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.