[Devel] [Users] Feedback needed on "Findings and Recommendations Prepared For Zimbra Management"

Quanah Gibson-Mount quanah at symas.com
Mon Mar 13 21:29:13 CET 2017

Just to follow up on this a little more, now that I have a few more minutes 

I've often seen VMware given lots of credit as an example of when Zimbra 
was "great".  Also, a lot of references to the ZCS 7 series and how good it 
was (which it was).  But I'd like to dig in a little beyond the appearance 
that people saw from the outside so that people can understand what was 
going on behind the scenes.

When Zimbra was bought by Yahoo!, they left Zimbra virtually intact, and 
(thankfully) did not try to merge us into Yahoo! Mail.  They primarily 
wanted some of the technology Zimbra had to integrate into their mail 
project, and to try their hands at being an exclusive hosting provider for 
some Zimbra customers.  That hosting project was an utter disaster, and 
ended up being shut down.  However, what Yahoo! did that was smart, was 
generally leave Zimbra alone as far as development and product directoin 
were concerned and left the original team in place.  This allowed the 
generally uninterrupted development of Zimbra to continue along the path 
chosen by those who knew the most about it.

At the time VMware purchased Zimbra (January 2010), GNR (The ZCS 6 series) 
had already been pushed into its own development branch, and scoping for 
ZCS7 was underway.  VMware initially also left Zimbra fairly well alone, 
and didn't alter the plans for ZCS7 in much of a significant way.  Where 
VMware made a huge push was on ZCS 8, with the introduction of the new 
(horrible) UI, a push to integrate Zimbra with their Horizon project, etc. 
After EMC installed a new CEO at VMware, things went particularly south for 
Zimbra as a whole.  In my opinion, the only thing VMware particularly 
deserves credit for is not breaking Zimbra up and selling off the pieces, 
which was their plan until Telligent bought us.  And even that was 
accidental, because Telligent had no idea what it was bidding on at the 
time (They thought they were bidding on Socialcast).  That was after, of 
course, VMware laid off the majority of people working on Zimbra.  My 
particular team went from 5 people to 1 (me), and most all of the other 
teams were similarly impacted.  We also lost a lot of people due to 
VMware's lack of vision and inability to listen to people who actually knew 
the market.  It's quite a shame to think on what might of been.  But in the 
end, we all have to live with what the end result has been.

In any case, please don't ever credit VMware for anything positive about 
Zimbra, unless you want to say "At least they didn't entirely kill it". ;)


--On Friday, March 10, 2017 10:44 AM -0800 Quanah Gibson-Mount 
<quanah at symas.com> wrote:

> VMware was primarily responsible for working hard on the utter
> destruction of Zimbra.  It's decision to lay off nearly 90% of the
> original developers was the start of the decline.  It's failure to listen
> to Kevin H and other developers on an exciting new idea is why Microsoft
> has Accompli (now outlook mobile).  I wouldn't give VMware credit for
> anything positive.
> --Quanah


Quanah Gibson-Mount
Product Architect
Symas Corporation
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