To this long-time Zimbra customer, today's webinar was confounding. I joined to hear about new Zimbra features, but instead get a walkthrough of some sort of private facebook site. What?
Okay, so Telligent bought Zimbra and took on the name. This must be a former-Telligent product that's now wearing the Zimbra name. Will this become part of Zimbra? Is this a separate product? Or service? How do they relate?
I count at least four different and confusing uses of the word "community."
"Zimbra Community" (apparently a product?)
"Zimbra Community" (referring to Zimbra users/customers?)
"Open Source Community" (source code users/contributors)
"Community Manager" (customer advocate? PR?)
All these naming collisions are working against you. Here's some advice --
Stop overloading the word "community." Don't use "community" to refer to a product, AND users of that product, AND people that administer or manage that product. Give the product its own real name. If you don't, you're creating insular jargon that is opaque to outsiders, and inviting confusion for folks that have an existing working definition of "community."
Introduce the Telligent fans to Zimbra, and the Zimbra fans to Telligent. Explain to Zimbra fans how, specifically, the new company is going to position the email/collaboration suite amongst the existing Telligent products. How are they going to work together? Will they converge? What benefits might there be to adopt the Telligent products? I'm sure there are similar questions that the Telligent fans would have about the Zimbra email/collaboration product.
Good feedback, Roderick. I'll definitely make sure the team looks at this. Did you attend the 10/31 webinar that was on Zimbra Collaboration?
I would recommend listening to the recording of the other webinar and think you will find that much more to what you are looking to hear from the Zimbra angle. Today's session was the vision from the Telligent user base, and not what you were expecting, is why you feel disappointed (I think). I know you will no longer feel this frustration if you listen to the recording of the other session for the collaboration product line.
I participated in the 10/31 webinar, thanks. Today was my first exposure to the social product from Telligent. I'm leaving with more questions than I had an hour ago.
Please feel free to post your questions! We have invited Neeru to answer product questions in this forum. Other questions we can certainly get answers to as well
Roderick, You make some good points.
It certainly doesn't help that traditional Zimbra offers the free Open Source mail server version called "Zimbra Community Edition."
For such a short time into the merger the overall messaging is very reasonable. Seems it will continue to be improved upon with input like this.
In guiding customer conversations I've been referring to the Telligent suite as the "Zimbra Social Application" and it seems to make more sense. We refer to the traditional Zimbra side as "Zimbra Unified Email & Collaboration Suite" as the market doesn't interpret email to be a default feature set of collaboration. Honestly, the market (and customers) still seems to be a bit confused as what collaboration really means.
Overall, the new Zimbra appears committed to market eduction which should help us all substantially regardless of terminology.
roderickm we understand it may be overwhelming since it was for first introduction to Social Product. I would love to understand your questions and help provide answers to them.
Neeru, the webinar lost me in two ways. It assumed I was already familiar with 'Social Product', and it applied a familiar name to an unfamiliar product demo without any exposition or explanation. For some time to come, you should introduce 'Social Product' as if it's a brand new Zimbra product, because under the new name, it IS a new product. And apparently one that will remain separate and distinct from existing Zimbra software for some time.
John, as a Zimbra partner you likely have a bit more insight than we regular customers have. I'm optimistic that the merger will eventually be a net positive for Zimbra and Telligent customers alike, but there's some confusion being created in the meantime. I'm calling that out because I care about the future of the Zimbra product -- one which I've followed through the Yahoo acquisition, the VMware acquisition, and now the Telligent acquisition. I want to be respectful of both teams' efforts while being honest about how they're coming across to customers, so that they may improve.
I agree with you, I think words such as collaboration, social, and unified convey little substance/meaning to customers. That's why it's often helpful to create new names that can take on their own definition.
For instance, we all know what Exchange is. It doesn't need additional descriptive words. The same goes for Facebook and Twitter. These single words carry a rich definition of the products they represent.
Likewise, Zimbra has cultivated its own definition. I usually explain Zimbra as being "web-based email and calendaring," which obviously doesn't describe all its features but is more clear than saying, "it's a collaboration suite." Similarly, "online discussion forum" or "private facebook" is better understood than "social community."
Zimbra, to me, refers to the software and the company that made it. There are two editions of the Zimbra software: Network Edition, and Open Source Edition (not Community Edition). Zimbra Community refers collectively to users of, and contributors to, both products. Communities are groups of people, not grades of software.
I expect these definitions will shift somewhat under the new owners. But please, be careful! ZCS and ZSC? Both at version 8.0? Adding a little "community" on everything? Really? I'm surprised that Telligent would acquire the Zimbra corporate name and then dilute its value by applying the brand in confusing ways.
IMO, the banners that proclaim "The future of collaboration: Telligent + Zimbra" from both zimbra.com and telligent.com are clear and timely messaging. And I appreciate the clear assertion that the acquisition will not impact the next major release of Zimbra early next year. But now that 'Social Product' is wearing the Zimbra badge, I want to know details on how it relates to, and may affect the direction of, the email and calendaring platform on which our business relies.
roderickm - thank you so much for your candid feedback. As Director of Marketing, I can see where the product names and related semantics causes confusion. We have planned many more webinars and content in general in the upcoming weeks and months to continue to clarify our commitment to both the social and email/collaboration industries. We will continue to educate and reinforce our message.
We value this insight and will definitely keep it in mind as we educate legacy Zimbra customers.
I fully agree with what posted by roderickm, I found the webminar below my expectation.
I think that a good idea could be a kind of webminar / meeting with all aged Zimbra Partners where:
1. Telligent explain the Zimbra Product evolution plans.
2. We give you our feedback and you can collect our suggestion / critics in order to avoid critical mistake.
Really, I remember that in the past Scalix was a great product, promising and a real competitor for Microsoft Exchange.. but it died.
Today Zimbra is really (I think) the strongest alternative to Exchange, Google and other big solution.
I'm confident that Zimbra + Social appeal from telligent could became stronger but it's important don't repeat the same errors other companies did in the past.
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