[Users] Zimbra's bug fixing process?

Bill Pye bill.pye at phoenix-systems.co.uk
Sun Feb 14 19:44:00 CET 2021

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From: Marc Gadsdon <mg at in-tuition.net>
Sent: Sunday, 14 February 2021 10:10
To: David Touitou
Cc: users

>I agree. But the community does not do a good job of coming together with a unified voice IMHO. 

Might that be caused by the fact there's no 'leadership' of the forums? That will never happen for the simple reason there's no leadership or feedback from anyone at Synacor.



Sent from Nine

From: Marc Gadsdon <mg at in-tuition.net>
Sent: Sunday, 14 February 2021 10:10
To: David Touitou
Cc: users
Subject: Re: [Users] Zimbra's bug fixing process?

>>> Any ETA for this joke to end?
>> It sure feels like no ETA until Zimbra's senior management wake up to the
>> benefits of open communication with their clients, partners and friends in the
>> community.
> But, seen from here (I might be wrong as I do not participate to the calls) it
> turned into a "parner call with some Synacor insiders".

I can see how some would think that, but I don't experience it like that at all - much gets discussed in as open a way as is possible (bearing in mind it's a completely public call) and the Zimbra and Zeta staff who are there provide invaluable feedback. We share tips, help resolve problems and also talk about wine, Covid, chicken powered data centres and all sorts of other vital topics ;-) 

Randy volunteers his time to compile and distribute the weekly meeting notes so that the community can benefit from the shared learning of the small group.

It's a great group, with a friendly and positive vibe and we'd love to have more people to participate. 

> All of this should happen on the public forum.
> Serious talks, chitchats, answers from Synacor to question raised, shaming, etc.

I agree. But the community does not do a good job of coming together with a unified voice IMHO. 

It's true I am more familiar with the partner world, but at many meetings, both in person and virtual, very few people are willing to voice their opinion to Zimbra senior management. At the last forum France (2018 iirc), as you pointed out, people asked questions after the presentations which clearly indicated dissatisfaction, but then at the partner technical meeting, nobody voiced their true concerns or articulated the root cause of customer concerns. There were around 30 partner people in the room iirc and it would have been the perfect chance to feed back to key senior management. 

This same dynamic happens time and again on partner calls and at partner meetings. Very few people speak up.

I have wondered why. 

Is it because the conversations are conducted in English and, for non native English speakers (which are the majority in EMEA), keeping up with a fast paced discussion where sometimes more than one person might be speaking, can be impossible. Or is it because there are commercial concerns - competitive pressures / worries over upsetting relationships etc. Perhaps the conversations are happening behind closed doors and therefore people feel it's unnecessary to speak publicly. I don't think it can be the last point however, because the key issues don't change from year to year. 

> The call gives Synacor an excuse to say "see, we're still in the community".
> No you're not, you're on a weekly call with partners/resellers/BSPs and some
> "big setup" customers (several tenths of thousands accounts or more).

I've never heard Synacor give that excuse. What I see is that the employees who give their time, do so with a 100% supportive attitude, nor do I feel they are there 'under orders' in any way.

> Also, what happen on the call or in this list (not being happy with Synacor) is
> not public enough to get them to move.
> I don't really like public shaming but sometimes...

There are many strong FOSS advocates still working at Synacor and I believe there is a chance to encourage positive change. But no change will happen unless there is clear commercial imperative. The board (and the likely new private equity shareholders) need to be shown how a FOSS first approach can benefit product quality and create a solid return for them. If collectively, we could also provide some solutions for key concerns, such as avoiding the sorts of issues we're seeing with Elastic/AWS right now, then that would help our cause. 

My two cents is we either carry on wishing for something which does not exist, or find a way to influence things in a positive direction. I believe that if the community could provide Synacor with commercially viable feedback, with a single voice and in terms shareholders can understand, we have a chance to make a difference.



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