I suggest you clean up your posting (grammar, spelling, style, punctuation) if you hope to get others to participate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Im sorry, im not a native english speaker,.. hard enough to translate my thoughts and fill into known words :-)
    but feel free to discuss the topic and not only the form it comes in.

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