Utah’s first ISP, XMission has grown into a leading provider of hosted services to customers in Utah and around the globe. Today, XMission offers Unified Email & Collaboration, a secure, hosted communication service built on VMWare Zimbra Collaboration Suite, that provides email, remote storage, calendaring, collaboration, and task management, all in one economical solution.
As a hosting provider, XMission started out offering email-only solutions to customers. The company soon realized this was not sufficient. XMission’s email customers were managing third-party applications for contacts, and maintaining separate calendaring applications, and they had to support each of these applications themselves. XMission saw those customers really needed a whole communications suite, rather than having to maintain multiple, siloed tools.
“We try to be proactive on the services that we offer, and we realized email alone is simply not enough,” explains John Webster, XMission VP of Business Development and Zimbra Product Manager. “We saw an increased demand for business continuity and ease of use. We wanted a solution – with email, calendar and contacts all together – that eliminated the need for customers to maintain silos for their applications.”
“The challenge is trying to find a solution that makes sense to the end-user,” he adds. “They want something that just works, and they want a lot of the features. They want email, calendar, tasks, file transfer options, address book – Zimbra provides all of that.”
XMission partners with Zimbra and offers the full Zimbra Collaboration Suite to its premier customers as part of its Unified Email & Collaboration product.
“Zimbra was a good move for us, and a substantial benefit for our customer base,” Webster confirms. “Zimbra’s email, shared address book, and shared calendar – those three together are a powerhouse. Zimbra eliminated a lot of the barriers that our customers were experiencing.”
“At XMission, we considered a number of alternatives,” Webster clarifies, “and we continue to look around in the market to make sure that Zimbra is the best fit for us, and it absolutely continues to be the best. We are very pleased with VMware Zimbra.”
As a VMware partner, XMission gains the following benefits by offering Zimbra:
Increased Revenue -
“Zimbra offers a lot of revenue opportunity for us,” Webster says. “Zimbra is one of our most profitable products, because of the lower price point.”
“For hosting service providers, Zimbra is a very lucrative product. It is reliable, it is easy-to-use and administrate, and it makes you money,” he adds. “Zimbra is a great value add for us, and it gives us upsell opportunities down the road as well.”
Because Zimbra is viewed in the market as a viable Exchange replacement – at a price point that is lower than Exchange, but with even more features – it also helps attract more customers and generate more revenue.
Market Credibility –
“Zimbra offers us credibility, especially since the acquisition by VMware,” Webster states. “VMware is extremely committed to consistent upgrades and improvements to the product, which shows that Zimbra will be viable for years. That is a great benefit to existing customers, and a significant advantage in the sales process, when we are trying to acquire new customers for XMission Unified Email & Collaboration.”
Lower Cost –
Webster advises that Zimbra is very reasonably priced – a fraction of the cost of Microsoft exchange. In addition, XMission saves on hardware costs because Zimbra is able to run on Linux, enabling XMission to choose the hardware.
Streamlined Deployment -
“The time to implement Zimbra is very fast,” says Webster. “Migrating customers through the onboarding process is really quick and easy. It doesn’t require a lot of staff time. We can have users up and running in just a few minutes.”
Easy Tech Support -
“When you are an administrator, supporting many users, you want a partner you can trust,” Webster explains. “At XMission that is what we provide – we are a partner you can trust. And that is why we use Zimbra, because we believe in Zimbra, and we can support it very well.”
“Supporting Zimbra has been effortless because it is easy to understand, easy to use, and easy to configure,” he continues. “We very seldom have to get VMware involved, but when we do, the VMware Zimbra support team available to us, as a hosting service provider, is fantastic. They are very responsive. When there is a support concern, VMware addresses it very quickly.”
Reliability and Availability -
XMission offers customers 100% availability on their email service, backed by Zimbra’s world-class reliability.
“High availability is absolutely critical,” Webster says. “Zimbra has been such a reliable product that we never have concerns. Zimbra always works.”
Strong Partner Support -
Webster is impressed by VMware’s strong partner support, which includes regular partner updates, extensive forums, and previews of new features.
XMission’s customers gain the following benefits from Zimbra:
Premium User Experience -
Zimbra’s web interface is a premium user experience, when compared to the Exchange web experience, according to Webster. Zimbra offers a unified feature-rich user experience that can be accessed via desktop or the web.
Ease of Use -
“Zimbra’s ease of use is a big advantage for our customers,” Webster verifies. “They can plug Zimbra into any third-party applications – Outlook, iCal, a tablet or Android – and it just works. In the past the onboarding process for new technologies was a barrier. Zimbra eliminates that barrier.”
In terms of easy-to-use features, Webster cites a range of keyboard shortcuts, the ability to drag and drop an email onto the calendar, and dropping files into Zimbra Briefcase for sharing, as just a few examples.
“There is so much available power in Zimbra,” he continues. “Zimbra suits everybody, from an email-only user to a power user who uses every feature. Zimbra offers something for everyone.”
Increased Productivity -
“The strongest story I have for end-user productivity is my own,” Webster offers. “When we started using Zimbra I literally increased my efficiency by 30%. Suddenly I didn’t have all the silos. I didn’t have any barriers to getting my work done. I can manage my contacts more efficiently. I have a calendar always available. The web interface makes it super easy to use – no matter where I am I can open up a web browser and access my data.”
“I use all the features extensively on Zimbra. I love the product. Zimbra works for me and my team, and saves time and money. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
“Our customers have the same potential to increase their productivity,” he adds. “If they are using multiple separate applications for calendar, contacts, tasks and file management, or if they are coming from a legacy or limited email system, they could easily increase productivity by 30%.”
Security and Data Protection -
The Zimbra Briefcase provides security, control and continuity that public sharing applications like Dropbox simply cannot offer.
Greater Mobility -
Mobility is a major advantage of Zimbra, and a critical benefit of XMission’s product offering. Zimbra offers seamless interoperability with all major smartphones on the market.
“One of the strongest tools I have in sales presentations is to enter a contact on my smartphone, and then access my contacts and show what I just entered on my phone is now on a centralized server and available on my desktop,” says Webster. “Zimbra’s real-time functionality is very impressive to prospective customers.”
Eliminates Need for Third-Party Apps -
Zimbra’s wide ranging features, all in one solution offered by XMission, eliminates the licensing expenses of Outlook, as well as the costs associated with a variety of other third-party applications.