Yahoo has announced the acquisition of Zimbra, which is an open source Ajax based email, calendar and contact management software which can be used both on or offline, for $350 million.
Zimbra is widely used by universities, businesses and ISP’s to offer online and mobile access to secure email and collaborative planning.
Why acquire Zimbra?
Chief Yahoo, CEO Jerry Yang says “Our industry-leading communications products, including Yahoo! Mail, are critical to the future growth and success of Yahoo. Zimbra’s tremendous talent and innovative technology will help to extend our core Mail offerings, further strengthening our strong leadership position in this space.”
“Additionally, Zimbra’s successful relationships with large ISPs are key as we expand our worldwide partner network and continue to focus on our commitment to being the partner of choice,” Yang added.
Yahoo Senior Vice President of Communications & Communities Brad Garlinghouse says demand led to the acquisition:
Zimbra is a global leader in email and collaboration software and its services are aimed at universities, businesses, and ISPs worldwide, which is a major driver of what made the company so attractive to us.
We’re constantly being approached by these entities for our expertise in email and communications. Combining the best of Zimbra with what’s made Yahoo! Mail the top dog in web mail will not only allow us to cater to these markets better than anyone, it will allow us to expand our presence to partners and consumers at school, work, and home.
Why Zimbra? Fact is that Google has taken aggressive steps in webmail, calendaring, communications and messaging, which used to be Yahoo!’s glue in holding the Yahoo! Network together.
- GMail is more efficient than Yahoo! Mail.
- Google Calendar is quite competitive.
- Google Talk is integrated into GMail.
- Google Docs & Spreadsheets can be integrated into these offerings.
- Google is creeping on the Desktop faster than ever.
It’s time for Yahoo! to step up and win some recognition back in the mail, asp and planning segment, and the acquisition of Zimbra, a university and 2.0 darling is a successful step. Add a Yahoo! Office Suite into the mix and then you’ll really have something… perhaps an acquisition of Zoho is the answer.
Here is some information on the open source communications management Zimbra solution,from Zimbra:
Zimbra is the leading open source solution for enterprise, service provider, education, and government environments; offering administrators and their end-users unmatched benefits. It’s no wonder Zimbra is a popular choice for today’s growing Mac and Linux email server base.
Ajax based web collaboration is at the heart of ZCS 4.5. The powerful web client integrates email, contacts, shared calendar, VoIP, and online document authoring into a rich browser-based interface. Also, our unique open source Zimlet technology makes it easy for you to include custom ‘mash-ups’ in the ZCS web client.
ZCS 4.5 also includes an elegant Ajax based Admin Interface plus full scripting tools to manage the ZCS server. Full support is provided for standards-based APIs (IMAP / POP / iCal / CalDAV) as well as MAPI and iSync, which enable seamless compatibility with other clients like Microsoft Outlook, Apple desktop suite, and Mozilla Thunderbird.
Zimbra also offers Zimbra Mobile, which provides over-the-air “push” synchronization to mobile devices without the need for third party software or additional servers for most devices.