VMware: Zimbra Boom or Bust, Keep or Sell?
The VAR Guy has long-respected Zimbra, the open-source email platform that VMware (NYSE: VMW) acquired from Yahoo in 2010. VMware has been pretty silent about Zimbra in recent months, and VMware’s decision in January 2013 to deemphasize certain products has triggered rumors that Zimbra may be in trouble. But is it?
Zimbra is an open source email and collaboration system that customers can run on premise. It’s also hosted by a range of SaaS companies and channel partners that offer Zimbra as a service.
On the upside, Zimbra has been a surprise winner in the government market, where Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 are waging war against each other. Also, the new VMware Horizon Mail is based on some Zimbra developments. And Zimbra’s corporate blog has fresh content describing recent customer wins and business milestones.
Still, VMware has been surprisingly quiet about Zimbra. Indeed, Zimbra’s news site has not been updated since July 2012 — though Zimbra never was much of a PR machine.
When VMware in January 2013 announced plans to scale back or exit some businesses, Silicon Valley Business Journal suggested that Zimbra was among the casualties. Strange, but The VAR Guy doesn’t recall VMware or Zimbra making such a statement. VMware didn’t even mention Zimbra during its January 2013 earnings call. Did our resident blogger miss something? Is Zimbra on the block? Is VMware looking for a potential buyer for the email business?
Hmmm… The VAR Guy has reached out to Zimbra officials for an update. And our resident blogger will go hunting for Zimbra news at the VMware Partner Exchange conference next week in Las Vegas, one of The VAR Guy’s Top 100 Channel Partner Events of the year.
Whatever The VAR Guy hears in Las Vegas won’t stay in Las Vegas…