Microsoft vs. Google Apps: Surprise Winner VMware, Zimbra?
Amid the Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps war, a surprising victor is popping up on many government contracts. The frequent winner: VMware’s (NYSE: VMW) open source email platform, called Zimbra. For channel partners, this is the latest proof that you gotta get beyond the hype to truly understand what customers want for their private and public cloud applications.
On the one hand, The New York Times says Google Apps is challenging Microsoft in business. But dig a little deeper in that article and you’ll find the Zimbra reference. The story states:
“…according to the General Services Administration, out of 42 federal government contracts for which Google and Microsoft competed in 2012, Google won 23 deals, and Microsoft 10. The rest went to another company, Zimbra, which is owned by VMware, a maker of cloud software.”
Chances are that’s great news for channel partners. Zimbra, which VMware acquired from Yahoo in 2010, is an open source-based email system that depends heavily on channel partners for on-premises deployments, and cloud services providers (CSPs) for hosted deployments.
But back to that New York Times article. For channel partners, it’s the latest proof point that sometimes you need to look beyond the obvious headlines (Google vs Microsoft) to see popular alternative platforms for building public and private cloud services. Zimbra certainly appears to fulfill that description in the government market.