Future directions for business-class email

Written by Gray Rothkopf on . Posted in Blog, Collaboration blog

Where we are today

Listening to you, our customers, we continue to make the changes required to deliver reliable, compelling email service that takes the work out of teamwork.

Reliability is our primary objective, and you will probably be pleased to know that Zimbra agrees (see below, with the planned “Always On” architecture).

zMailCloud has also invested in programming and development independent of Zimbra, to respond more rapidly to customer priorities. Some features we’ve already implemented or plan to introduce before the end of 2013 include:

  • Anti-spam, virus & phishing. Faster, more accurate, integrated with the web client to make email management more secure, and convenient for you [? done]
  • Personalization. Simplifying configuration, new customers may use custom addresses such yourcompany.zmailcloud.com for login and email clients (existing clients may request this, too!) [? done]
  • Administrative reporting. New reports on mailbox usage make it easier for you to understand how your team is using zMC, and any consequent billing [? done]
  • Large-file attachment. New feature enabling you to deliver files up to 1GB in size from your desktop or zMC briefcases to recipients, even if they can normally only accept much smaller files [beta testing]
  • Up-time reporting. Improved customer experience monitoring [? done] – improved public reporting of service issues [in process]

And we’re looking forward to sharing other new capabilities we’re developing for 2014.

Where we’re headed, collaboratively, with Zimbra Next – version 9 and beyond

It’s our aim to deliver the highest reliability solution practical based on the underlying, Zimbra software. When we first introduced our solution, it was based on the Zimbra, version 3 software. Now, we’re on version 8!

zMailCloud expects to test Zimbra version 9, also called Zimbra.Next and code-named Judas Priest, later this year, in 2013. We will announce a plan to upgrade to it once it’s gone through our testing process, as early as Q1, 2014. Among many material improvements, expected new features include:

  • Always ON Architecture.  We’re pleased to report that zMailCloud and Zimbra agree that, simply put, email should never go down. It should be Always ON. There are several architectural changes made in the new Zimbra version intended to build resiliency and materially reduce potential downtime.
  • HTML5 Touch Client. The mobile client was rewritten from the ground up using the Sencha Touch HTML5 Mobile App Framework, including the existing tags, flags, search, and much more. It’s also optimized for today’s smartphones and tablet devices with touch and swipe gestures.
  • HTML5 Offline Client. The Zimbra Desktop application will be replaced by HTML5 offline capability built for today’s modern web browsers. No installation or configuration necessary! You will be able to access the web app using the same URL whether you are online or offline. Your web browser will be your client, either way. This should improve offline capability, even over slow internet connections. Technically speaking, in the background we can execute your requests on your locally cached data, and synchronize the changes.

Beyond this next version, we expect to be able to support additional, complementary, integrated collaborative services, such as private, secure chat, and mailing list/e-marketing management.

Thank you for your support

For more than 8 years we have endeavored to solve email problems for small and medium-sized businesses by delivering a flexible, complete and personalized, end-to-end solution.

Thank you first to the customers that have found, supported and grown with us during this entire time. We’re proud to be the communication platform for some to have started with a handful, and added hundreds of team members since starting. Next is appreciation for the customers that have left, and sometimes returned, inspired us to make sometimes painful, necessary changes to improve service. Finally we’re grateful to those who are considering, have considered our services for their businesses, fledgling, established and somewhere in between.

Our mission to help businesses reach their ambitions remains the same. Staying true to our mission has required us to lead the market for independent, business-class email based on the open-source Zimbra software for collaboration. So we continue to invest in the solution to deliver the most reliable, competitive value, despite challenges presented by complexity, growth and rapidly changing technology.

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