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Thread: Zimba Network License, consideration?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Zimba Network License, consideration?

    Greetings Zimbra team,

    I am currently in a delima.

    Some setup:

    I am an IT professional, as a matter of fact an Asst Director of IT at a major private university's business school (consistently top 25 in with Harvard, etc). We currently run MS products (Exchange 2003) as there are no other decent alternative solutions available. I am also a geek in my private life. I strongly desire to provide some decent groupware functionality to my family. Currently under the guise of egroupware (best I've found, not really "decent" (IMHO). Further, I carry geek gadgets, for instance, a Sprint PPC-6700.

    I have spent the last few weeks desperately seeking for a (home) solution to solve the following needs: Easy deployment, user provisioning, system management, end to end synchronization (server -> web -> thick client -> PPC/Palm(even if via outlook), and obviously affordable (ie, no personal budget for this at all). I've looked at egroupware (no -> PPC/Palm, unweildy), Java Enterprise System (deployment/administrative nightmare), Oracle Collaboration Server (license/$$) and of course, Zimbra (which I've been following for a while now). In short, I can find no solution, at all, which satisfies my personal needs. I have a very strong affinity for Zimbra and have been playing with it since M1, but obviously Network edition doesn't meet my license/$$ requirements and the open edition doesn't support my end to end synch requirements (outlook connector).

    This got me doing some deep thinking.

    Proposal: I would like to propose that you allow a license for the network edition that allows for personal/non-commercial use.


    There is unquestionably a signifcant population of folks out there in my (more or less) situation. Have a desire/need for something along the lines of Zimbra Network that isn't satisfied elsewhere for whatever reason. That would definitely use Zimbra Network to fill this need given the oportunity. This gives you a skilled installed base of administrators and word of mouth salesmen (and potentially creates some career options for us).

    The folks that are exactly in my shoes are decision makers. I have the ability to evaluate, recommend, purchase and deploy a product in our enterprise to meet these needs. Having a product deployed in a personal environment, that I was really pleased with, would definitely carry some weight in that process. (Please understand that I'm not dangling carrots, bribing or anything else, just stating some observations regarding how the world works). Same really works for non-decision makers, as they'll sell to those that are.

    You have a bunch of happy people out there. (ie. a larger community, a very signficant benefit)


    Honestly, I can't think of any serious negatives. You don't lose this business, as (for instance) I'm not able to pay $28/yr for each member of my family to have access to such a product. I'll just continue dealing with an inferior product (or, I'm sure many folks would be comfortable enough violating a license (ie, running Exchange, OCS, etc) in this situation).

    There is a concern about an enterprise environment violating license, but is that situation likely do be any more prevelant than in your current licensing scheme? In my experience though, this just doesn't happen very often at all with back-end software (front-end, yes, just because nobody really manages or monitors licenses, not malice).

    From what I understand, you are not able to distribute portions of your source due to use of software you've licensed. If your license with them is royalty based, that would definitely be a problem, but from what I'm seeing, you're under faily normal licenses that wouldn't prohibit (or cause expense) to distribute a binary copy (acknowledge this is a guess).

    That's all I have. I didn't write this in version, proofing and going over concepts. I've been thinking about it a bit, but what I've written here is quickly written and basic. I would ask that, even though that's the case, give it a little thought. I've tried to imagine what your primary concerns and benefits are and address them. I am well aware that there may be issues that I'm not aware of, and in that case. . hey, I tried ; )

    There are some other options as well, all considering a non-commercial/personal license. Limit user 25/50 or so. Reduced per-user/year license $5 max, etc.

    Thanks for your time,


    P.S. I will be happy to participate in any dialog, here or privately.
    Last edited by hardaur; 12-10-2005 at 10:19 AM. Reason: forgot a couple things

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    San Mateo, CA
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    Thanks for your feedback. For a user group like yours (I'm assuming 2-5 users) a hosted option would be best. We are working with several partners now to spin up hosted options for those in the Zimbra community that would like to use Zimbra's Network edition but don't have a large enough user base so afford our small biz edition. See the pricing for more details on the current license and support options.

    If you'd like to discuss this further please contact our sales team:

    sales AT

    In general though if your price point is zero(aka free as in beer) it going to be hard to get everything you're asking for. The open source edition offers unmatched functionality with ease of use and admin. There no other project that I know that offers the same features with such a rich and updated web client. IMHO your already getting a pretty good deal, but who am I to judge.

    A full list of current our features(open source and network) can be found here. If you know of any other project that offers a superset of this functionality and is also free and open source please post a link. I'd be curious to check them out.
    Looking for new beta users -> Co-Founder of Acompli. Previously worked at Zimbra (and Yahoo! & VMware) since 2005.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Hi Kevin

    We have a similar problem where we have 5 staff and have been looking for a system that can provide our small company the solution we are after.

    If we went for the small biz package, that works out at $290 per user per year or $600 with support. That is far beyond our means, once converted to AU$ it's $383.44 or $793.33.

    As we prefer to run our own in-house servers, host our own domains and mail server, your original US$30 per user was expensive, but it was a reasonable proposition for a package that would solve our problems. But now, we have been blown out of the water.

    What is Zimbras stance pertaining to pricing, as we all don't get paid in US$.

    Is Zimbra prepared to look at other pricing options, as a per annum fee would make Zimbra the most expensive package on the market. I am fully aware that its a commercial application, but with the support of the open source community behind Zimbra please do not forget about the little people out there that everyone (Microsoft) forgets.

    Zimbra is on the right track, it will become a great product, hopefully not just for the rich and big end of town.


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