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Thread: Zimbra now Yahoo! thoughts

  1. #51
    Bevan Bennett is offline Active Member
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    Like many, I'm cautiously anxious and concerned for the future of my recently successful corporate migration.

    In the best case scenario, Zimbra's excellent systems will replace Yahoo Mail (which sucks), Yahoo Groups (which sucks even worse) and the relevant people in Yahoo Support. By "sucks" here I mean specifically that the systems are awkward (and sometimes downright painful) to use, impose unreasonable and sometimes arbitrary restrictions on their users, and have in the past left a bad taste in the mouths of exactly the sort of IT Managers that up until now have been embracing Zimbra.

    In my fears, some of the things that make Yahoo Mail and Groups suck will ooze their way into our Zimbra experience. My greatest fear is that they'll want to "unify" or "consolidate" support services, and these forums, the wiki and the bug database will be absorbed into the byzantine land of Yahoo support.

    Disclaimer: "Yahoo!" has been represented in this post by the less grammatically unstable representation "Yahoo". The reader is welcome to yodel at their own discretion despite the lack of bang.

  2. #52
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgressiveNetworks View Post
    This is extremely disturbing to us as a company that's basically built itself on being a Zimbra hosting provider.

    We'd like to get something other than a "We're listening" email from sales or someone to speak to the unique situation we and other hosting providers are in. If Yahoo is going to use this purchase to compete with Google and MS's hosted offerings by reselling their own hosted Zimbra services, it will obviously have a huge impact on companies like ourselves who can't compete with that, if Yahoo even lets us do so at some point in the future.

    So we do have some trepidation here, despite the buzzword filled press release's assurances that "nothing is going to change".

    And the problem is, and no offense here to the community Zimbra employees, but getting a big "Yeah, we're listening!" on a web forum isn't enough for us. Especially since decisions don't get made with the input of what the "community forum employee guy" thinks - again, no offense - because thats not the case. Unfortunately, we probably won't see any changes coming, and that's what worries us the most.
    You will be hearing from Zimbra but in the meanwhile, did you check the FAQ?

    BTW, the "community forum employee guy" as you quaintly put it are Zimbra Employees - what we do on the forums is done in when we have the time - this isn't our day job. We aim to provide help and support on the forums in addition to what we do for the NE customers.

    If you don't feel comfortable with the answers we provide on the forums or if you have any burning questions about what's happening you should direct them to your sales contact.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  3. #53
    jholder's Avatar
    jholder is offline Former Zimbran
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    Exclamation Business as Usual

    We've been listening, and have posted an update for you:
    http://www.zimbra.com/blog/archives/..._as_usual.html

    Also, we will be updating our QA/FAQs page. We would welcome your questions. Please post them to the blog entry.

    Thanks
    john

  4. #54
    kevindods is offline Advanced Member
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    Default divergence...

    I think that there will be common drivers and needs for Yahoo and Zimbra but I doubt medium to long term these will be the same or close to those of the current user and current partner organisations. VCs will likely have had a major input into this deal, and I know VCs have virtually no interest in the company, product, staff or customers beyond the point they get their ROI realised. As this is looking like a cash deal they will be happy to be in and out so quickly with such amazing multiples.

    The restrictive OSS license means much of the value of the product doesn't rest in the community and removing an OSS solution from the fray must have considerable value to Yahoo!, even if all it does is prevent other players using the technology. That doesn't mean they will remove/knobble/diminsh it but I would be very surprised if they didn't use every trick in the book to maximise revenue from anything they can having stomped a reasonable $350m for the company.

    There was a phrase in the ISP/Hosting license that I still have concerns over relating to advertising revenue sharing. Combine that with this deal and I don't see that concern vanishing.

    However, congratulations to all the people working on Zimbra, it must feel good to be validated/vindicated in this financial way. Good luck for the future, wherever that leads for you ;-)

    We will be looking for ways to re-use our investment in Zimbra both time, effort and capital - just in case the well founded and reasoned fears are manifest.

    Cant help feeling this is all a little bit sad.

    K

  5. #55
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    chrisp8756 is offline Senior Member
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    Thumbs down I had a hunch

    I'm not supprised Yahoo purchased Zimbra. When Yahoo changed there online mail system and the look was so much like Zimbra I figured Zimbra was what they were using and had just change the look of Zimbra.

    My first reaction was bye bye open source, all good things like Zimbra usally wind up in the big corperate monsters hands.

  6. #56
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    jholder is offline Former Zimbran
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    Default **update**

    Hi all-
    We've decided to do a conference call with anyone who wants to call in, both Open Source and Network Edition.

    Our CEO, Satish as well as several others will be there and we will be fielding questions and comments from you about Zimbra.

    We're compiling a top 10 list of questions/comments that have been posted to this thread which we will address.

    It is scheduled for 2 PM PST.

    Call in info:
    1-866-266-3378 (Call This Number)
    650 212 0511 (When it asks for a conf ID, enter this number)

    John
    Last edited by jholder; 09-18-2007 at 11:01 AM.

  7. #57
    smothemh is offline Intermediate Member
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    I'm still sorting out how I think this might affect me, a very small user of the OSS edition (just for a dozen friends and family). One thing that would go a long way to help me feel confident is a personal commitment from the core Zimbra brain trust to be willing to take the Open Source version and fork it off if Yahoo! does bad stuff, like choke off hosting competitors, close the source, add nasty advertising, etc. I'm not sure what kind of restrictions were placed on key people as part of the acquisition, but that would really be something I would like to know. If Yahoo! ruins Zimbra, can you and will you get us back to what we wanted to start with?

    Hope this makes sense.
    - Mick Smothers
    Memphis, TN USA

  8. #58
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    dballing is offline Intermediate Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by smothemh View Post
    I'm still sorting out how I think this might affect me, a very small user of the OSS edition (just for a dozen friends and family). One thing that would go a long way to help me feel confident is a personal commitment from the core Zimbra brain trust to be willing to take the Open Source version and fork it off if Yahoo! does bad stuff, like choke off hosting competitors, close the source, add nasty advertising, etc. I'm not sure what kind of restrictions were placed on key people as part of the acquisition, but that would really be something I would like to know. If Yahoo! ruins Zimbra, can you and will you get us back to what we wanted to start with?

    Hope this makes sense.
    Won't do any good...

    Those people now are Yahoo employees. They're probably going to be held accountable to (if they haven't signed them, they soon will) the standard Yahoo NDA/non-compete. All the intellectual property in their heads that make up "Zimbra knowledge" is going to be Yahoo's and they won't have the right to use it to participate in any hypothetical fork without Yahoo's permission. (This usually happens in any acquisition, otherwise, you won't have "bought" anything if everyone can just leave and keep doing what they were doing before you bought them).

    Sure, in California, non-competes are fairly worthless, but the intellectual property clauses are going to be fairly air-tight, and all that Zimbra know-how is now property of Yahoo.

  9. #59
    smothemh is offline Intermediate Member
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    I understand (I've been party to a couple of acquisitions personally, hence my concern) - I just wanted to verify what the position was...and also the fact that the Open Source version adds a bit of a twist to the whole thing. Yahoo! can't prevent a fork based on anything that has been open sourced. The question is how tight the people are locked down (yes, I know about enforcabilty of non-competes). Just hoping there's a way to mitigate the risk of Yahoo! being bad.

    Bah, just noticed I haven't updated my .sig here. Moving :-) edit: ok, fixed now.
    Last edited by smothemh; 09-18-2007 at 11:47 AM.
    - Mick Smothers
    Memphis, TN USA

  10. #60
    LMStone's Avatar
    LMStone is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jholder View Post
    Hi all-
    We've decided to do a conference call with anyone who wants to call in, both Open Source and Network Edition.

    Our CEO, Satish as well as several others will be there and we will be fielding questions and comments from you about Zimbra.

    We're compiling a top 10 list of questions/comments that have been posted to this thread which we will address.

    It is scheduled for 2 PM PST.

    Call in info:
    1-866-266-3378 (Call This Number)
    650 212 0511 (When it asks for a conf ID, enter this number)

    John
    John,

    That's a great idea, I'll try to be there.

    Also, just to be straight about it, Satish is not the ultimate boss any more. He is presumably a Yahoo employee (hopefully with a good contract) who reports to a Yahoo executive.

    If at all possible, it would be helpful to have Satish's boss on the phone as well please, so we can hear what we need to hear from the folks who wrote the big check and who now own -- and control -- Zimbra.

    Sorry for the late post; I don't check the Zimbra Forums like I check my email.

    All the best,
    Mark

    P.S. As a former mergers and acquisitions investment banker, I don't fault Zimbra at all for taking the money. The VCs put up $30.5 million as I understand it and are getting more than 10 times their investment back in just a few short years. In this environment where the public markets have a great deal of uncertainty, that's a fabulous deal. Kudos to Zimbra on the deal front.

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