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Thread: It was an interesting experience

  1. #1
    mdekkers is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs down It was an interesting experience

    ... but after a year, we won't be continuing using Zimbra. Our renewal is coming up this month, and we won't be extending.

    Here is the background. We are a reasonably small office - 20 users, and we run Microsoft SBS Server in house. We also have sugar, zimbra, and our web hosting platform (all LAMP) sitting out in a hosting center somewhere. Our use of proprietary software is limited to SBS, Windows, and Microsoft Office. everything else we use on our systems is open source. We donate, use paid support, and provide tangible support to all open source projects we use the software of. I note this to make sure it is clear we are strong supporters of open source.

    The reason we are now switching to Microsoft Exchange, after a year of Zimbra, are as follows:

    1. Cost. We use a Microsoft Open Value license. Exchange is part of that license, and it is cheaper for us to license this way, as opposed to using default office licenses. Zimbra isn't cheap. Moreover, the way licenses are sold is very difficult to justify to my Board: They want to know why we need to pay for 50 licenses, when we only have 20 users. I explained how we have several "system" accounts, to manage spam and documents and such, and how these system accounts also use up seats. I explained how I asked Zimbra about this, and was rather rudely rebuffed. I explained Zimbra only licenses in blocks of 25 seats, seriously screwing their prime target market - small businesses.

    Needless to say, my Board was not impressed.

    2. Reliability. We pride ourselves on running a smooth IT operation. We only have a few users, but that is no excuse for having a messy network. Also, we run a rather large website, and that is where we want and need to spend our time. We don't want to waste our time with Office IT, and PC's etc. We have auto-install and auto-fix for almost everything. We invested some time in ensuring this was all engineered well, and left it at that. Our primary source of technical issues were all about Zimbra, and Zimbra + Outlook. the outlook connector not working, emails going missing, emails not being delivered, emails, emails, emails. Various Zimbra issues made up 65% of our trouble tickets, and accounted for 85% of our support time on Office IT in the last 12 months. Zimbra is installed according to the book, no funny hacks, no nothing. After a year of non-engagement from the next to useless support at Zimbra, we came to the conclusion that the Outlook connector is flaky at best.

    Add to this the logging system going on the fritz more or less permanently, and many, many other issues and niggles, and we can conclude that Zimbra's backend needs more work, and the Outlook connector seriously needs to be fixed.

    3. Mobile. Blackberry integration is a joke.

    4. Sales. The sales team are the dregs. Never big fan of sales, I have found the Zimbra sales persons to be utterly useless, rude, and deserving of my contempt. Questions are answered rudely, if at all, and many questions are simply not responded to. The Zimbra sales team is beyond unprofessional.

    5. Users. My users hate Zimbra with a passion. Primarily due to the unreliability issues I have weekly requests to move to something else. My users no longer *trust* our email system, and prefer to use hotmail or gmail for their email needs.

    There is more, but there are the really *serious* issues.

    I wish you all the best of luck. You will need it.

  2. #2
    uxbod's Avatar
    uxbod is offline Moderator
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    Well I am sorry to hear that With only three posts to your name I thought you may have asked on the forums ?

  3. #3
    phoenix is online now Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdekkers View Post
    ... but after a year, we won't be continuing using Zimbra. Our renewal is coming up this month, and we won't be extending.
    I see you fail to mention the salient point that you'd installed the NE version of Zimbra on an unsupported distribution namely Debian. That build is untested for NE and has had no QA so it's hardly surprising you encountered problems and invalidated you support into the bargain. I assume you informed your management that it was unsupported when you installed?
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    mdekkers is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    I see you fail to mention the salient point that you'd installed the NE version of Zimbra on an unsupported distribution namely Debian.
    Hey phoenix, thanks for responding. We actually worked Zimbra against Ubuntu as well, to *exclude* the OS as being an issue, with the same results.

    However, as a Zimbra employee, you do make my point very nicely for me. You exhibit the same "it is not our problem" attitude that is making us look to Exchange. The reason I even bother to post is so that you have some constructive feedback, but all you can say is "it is not our problem". Well, maybe we are only 20 users, and 50 seats, but it is still money you are not getting anymore.

    I tried to give the same feedback to my "account manager" - some person that only sent a mail to let me know it is time to pay up for a new license, but she never even bothered to respond.

    anyway, I notice you side-stepped most of the issues I have with Zimbra, made them not your problem, and just focussed on a single issue, that is not even correct.

    Shame on you.....

  5. #5
    mdekkers is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by uxbod View Post
    Well I am sorry to hear that With only three posts to your name I thought you may have asked on the forums ?
    I pay for support....?

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    just trying to be helpful

  7. #7
    phoenix is online now Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdekkers View Post
    Hey phoenix, thanks for responding. We actually worked Zimbra against Ubuntu as well, to *exclude* the OS as being an issue, with the same results.

    However, as a Zimbra employee, you do make my point very nicely for me. You exhibit the same "it is not our problem" attitude that is making us look to Exchange. The reason I even bother to post is so that you have some constructive feedback, but all you can say is "it is not our problem". Well, maybe we are only 20 users, and 50 seats, but it is still money you are not getting anymore.

    I tried to give the same feedback to my "account manager" - some person that only sent a mail to let me know it is time to pay up for a new license, but she never even bothered to respond.

    anyway, I notice you side-stepped most of the issues I have with Zimbra, made them not your problem, and just focussed on a single issue, that is not even correct.

    Shame on you.....
    I did not say it was 'not our problem'. One of the three posts from you in these forum said that you'd installed Zimbra on Debian (you actually posted in a thread where you were told then that wasn't supported), I was merely restating the fact (for you and other people that read this thread) that we do not QA Zimbra on that distribution. You have a responsibility in this to use a supported distribution for the product and for that you will get support. Your post earlier is rather vague on detail and almost impossible to comment on but I guess the intention from you is to blame the product not your implementation. Shame on you. If you'd bothered to use the forums as well as support you might have had a better experience but I guess that wasn't to be. Good luck with Exchange.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  8. #8
    mdekkers is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    I was merely restating the fact (for you and other people that read this thread) that we do not QA Zimbra on that distribution. You have a responsibility in this to use a supported distribution for the product and for that you will get support.
    And i was re-stating the fact, for you and others who might read this thread, that we did indeed deploy on a supported platform as part of going through your support process. This made no difference on the actual issues, but then again, neither did your support process

    Funny thing though, you start off your post by saying "I didn't say it wasn't our problem" and end it by insinuating that our implementation is at fault, very transparent, and still comes down to saying "not our problem".

    Stating that somehow, once more, we are at fault for not using the forum... I used the Zimbra support process, something we have paid for. Why would I use the forums? so that i can spend hours and hours looking if somebody, somewhere, has had the same issue? and then trying random solutions? because that worked for some stranger?

    I am all for using "forum support". Note my first statement regarding using Open Source software. I am not too big of a fan of using random solutions put forward by random people that may or may not solve my problem.

    If that was what I wanted to do, I could have built postfix, mysql, courier, and used the free Openchange.org outlook connector. It would have been better, faster, cheaper, less hassle, and more likely to be more robust.

    What I wanted was a stable groupware solution, with reliable, effective, efficient and professional support. And it ends in "not our problem" and "should have used the forum".

    Great going guys...

  9. #9
    raj's Avatar
    raj
    raj is offline Moderator
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    Sorry to hear zimbra did not work for you as intended..fourm support is some times faster than paid.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdekkers View Post
    ... Microsoft Open Value license. Exchange is part of that license
    Just curious under OVL from MS..do they give phone support for exchange "included" in monthly/yearly liscence cost? or you have to pay some X$ per incidence.

    Raj
    i2k2 Networks
    Dedicated & Shared Zimbra Hosting Provider

  10. #10
    uxbod's Avatar
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    Thats a scheduled reboot task isn't it ?

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