Apple & Open Source Email: Winning Combo?
Universities like Apple. Universities like open source. The VAR Guy wonders: Is there a potential solution stack here for VARs?
Yes indeed. One prime example: Eastern Illinois University has deployed roughly seven t0 10 Apple servers running Zimbra’s open source email platform for 30,000 users, according to John Robb, VP of marketing and product management at Zimbra. Robb is particularly impressed with Apple’s decision to support CalDev, which should allow multiple people to view and edit each others’ calendars.
Although Zimbra has a large installed base of university customers, the 70-percent vendor prefers to maintain a horizontal market focus. “We need people to know we’re not just about the University or SMB markets, and we’re not just about competing with Exchange,” asserts Robb.
That’s for sure. One trusted source tells The VAR Guy that a big service provider will soon announce that it has 1 million Zimbra in-boxes. Also, companies within the retail and entertainment sectors have Zimbra deployments topping 10,000 users. Zimbra’s installed base has reached 1,300 paid organizations and 6 million paid in-boxes. Not too shabby.
Looking ahead, Robb has three top priorities for 2007: (1) Promoting Zimbra’s offline client, which allows users to manage email through a Web browser even when they’re not connected to a network; (2) evangelizing Zimbra’s momentum with service providers and (3) building Zimbra’s partner network. “For us, this is the year of the channel partner,” he crows.
Will Apple and Linux VARs get the message?