[LINK] No deal with Yahoo! re Zimbra and Australian non-profits

Darrell Burkey darrell.burkey at anu.edu.au
Tue Oct 28 10:05:13 EST 2008

Wearing my hat as President of Computing Assistance Support & Education
(see http://www.case.org.au) I'm hoping that someone here might be
connected enough to know someone at Yahoo!, preferably in Australia,
with a bit more authority to discuss important issues than their US
sales team. We could really use a helping hand in this situation.

For some time we have been testing the Zimbra Collaboration Suite for
use by Australian non-profit organisations to offer our members using
open source based systems the benefits of workgroup collaboration

All was going well until we discovered that the 50% discount offered to
non-profit organisations only applies to 25 users and up. The bottom
line here is that we thought we would be able to offer Zimbra at around
$A18/seat/year to our member organisations. However, for a smaller group
of say 10 staff, which is a quite common size in our sector, the price
will be almost $A50/seat/year. There is an open source version which is
free but it does not include important features that users prefer.

I have been quite shocked that Yahoo! (owners of Zimbra) appear to have
no willingness at all to negotiate this matter with CASE in spite of our
desire to do this on a national basis and our solid reputation. If we
can't support smaller groups it's a deal breaker for us.

We work in an environment where companies like MS now give away server
software and Exchange software to non-profits. This makes organisations
believe they are getting a great deal so they forge ahead not taking in
to account TCO which typically will end up costing them thousands more
than running a product like Zimbra on a Linux server.  

What we are suggesting to Yahoo! will cost them virtually nothing as we
will certainly be selling/supporting many 25+ user sites as well and we
do all the support anyway, which is the bulk of their costs. We are
interested in becoming a Value Added Reseller such as we did with
Grisoft (makers of AVG anti-virus software) and even establishing
ourselves as a hosted service provider to groups with less than 10 users
so they too can benefit even without a server, or even office much like
using Google apps. 

I do a fair amount of negotiations of this type but I must say that I
have never hit such a brick wall as I have with Yahoo!. If anyone here
can offer advice or assistance we would greatly appreciate it. We are
now looking at considerable expense to remove/replace their software at
one site where we went in to full production and cancelling a trial with
one of the largest community services in the ACT. 

Darrell Burkey
UNIX Systems Administrator
College of Asia & the Pacific
Australian National University 
Ph: (02) 6125 4160

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