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I was just reading this story at Delimiter, when I felt compelled to write a response because I often see good technology being passed over for average technology from a company that has a large marketing budget. It’s funny how brand plays an important part of a deal. We (Cleartext) looked at Zimbra and decided it was too difficult to manage and unreliable. The add-ons like IM were woeful, using the almost defunct OpenFire XMPP platform.

But I will say that Zimbra appears to be getting more traction now that it’s under VMWares wing than it did with Yahoo!. We were not comparing Zimbra with MS Exchange, I think it’s well ahead of Exchange. No we compared it with several other Linux solutions (@mail, Sun Messaging, etc) of which Axigen came out on top, easily outperforming them all on ease of setup, management, reliability and features. Axigen has better standards compatibility (FYI MS Exchange still doesn’t have good IMAP support), is OS neutral in both deployment and on the desktop/mobile side and real 24×7 support.

Two years on I can say we made the correct choice as we’re seeing 100% up time year on year. Obviously we’re not counting planned maintenance here, but even that is limited to 30 second restarts node by node. I’m sure Zimbra will work well for iiNet and having met Greg Bader at iiNet a couple of times he would have done the research to make a selection. But would that research include a fairly obscure product like Axigen, probably not.

What this reinforces is that it’s irrelevant if you have a better platform/product/service if you don’t have the marketing spend to build the brand, only then do you get in front of the decision makers and a chance at landing the big deals.

Published: October 12th 2010 at 11:25am

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