See how Zimbra Solved the Email & Collaboration Problem for LatAm Government and Military Customers
Hi Zimbra Customers, Partners & Friends,
The pandemic put a giant spotlight on the “us versus them” problem that exists in today’s diverse work landscape.
Professionals working for well-capitalized organizations with robust IT infrastructures largely didn’t skip a beat. They Zoomed, Google Doc’d and Slacked their way through day after remote day. For these lucky employees, the power of virtual collaboration was no match for the physical limitations thrust upon them.
Some folks even gleefully took to social media to boast that they could see themselves working like this forever. A wonderful idea indeed…for the privileged professionals who have the option.
Unfortunately, the exact opposite scenario was playing out for those with less flexibility.
In the face of a raging pandemic that upended commute options, childcare availability and pretty much every other aspect of normality, so many employees in non-essential roles were forced to find a way back to work. Risks be damned. If for no other reason than some employers not having the right IT foundation to support work from home requirements. Or maybe exacting technical requirements that SaaS just couldn’t address.
Closing the gap between physical and remote, collaborative workforces hinges on lowering the barriers to entry for access to the software that will support it.
SaaS scale not always focused on the little guy
As SaaS offerings scale, there’s often a tendency to develop against the most common market demands. In the interest of simplicity, services become one-size-fits-all or broken into simple tiers, always chasing the most profitable masses. It seems this is a terrific business model. According to IDC, the worldwide enterprise collaborative applications market accounted for $22.6B in 2020 and is forecast to reach $50.7B by 2025.
That was great for bringing the first sizable percentage of organizations into the cloud collaboration fold.
But what about the rest? The organizations operating with strict data sovereignty regulation. Or that rely on specific software or apps to drive their business. What about those that simply can’t afford the collaborative software that can power their business?
These organizations are at risk if they cannot transition into the #FOW collaboration economy. They risk falling behind better-resourced peers, especially during moments of global disruption. They risk losing employees that demand more flexibility in how and where they work. Simply, they risk getting left behind.
What will it take for SaaS-based collaboration companies to better address organizations with distinct needs or perhaps more limited means versus more well-resourced peers?
Zimbra has faced this very question in our recent work in the Latin America market. Lately, we’ve seen considerable customer growth in the region, particularly among government organizations like the Brazilian Air Force, Brazilian Navy, Colombian Army, Colombian Navy, Chilean Air Force and others seeking a sovereign cloud defined by trust, security and transparency.
“Many government organizations in Latin America have become frustrated with the take-it-or-leave-it approach of the usual email providers and have found it refreshing to work with Zimbra and its local partners for a highly-customized service that can meet a range of budgets, technical requirements and billing needs,” said CEO Thiago Madeira of Ktree Penso, a Latin American Zimbra Channel Partner. “Zimbra has a reputation for really understanding this market, as evidenced by expanding adoption of its email and collaboration offerings by so many government agencies.”
We’ve turned up half a million inboxes in the region in the past year alone. Along the way, we are finding there are some major hang-ups among customers in the region when it comes to adopting these services:
- There is traditionally a significant preference among government customers to store all email and collaboration data within their in-region networks versus out-of-region in the public cloud.
- Different entities will often bring preferences for critical third-party software they need to use alongside their email and collaboration applications.
- In the case of the major SaaS office suite providers, they are typically not adapting their software to create custom integrations.
- Then there’s cost. As cloud office suite bundles expand, the price keeps going up.
In our experience, helping organizations close these gaps opens a path to adoption. Our winning approach is built on two key pillars that help close the gap:
- Freedom of choice to deploy whenever, wherever and however best fits individual organization needs.
- Interoperability that connects critical dots within the organization, across people, processes and systems.
This helps organizations square cost, data sovereignty and workflow requirements with a viable path forward on #FOW, cloud-based collaboration. It’s not that the Big Tech players don’t have a robust, powerful product. It’s the inflexibility of what’s provided that is creating challenges for some buyers.
The outlook on just how many organizations risk being left in the traditional office software paradigm is murky. It’s not something studied widely right now. Instead, it seems today the focus is on growth, growth based on selling more cloud tools to the same privileged customers.
Collaboration offerings have changed how the world communicates and works together. It’s time to make sure every organization that wants to join the virtual collaboration economy can.
Your Zimbra Team
 IDC’s Worldwide Collaborative Applications Forecast, 2021-2025, July 2021