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Thread: Small Business wanting to migrate... but how?

  1. #1
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    Default Small Business wanting to migrate... but how?

    Hi,

    We are a small tech sales firm in Germany. I guess that we have a similar set-up to many as follows:

    * Use ISP with 6 (used) mailboxes
    * Local VPOP3 mail server that stores local email
    * The Bat! email clients on three lap-tops and two fixed computers (trying The Bat and it is really great and powerful)
    * Retrieve emails when travelling from ISP using The Bat
    * Dynamic DSL connection
    * Have a Joomla based web site at same ISP

    We need to add calenders and mobile connectivity. The set-up we have is pretty cool, but is clearly not enough for the future. We are looking at getting some Symbian based smart-phones and would like to be able to get email and share calenders on these with a new server as well as on our lap-tops. We only need to use the smart-phones for email etc. about 10 days a month as we are in the office for the rest of the time.

    Ideally we do not really want to use a new ISP with paid Zimbra monthly accounts, but would like to keep the server in-house and under our control.

    We would also like to have our local server do all the anti-virus and spam-cheking on mails before they get pushed to the smart-phones to save traffic costs...

    What would be the best solution for us? We can probably set up a server ourselves or get a savy IT professional neighbour to help us out from time to time. What effect might the DynDSL account have (no fixed IP address).

    Looking forward to hearing some suggestions as we need to move forward and become better at what we do...

    Many thanks.. Thomas Dahl

  2. #2
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    Hi Thomas, welcome to the forum.

    I'm sure you'll find Germany based consulting company to help you but I really think for 6 users the "having your own server" is overkill (and overcost).

    If you want roadwarrior usage, that means (currently) using Outlook 2003 as client (to have offline mails and calendar).
    So it means going with Zimbra Network Edition Pro, and it means 25x35 USD per year just for Zimbra (25x25 USD if you don't want Outlook 2003, thus roadwarrior for mail/calendar).
    Add the server, the paying OS (to have a supported OS) and service...
    And add Zimbra Mobile too (500 USD per year).

    Most HSP will bill you between 7 and 12 € per month per user for the same service.

    About your question about antivirus and antispam and SmartPhone : what you want is the way Zimbra (and Zimbra Mobile) actually works. Messages pass through the antispam/antivirus and only "nice" messages will arrive to your smartphone.

    The Bat! (that works beautifully) is able to deal with IMAP so you'll be able to import all your messages to Zimbra easily.
    Last edited by Klug; 03-11-2007 at 01:05 AM.

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    Klug, many thanks for you great summary. Very useful.

    I thought I could just buy the program and that was that. I did'nt realise that it had to ve paid for year-on... Also, 25 seats is of course way too many.

    The reason for having our own server was that we handle a lot of email and to have seats on someone elses server can only add speed issues. We quite like the control this gives us.

    Also, I did not realise that Zimbra has no off-line client (I guess I did not read enough first, sorry). I can fold up my lap-top and carry on working on the train, home, plane, airport etc. with The Bat. I keep over 150,000 emails in The Bat with no issues of speed or data loss (4 years worth of emails for the whole company). Outlook simply craped out with this storage. Also, I suspect that a service provider would get a little worried by me storing 40Gb of emails on their Zimbra server (times 6 people).

    (Each of us has an external USB drive for back-up)

    Looks like there is no simple answer to my problem.

    Does anyone know of a calendering "off-line" client program that works independently of email? Or one that does, but is not called Outlook? I bought David (www.tobit.de) for a bucket load of money last year, but our users thought the email client so weak that they begged to go back to The Bat. It has an off-line client.... but no-one liked it...

    Reading more about Zimbra, and the others I have found on the Internet, I can only conclude that the market is still somewhat underserved for our kind of business.

    Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated...

    Thomas

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    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.dahl View Post
    Also, I did not realise that Zimbra has no off-line client (I guess I did not read enough first, sorry).
    Zimbra will have an off-line client, have a look at some of the information here. The first link is to our developers blog. I think there's a beta scheduled for the next major release of Zimbra due around mid-year - as usual don't hold me to that. You can alwyas have a look in our bugzilla system here for upcoming feature requests.

    You are somewhat below the minimum number of seats but I'd suggest contacting sales@zimbra.com to register your interest in the product and tell them your circumstances. Different pricing plans have been mentioned a couple of times in the forums and Zimbra do take notice.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.dahl View Post
    I can fold up my lap-top and carry on working on the train, home, plane, airport etc. with The Bat. I keep over 150,000 emails in The Bat with no issues of speed or data loss (4 years worth of emails for the whole company).
    You can keep on using The Bat! with Zimbra (in IMAP) but you won't have contacts/calendar sync...
    Or, as Bill said, wait for Zimbra's offline client.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.dahl View Post
    Also, I suspect that a service provider would get a little worried by me storing 40Gb of emails on their Zimbra server (times 6 people).
    It's "just" a price issue, once more 8)

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.dahl View Post
    Does anyone know of a calendering "off-line" client program that works independently of email?
    Zimbra is able to export your calendar as ICS, lots of software can use that.
    But if you want "full" featured calendar (Meeting Requests, etc), it won't fit.

    Just as Bill said : contact sales@zimbra.com, they'll help you in finding the best solution for you (either HSP or "personalised" licences schemes).

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    I have to say that the speed of response and detailed help in this forum is dammed good!

    The decision to use Zimbra is definately helped along knowing that there are dedicated people put there prepared to help the novice along.

    I got the message that I need to contact Zimra sales people for more help. I am a little worried about the licencing model.. (pay year-on e.t.c.), however I guess we could live with this provided we are not paying for empty seats.

    I suspect our best bet is to get some Zimbra seats from an ISP and continue to use The Bat for the serious email work until an off-line client is available (at which point we can think about our own server).

    Thanks guys!

    Thomas

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    The sales guys are really good about working deals.
    Also, we encourage small clients to go with our hosting providers.

    We've got some good ones, who'll be able to help.

    Thanks for the note about the forums. We appreciate that.

    john

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