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rleslie

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I realize there has been a lot of posts regarding offline mode. However, i noticed that, on the latest release, there was a beta download for an outlook synchronization plug-in. Does this mean there is finally support for working offline? There seems to have been very little written about this download? So i'm wondering.....

We just made a decision to move to Kerio from Imail. We got sick of Imail and downloaded the eval version of kerio and played around with it and were impressed with it. We have roughly around 500 users....most of whom are pop3 users. Although it would be nice for some of our users to use the KOC feature and for the ones with laptops i'm sure they would like to be able to work on an email in an airport etc without actually having to have an internet connection.
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jonbrain

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Amazingly 6.2 doesn't have any Offline Support. Unless Kerio are going to suprise us and include it in the final release.
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Netrex

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We're considering Zimbra as an Kerio alternative. Zimbra does support offline mode with Outlook. It takes Kerio too much time to answer to this matter with a proper connector.
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jonbrain

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That looks amazing. Am definitely going to give a try on a test server.
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iigs

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We are also lookign at Zimbra, the offline support is interesting.....
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freakinvibe

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Just had a look at Zimbra as well, looks VERY good. So when Kerio comes up with another price increase, we will have to think twice...

Dexion AG - The Blackberry Specialists in Switzerland
https://dexionag.ch
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Pavel Dobry (Kerio)

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<personal opinion>
I would suggest to do a thorough testing and comparison. You will probably find that many things in Zimbra don't work so well as it may look at first sight.
</personal opinion>
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freakinvibe

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Sure, before changing a mail system, thorough testing is needed. But it is always good to watch the comptetitors.

Dexion AG - The Blackberry Specialists in Switzerland
https://dexionag.ch
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Lyle M

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I just love a forum for opinions! So here's mine (for what it's worth)...

Our environment is mostly Mac, so we've had offline synchronization for mail, contacts, and calendars for some time using MS Entourage 2004. Entourage has its bugs and interface quirks, but is fairly solid and VERY easy to use and configure.

Back when KMS's calendars were too buggy to use (time zone change glitches, infinitely repeating events during sync, etc.), I took a glance at Zimbra. The paid version, which includes the MAPI support, was significantly more expensive than KMS. I imagine that price gap will grow as some of us stop paying for the McAfee license renewals. I didn't try to test MAPI, so I can't comment on it. I did play with their web interface and have to say that it looks very impressive - based on about 10 minutes of exposure.

This is where I really start flinging around my opinion. Zimbra's web interface is their shining star. Not because it meets the needs of our offline users - it doesn't. It's because they spent their development efforts on something cool and different and that's totally in their control.

Even though I am a Mac user, I'm not a Microsoft hater. But, I do find Outlook to be an unruly and ugly application (100% opinion! To each, his own) and a terrible IMAP client. In my perfect little world, Outlook would only exist as an Exchange client (where it is quite effective). In my conversations with our few Outlook users (including my boss), they use Outlook because they have no other options. If I could provide for them another groupware client option, they would try it - they're not married to Outlook.

Based on my limited scope of experience, if I were building a groupware solution, I would put my development efforts into my own client (and conduits for the major PDA platforms) instead of Outlook. There's too much risk in allocating resources to get the server side working with a client that can change on another company's whim. I'm not a developer, but I don't believe MS offers much in the way of support or tools for Outlook integration. Why would they want to help steer people away from Exchange?

So, imagine a free Kerio mail client made available to the world on all the major platforms. This makes the Kerio name ubiquitous. People use Outlook because it's what they know. If I had a mass of users who already had a high comfort level using Kerio Client, it would make my KMS purchase decision that much easier. Heck, it may even be easier to make a client that's Exchange friendly than it is to make a server that's Outlook friendly. Build a better mail client and the world will beat a path to your door! Sell a mail server that integrates with that wonderful ubiquitous client, and admins will buy it.

Again, let me stress, this is just my opinion. I'm not crazy enough to believe that my ideas work for everyone else. Of course, this is a forum, and the opinion door has been opened. So, if you have constructive comments on the subject - have at it!

If you read this far - thanks!

-Lyle Millander
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iigs

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Kerio_pdobry wrote on Mon, 10 July 2006 09:43

<personal opinion>
I would suggest to do a thorough testing and comparison. You will probably find that many things in Zimbra don't work so well as it may look at first sight.
</personal opinion>



They do have some form of offline support though, which more stable as it may be, KMS does not at this time.
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scottwilkins

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We tested Zimbra, MDeamon and Kerio before deciding on Kerio. We use a proprietary customer management database that unfortunately requires Outlook for the e-mail link. So, in lue of the overly expensive Exchange option it seemed we could get decent return from something more simple and less expensive. MDeamon was very unruly for administration, though it's features were vast. And it's web interface without a special plug in was bad. Zimbra was extremely unstable in my environment, not sure why. It just didn't run smooth and we actually lost some messages for an unknown reason. Zimbra support was not helpfull either, plus pricing was about twice that of Kerio. Anyway I had a lot of recommendations for Kerio from many good sources, so that's the way we went. And I'm not unhappy at all with our decision. Though, like most here, I'm waiting with baited breath for the offline mode too. Our remotes and the few Crackberry users could really benifit from this feature when it arrives.
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rleslie

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This is in regards to Lyle Millander's comments....

I was thinking the same thing that, if offline mode is so difficult to implement, why not come up with their own email client. Of course, in my situation i work for a company where we have quite a few little old ladies (oldest being in her early 90s); so introducing anything too new would unfortunately be out of the question. We have one office of users who mainly use outlook express. We tried to upgrade them to outlook but they freaked out so we put them back on outlook express.
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scottwilkins

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rleslie wrote on Wed, 12 July 2006 01:57

I was thinking the same thing that, if offline mode is so difficult to implement, why not come up with their own email client.



They do don't they? Webmail? At least that way you don't have to install a client, it's already there and 100% proprietary in operation to Kerio.
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freakinvibe

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Yes, but Webmail can't be used offline, and that's what many customers want.

I doubt that a Kerio Mail Client would be a good idea. In our company we had Groupwise for a long time. The killer criteria for it was that the users wanted the look-and-feel of Outlook, because they were used to it from home.

So even a technically brilliant client might fail if it doesn't appeal to the users. And, programming a mail client is far from easy, because nowadays it has to be packed with a lot of features.

Regards, Pascal

Dexion AG - The Blackberry Specialists in Switzerland
https://dexionag.ch
Lyle M

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freakinvibe wrote on Wed, 12 July 2006 09:23

I doubt that a Kerio Mail Client would be a good idea. In our company we had Groupwise for a long time. The killer criteria for it was that the users wanted the look-and-feel of Outlook, because they were used to it from home.

So even a technically brilliant client might fail if it doesn't appeal to the users. And, programming a mail client is far from easy, because nowadays it has to be packed with a lot of features.

Regards, Pascal


Hi Pascal,

Very good points to consider! So, when making a mail client, a developer should pay close attention to the user interface and not just the feature set (every time I try to retype this, it sounds sarcastic - please know that's not my intended tone).

Based on the 2+ years of effort on the Outlook "off-line" mode, I'm willing to bet it's far from easy too! Sure there's a gamble involved in taking the client tack - most things in business and technology are a gamble. But the Kerio Client would be free (at least at the start), whereas Outlook is not. So, think of Explorer vs. Firefox. Who would win in a scenario where Explorer was not built into every copy of Windows?

There are two primary goals to meet with a Kerio client. First, give existing KMS customers a mechanism for taking full advantage of all the advanced KMS features with the benefit of off-line use. Ideally, it would be multi-platform, which provides for a consistent interface across the board (easier support and training anyone?). Second, produce a free stand-alone mail, directory, hotsync, calendar (kms and ical) client that is appealing to the masses. If done right - perhaps with the feedback and beta-testing power of KMS admins - such a client will be downloaded and used. This makes the Kerio name ubiquitous and creates a user base with Kerio Client familiarity.

I would be surprised if anyone here believes developing a mail client is easy. The questions are, what will it take to build it, support it, and market it? What are the killer features and interface elements that will appeal to the broadest base? How does the development cost and build cycle compare to the understandably vaporous off-line KOC? And, will it pay off for Kerio? There's much more to this, I'm sure. But, I'm just a regular guy - what do I know? :-)

All the best,
Lyle
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