You might don't like what you read here …

… if you are from Microsoft.

There was a webcast about the end of Microsofts SBS held by Collax a few days ago. It looks like, SBS will be gone by the end of 2013. If you want to continue to use a Microsoft Collaboration product after that, you have to get Exchange or go Cloud. As we have all realised by now, the cloud kills the Business Partner – except if you go for the cloud yourself. On the other hand, that end of SBS just might be the chance to get more business.
Some of you who are as old as I am will still remember Lotus Foundations. An IBM product aimed at the SMB market that included Domino. The licensing was more like an enterprise server. You were allowed to run your website on Domino and you got the Outlook connector, too, until the later was killed. There were quite a few interesting tools in the works, which you were able to run on those boxes and from my point of view, it had the best backup and recovery system ever. As it happens, this site still runs on Foundations. Yes, I know, I should have switched everything to Collax by now, but you know how it is, as long as something just runs without making any troubles at all, one does not see the point really – except for the hard disk crash once in a while, which is almost a non event, because the recovery procedure is so incredible easy, that after a few minutes the network is back in business and two hours later you have already forgotten about it. Most of the time it took me longer to find out that the hard disk crashed, than doing the restore.
But, IBM was too early again. If they had continued just another two years, they could have  a winner by now. And here we come to another BUT.
During the Collax webcast they should the result of the yearly Techchannel “study” about the most popular collaboration server products.
1. Exchange 2010
2. Zarafa
3. Novell Groupewise
4. Kerio Connect
5. Exchange 2007
6. Oracle Behive
7. Lotus Notes

8. Zimbra
….
Oh bugger. Even Exchange 2007 was racked higher than Notes and even Oracle Beehive. A product I have yet to hear something positive about. My point is, even if IBM wanted to compete with Microsoft in the SMB market, nobody would look. It might be that somebody at IBM always thinks, that if IBM so much as harrumphs, everybody just looks what great news comes from IBM. That, I am sorry, just isn’t the case. IBM does make a lot of money with a rather small number of companies, just those big enough to appear on the radar. But if you talk to anybody on the street about IBM it’s always the same. IBM expensive, IBM arrogant, “What? They still have Notes?”. The general public just does not take notice from IBM in the market.

And now comes this. Zarafa must have used an old one. May I present the 2012 Techchannel study:

1. MS Exchange 2010
2. Zarafa
3. IBM Lotus Notes

(They know about Notes/Domino. I think they write Notes, because nobody knows what Domino is)

While this still makes Zarafa happy, that should make us happy, too. But why did it happen? Anybody an idea, why suddenly Notes is in third place?

But since we are already here together, You probably have customers who want to keep their Outlook client, here is something to ease your pain, the Collax Groupware Suite. It has almost everything, that your customers need and more. Backup is there, a pretty good firewall with the best firewall administration tool, I have seen until today. Most users will never realise, that they are not working on a Microsoft server anymore and until the end of January, you get 15% of.
Should you have the need for high availability, you might want to talk to Collax about their Cluster based on KVM (proudly supported by IBM, Intel, RedHat and many more). There is the possibility to get a two node cluster for the Group Ware Suite with embedded SAN, but limited to two virtual machines for a very reasonable price … which means free (AFAIK). That’s probably the best offer ever, because the Collax virtualization is really cool. You learn to set it up in no time (I did and that’s a little wonder). If you move your customers away from SBS, consider to do it with high availability. Its worth it.
Since the limitation is for TWO virtual machines. Why not deploying a XWork Server for some nice XPages apps?

4 Gedanken zu “You might don't like what you read here …

  1. Exchange, a collaboration product? Really? I thought it was a communication product. Does it do more than email these days?

  2. Read that “study” with large grains of salt. Not surprising that SBS is getting buried it had poor traction for a while. Also a shame about Foundations, it actually had some potential, IBM bought it, and then IBM starved it… err, I mean “strategically re-positioned” it.

    The other parts of the report sound like pure spin. The terms of reference and scope are already mis-represented as they’re referring to products that are email and calendaring exclusively, and classifying them as “collaboration server product”. That may have been true… back in 1999.

    Collaboration is far more than this. Exchange is to collaboration as a slingshot is to military “ground-to-air” missile systems. But what the heck is “Zarafa” ? Like I said.. Spin

  3. We, I mean those who bleed yellow, know, that Outlook/Exchange (Zarafa, ExchangIt, Openexchang, Beehive …) never was a collaboration product, but the general public sees it differently.
    For all they know, Outlook is the epitome of collaboration. Sharing calendars the summit of group ware.
    Many companies out there don’t even share calendars and still buy Exchange. Postfix would be sufficient for many, but no, somebody told them, they need Exchange for mail and that’s what they do. End of story.
    And BTW, there is a reason why I wrote “study”. But still, a publication like Techchannel, certainly more Microsoft biased then IBM, sees Notes in third place, it’s rather interesting and hard to explain.

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