Zimbra Sold by VMware as Part of Corporate Makeover

Zimbra Sold by VMware as Part of Corporate Makeover

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Zimbra Sold by VMware as Part of Corporate Makeover by UCStrategies Staff

The Zimbra suite of open source SaaS productivity apps has been sold by VMware to Dallas, Texas-based Telligent, an enterprise social software vendor. Details regarding the terms of the deal have not been made available.

The core team of employees at Zimbra, its product IP, and customer and partner relationships are all going to Telligent. Once the deal has closed, Telligent will rebrand itself as Zimbra.

The software-defined data center, hybrid cloud and end-user computer, and Zimbra are the key points of focus for VMware, and this will assist in its latest move to sell off a unit which does not correctly fit the strategy.

However, the Zimbra sale is not being presented by VMware as a move to shed assets.

The vice president of product marketing for VMware's End User Computing unit, Erik Frieberg, said: “It was important to VMware to find a buyer that would be a good home for Zimbra’s people, customers and partners, and we believe Telligent is a great fit.”

According to Frieberg, the acquisition of Zimbra has meant that the company has “experienced significant growth” with the addition of over 2,600 new customers, and a total user base of 85 million mailboxes.

Around $100 million was reportedly paid by VMware for Zimbra, and it was an important transaction for VMware for a variety of reasons.

In the first case, VMware has been given an integrated suite of SaaS productivity apps by Zimbra, and these rival with Microsoft Office. Zimbra was also involved in a bid by the previous VMware CEO (Paul Maritz) to diversify beyond server virtualization technology and challenge competitors in other parts of the cloud stack. 

The cloud billing model for Office 365 was made familiar to Microsoft’s partners at the time, and it was probably hoped by VMware that Zimbra would be able to lure some of them away.

Maritz was keen to form a group of apps which did not have any links to Windows, readying for the demise of a world where the PC was the main form of computing. Apart from Zimbra, SlideRocket, a startup which did SaaS presentations, was acquired by VMware in 2011, and sold to cloud startup ClearSide in March.

Socialcast is an enterprise collaboration startup which was also purchased by VMware, and this could be the next to go.

The CEO at VMware, Pat Gelsinger, has driven the company in changes over the last 10 months; a number of top executives left, and 600 employees were moved to Pivotal, VMware's joint venture with EMC which is concerned with big data and cloud apps.

Removing Zimbra will be beneficial to VMware as it means the company can focus on the cloud. However, one anonymous partner stated they were unsure if VMware will manage to undertake the transformation successfully.

The anonymous source said: “VMware has the vision for the future, but I think people are deeply questioning if they can actually deliver on it.” (CY)Link


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