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Thread: Very basic question about Blackberries connecting to Zimbra

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Westminster, Maryland, USA
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    Default Very basic question about Blackberries connecting to Zimbra

    We've been on Zimbra for more than two years, but just in the past month or two we've been having many users express interest in having their handhelds sync up with the Zimbra server. For the iPhone it was very simple: set up an account using the Microsoft Exchange setup and enter the Zimbra server information. That worked like a charm and now the iPhone users are getting all of their data over the air directly from the Zimbra server with no extra setup on the back end.

    My question is about Blackberries. I've combed over the forums, and in everything that I've found, there is no way to sync a Blackberry directly with a Zimbra server, you have to have a BES. We are at a pretty critical decision point right now as there are about 25 users whose Blackberry contracts with their phone providers are coming up for renewal and the way we see it, we have two options if we want to get over-the-air syncing for them on handhelds:

    1) Shell out the money for the BES and stick with the Blackberries. From the pricing on Blackberry's site, that looks like it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4500 for us just for the BES license plus the time spent configuring and managing the BES, easily bringing the TCO of keeping the Blackberries up over $5000.

    2) Switch over to iPhones for roughly the same cost, but save the hassle of configuring another server and have something that just works with our existing setup.

    Does that sound reasonable, or is there something I'm missing about being able to connect a Blackberry directly to the Zimbra server as I have been able to do with the iPhone? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Yeah, that's pretty much it except I'd like to add:

    3) Buy some other ActiveSync-capable device. Not sure if (gasp) Windows Mobile is an option, but it may be cheaper if your management is cost-conscious.

    4) There are a few third-party solutions out there, but I really can't speak to what they cost. One that comes to mind is NotifySync which runs a client on the BB device to sync directly to the Zimbra server. I'd encourage you to get a demo of their product and try it out before going nuts, but it is certainly an option as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    I am in a simular situation. I learned thet a NotifySync License costs twice as much as a BES/BPS client :-(

    But anyhow I will test against BPS.

    Just testing AstaSync (AstraSync - BlackBerry ActiveSync Compatibility - Sync BlackBerry® to an Exchange ActiveSync® Server). Problems with installing (Very, very slow) but seams to work.
    Last edited by friedmar; 08-13-2009 at 05:50 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by friedmar View Post
    Just testing AstaSync (AstraSync - BlackBerry ActiveSync Compatibility - Sync BlackBerry® to an Exchange ActiveSync® Server). Problems with installing (Very, very slow) but seams to work.
    We're not supporting Astrasynch but we have mentioned it to users who have Blackberrys but don't want to sign up for the BES data package. Would love to hear any feedback you may have. Are users generally satisfied with it? Are they running into any issues?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Beaucaire, France
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    We used AstraSync for one customer (and still proposes it to people with BB devices).

    It worked quite well for its price (compared to the whole BES + data plans), support is great (fast and helpfull, which is not the case of their "competitor").

    However, the customer eventually replace its BB with a Nokia E71 and swears he will never go back to BB 8)

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