Zimbra Social Review

The Outlook Connector provides Exchange-like options, such as the global address list, calendar, dynamic distribution lists, and LDAP authentication.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for our company are the Outlook Connector, which provides Exchange-like options, such as the global address list. The Outlook Connector can be configured as an Exchange account on phones (both Android and iOS). This provides access to the address list and calendar, dynamic distribution lists (which are automatically updated independently of given parameters), and LDAP authentication.

We are going to configure single sign-on so that corporate users will not need to enter their log-in credentials each time they try to access the web client from domain computers.

How has it helped my organization?

Before Zimbra, our company used Rackspace’s email system, which provides two options: Exchange accounts and IMAP accounts. Exchange accounts are expensive; so only a few managers had them. The rest of the employees had to use IMAP accounts, which only provide the local address list and calendar. These features were not synchronized with devices.

With Zimbra, we have resolved this issue. Now all employees have Exchange-like features.

What needs improvement?

Product support needs to be improved.

For us, the main features are: Outlook Connector because it provides users with a feeling that they are using Exchange; and dynamic distribution lists because Zimbra cannot manage distribution list members based on an AD group like Exchange does. We have to set alternate parameters, such as descriptions for the users, which are then used to automatically add them to the dynamic distribution lists. Both of these features still have issues. For example:

  • The search works very slowly in Outlook Connector.
  • You cannot set policies for dynamic distribution lists to define the type of senders from which you want to receive emails. We currently have a ticket open for this one, but it is being ignored.

With IMAP accounts there are minimum two problems (I mean when working from email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird or any other, not from browser)
1. Calendars- the appointments added in calendar are saved locally only on computer working from, if to move to another computer/laptop or set the email on the phone, all calendar items will be lost, the only way to recover them will be to export on initial computer and import on new one.
2. Contacts- there isn't a Global Address List which will automatically update with company email accounts, same as with calendars, working with local copy on computer. The only way to update the contacts list being to download from time to time a new file from Rackspace which contains all email addresses and import them manually for each employee.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zimbra Collaboration as our primary email system since April 2016; so seven months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is pretty stable. We didn’t have any stability issues yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven’t had any scalability issues so far.

How is customer service and technical support?

The support we received was average.

They answer and resolve tickets fast when they know the answers right away.

We have to ask for daily updates for the tickets that they cannot figure out how to resolve. For example, I described an issue with dynamic distribution lists above. They are simply leaving the ticket open with no answers, even after you provide them with the logs and all other information that they request.

We also had a situation in which they pointed us to a BUG URL, saying that they know about this problem; and we can check that URL from time to time. They did not provide any estimates on when they could resolve and close the ticket.

How was the initial setup?

The overall setup was straightforward, as per the documentation. We did it without any issues.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is acceptable compared to other products.

For users who don’t need Exchange-like features, they can give it a try with an open source version.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We used Rackspace and switched due to the cost.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product, easy to setup, configure, and maintain.

I believe that with time, they will fix the remaining issues and implement other useful features.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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