RIP Outlook, the whole company has completed its migration to Zimbra!

The title says it all, December is a quiet time of year for us and so we planned and executed a smooth transiation to Zimbra from Outlook 2000.  It went very well, and whilst there are changes for the users and some learning, there are benefits as well as drawbacks in the move.

As we are SILL on v4.5 (come on Zimbra team, we want 5.0!) our users are currenly missing the following features:

  1. the ability to access a communal mailbox (our “sales” account) without using 2 different browsers – due to be fixed in v5.0
  2. the ability to use html signatures –   due to be fixed in v5.0
  3. attaching multiple attachments is slower using zimbra rather than outlook
  4. the signature field is only 1024 characters, and our disclaimer is longer than that (thank UK law for this), and on first try the zimbra disclaimer add on recently promoted on their blog didnt work for us

Apart from these issues, its all gone perfectly.  Again, its a good feeling.

We have 3 migrations left to go.  Our MIS (massive project) due from 2 January, then the phone system using trixbox, and finally all the OSs from  W2K to ubuntu (Q1 2008)

  • Matthew Flaschen

    Congratulations. I’m glad to hear the new system is working well for you, and hope you get your remaining issues resolved quickly.

  • Have a great Christmas. I’m really pleased your migration is going well.


  • Thank you Mathew / Alan

  • Congratulations!

    I hope your Ubuntu migration goes as smoothly; are you planning on using the last LTS release (6.06) or the latest version? (7.10) After the migration, what are your plans for upgrading? (the next release (8.04) will also be a LTS release)

  • Kevin Payne

    Well Done!

    The main significance is that the project has been done here in the UK, and not in the USA where Open Source solutions are more common. Here in the UK there is still the tendency to think “Open Source” equals “It’s For Free” and subsequently roll out Open Office in place of MS Office just to save on the MS Office licence costs, which of course is wrong! This project shows very well the commitment, ups and downs, retaining the business needs focus, and assorted technical problems, all associated with migrating to a total Open Source business solution.

    As a final year undergraduate degree student in Business Information Systems I am considering using the contents of this blog to form a specific case study, which after analysis will then be included as the core of my dissertation – please let me know if there are any problems / implications in my doing that.

    It’s rare for a company to reveal the problems it has had going the Open Source route, (see link “Why open source projects are not publicised” (ZDNet 2005),,39020463,39238437,00.htm
    So again it has to be – well done!

  • Limulus

    Once we have migrated the CRM, hopefully early Jan, then we have 2 remaining migration issues, the phone system from Swyx to trixbox, and client OS from W2K to ubuntu. We have to do it in that order becuase swyx in only a windows product. We will use 7.10 and then migrate to 8.04 for LTS, if we arn’t in April by then!


  • Kevin

    No problem using this blog material for your case study, please contact me personally if you want interviews or other material. At Mercian Labels we support 2 or 3 academic projects a year with our time (and sometimes expenses), and there is space for a 2008 project if you wisht o put a detailed proposal to us.