September 2020 Zeta Alliance Weekly Call Summaries

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September 2020 Zeta Alliance Weekly Call Summaries

Postby rleiker » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:17 am

Hello Zimbra Community,

Here is a summary of this week’s conference call. A few brief reminders:

September 1, 2020

Regression Introduced in 8.8.15 Patch 13
Randy L. reported that after installing 8.8.15 Patch 13, and logging in to the Zimbra Web Client to send an email from a Persona account, that an error similar to “operation sent to wrong host (you want 'store2.example.com')” occurs and the email will not send. However, email can continue to be sent successfully from the primary email account. John H. said this is a newly discovered regression due to the inclusion of a fix for ZBUG-1666 included in 8.8.15 Patch 13 and is known to affect Zimbra installations with more than one mailbox server. ZBUG-1666 was discussed in the July 14th Zeta Alliance call summary (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=68486#p298396) and relates to a “permission denied” error when sending an email containing an inline image in the signature. John said that the fix for ZBUG-1666 has been rolled back and Patch 13 has been re-released this week in the Zimbra repos due to too many service providers reporting occurrences of this issue with their customers. If you installed Patch 13 prior to September 2nd, you will need to re-install Patch 13 to obtain the roll back for ZBUG-1666.

Update On Zimbra Usage Reporting Tool (ZURT) Issue
Randy L. shared an update on the issue he reported in the ZURT in the August 25th Zeta Alliance call (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=68589#p298821). He said that even though the “dry run” feature of the ZURT throws a Java exception, the ZURT still seems to be able to successfully report mailbox usage data to the usage.zimbra.com site successfully, when the ZURT service is started normally. A related issue Randy said he discovered is that when using the “dry run” feature of the ZURT, it reports mailbox usage to usage.zimbra.com, even though the ZURT documentation indicates this should not occur. John H. said Zimbra Support investigated the first of these two issues so far and found the Java exception in the dry run feature is due to one or more mailboxes not being assigned to a Class Of Service and that a fix is in the works. Mark S. asked if the ZURT is capable of reporting Zimbra Connect license usage automatically to the usage.zimbra.com site. John H. said that it does not currently, but it is on the road map as a future capability to be added.

Minor Typo In the 8.8.15 Patch 13 Release Notes
Randy L said there is a minor typo in the Zimbra Connect section in the 8.8.15 Patch 13 release notes that says “It is not possible to move groups/spaces/channels between hosts”, when it should instead state: “It is now possible…”.

Follow-Up To Earlier Reports Of Calendar Sync Issues And Alternative Email Apps Suggestions
In earlier Zeta Alliance calls in August, there were discussions related to issues synchronizing calendars in Zimbra with Office 365 accounts. Cine followed-up on a related topic and said that Zextras has created several workarounds for calendar and tag sync issues experienced when using ActiveSync versions 16 and 16.1 for mobile devices in Zimbra. These workarounds are anticipated to be available in the next upcoming Zextras release, which will then be incorporated in to a follow-up new Zimbra release. Mark S. said that in his experience with this issue, because the initial sync would never complete on his customers’ phones using the native iOS apps, data would appear/disappear unexpectedly. Mark also said that while troubleshooting the issue with Zimbra Support, he was asked to install the Spark Email app, and the severity of the syncing issue seemed to be reduced. John E. said he has noticed a few intermittent issues with the Spark app in his testing and said there have been reports of issues with the Spark desktop app not working, and email message bodies unexpectedly refreshing or not appearing at all, along with the calendar feature in Spark not syncing correctly when using ActiveSync. Cine said he has used the Nine app for a number of years and that it was the best $9 he spent on an email app, although he finds their integrated calendar feature to not be as capable. Mark said he is happy to recommend Nine to his customers, but is concerned his clients will want justification of why the native iOS mail app no longer works well with Zimbra. Cine said that he thinks because Nine’s core business is an email app, that they do this particular function very well, as compared to a general purpose mail app provided by a phone manufacturer on a mobile device.


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Re: September 2020 Zeta Alliance Weekly Call Summaries

Postby DualBoot » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:32 am

Hello,

John said that the fix for ZBUG-1666 has been rolled back

Does it mean that this bug is open again ? Is there a release date for a definitive fix ?

Regards,
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Re: September 2020 Zeta Alliance Weekly Call Summaries

Postby rleiker » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:47 am

DualBoot wrote:Does it mean that this bug is open again ? Is there a release date for a definitive fix ?


That is my understanding that it is considered an open issue again. There was no discussion of a new release date for the fix, but I think the aim is to include the fix in the next patches for 8.8.15 and 9.0.
Last edited by rleiker on Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: September 2020 Zeta Alliance Weekly Call Summaries

Postby rleiker » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:50 am

Hello Zimbra Community,

Here is a summary of this week’s conference call. A few brief reminders:

September 8, 2020

Questions and Answers About Zimbra Cloud
John E. said that Zimbra Cloud officially launched last week at https://zimbracloud.com/ as a SaaS offering with Zimbra BSP (Business Service Provider), XMission, as the initial partner. John asked those on the call if anyone had questions about this new offering. What follows is the discussion in question and answer format:

Q: Mark S. asked if a time frame is available of when other Zimbra partners can start selling Zimbra Cloud?

A: John E. said he did not have an answer to this question at this time.

Q: Mark S. asked if XMission is hosting the Zimbra Cloud service, or if Synacor is hosting it?

A: John E. said that Synacor is hosting it, but Zimbra Cloud will be sold exclusively through the channel via Zimbra partners. It is another tool that partners can use to augment their own self-hosted Zimbra offering to capture new customers.

Q: Mark S. asked which partners will be eligible to sell Zimbra Cloud (BSPs, VARs, or both)?

A: John E. said that to his knowledge, it will be available to both BSPs and VARs.

Q: Mark S. asked what type of customer would be the best prospect for Zimbra Cloud?

A: John E. said that it is up to partners to make this determination, but generally Zimbra Cloud is not designed to be quite as flexible as on-premise installs of Zimbra. However, Zimbra Cloud offers partners the ability to place low margin customers, that partners might be providing service to today with an on-premise Zimbra install, and instead set them up with Zimbra Cloud which is self-service orientated, while partners can use their currently installed on-premise Zimbra infrastructure to service higher margin customers.

Q: Mark S. asked what provisioning and migration tools are available for Zimbra Cloud?

A: John E. said that the tools differ from on-premise Zimbra in that they are designed to function on an account-by-account self-service basis, rather than for bulk provisioning and migration for whole domains. The Zimbra Cloud tools use a wizard-driven approach to import mailboxes from any other supported service, which currently includes: GSuite/Gmail, Office 365, Yahoo, AOL, on-premise Zimbra, or any other mail server that supports IMAP.

Q: Mark S. asked if there is any type of bulk provisioning available for Zimbra Cloud that Zimbra partners can use?

A: John E. said not at this time, but he thinks this is coming in the future and Zimbra Cloud fits smaller organizations best at this time.

Q: Mark S. asked in the scenario where an organization is using GSuite or Office 365 today, and wants to migrate to Zimbra Cloud, does each user need to go to the Zimbra Cloud web site to register their account and perform a migration?

A: John E. said there is flexibility where the on-boarding happens for individuals, either by using a trial Zimbra Cloud account, or using an API accessible via a Zimbra partner. For mailbox provisioning that would normally be done through the Zimbra Admin Console or zmprov, for on-premise Zimbra installs, Zimbra Cloud offers an API to do these types of tasks.

Q: Mark S. said that one of the challenges in the on-boarding process for new customers, is ensuring that all of the email aliases are accounted for and setup. How is this handled for Zimbra Cloud?

A: John E. said that email aliases are not yet available in Zimbra Cloud but it is on the road map. When someone signs up, they are initially provisioned an account using a sub-domain on a Synacor owned domain. A Zimbra Cloud customer can then register their own domain for regular mailbox usage. The process of creating DNS MX (mail exchanger) records or registering a new domain name is currently tailored for XMission and may differ when additional Zimbra partners can begin offering Zimbra Cloud.

Q: Mark S. said that some of import tools built in to Zimbra Cloud today seem to only allow importing of email, while others allow for importing email, contacts, and calendars and asked when the importing options for Zimbra Cloud will reach parity with those available for on-premise hosted Zimbra?

A: John E. said that Zimbra Cloud is focused on the import processes that can be done in an automated way for end users, and additional import capabilities will be added in the future, when possible.

Q: Mark S. asked about how mailbox backups and restores are handled for Zimbra Cloud?

A: John E. said that XMission has the ability to raise support cases with Synacor to request mailbox restores and that self-service restores are forthcoming as a future feature.

Q: Mark S. asked if Zimbra Cloud has a unique selling proposition apart from services like GSuite or Yahoo?

A: John said that Zimbra Cloud will always be feature-limited, as compared to what a partner can sell to their customers using an on-premises version of Zimbra, and Zimbra Cloud is priced accordingly.

Q: Marc G. expressed concerns about feature parity between what will be available in Zimbra Cloud, as it applies to HA (high-availability), and on-premises Zimbra 8.8.15 and 9.0, since Zimbra Cloud is based on Zimbra X. Zimbra X achieves high-availability using clustered Docker containers, managed by Kubernetes.

A: John E. said that the current plans are to make as many features in Zimbra Cloud available within Zimbra 9 as practical. Randy L. commented that the Zextras road map (https://www.zextras.com/roadmap-2020/) suggests that something is in the works for Zimbra mailbox HA in November 2020 which may at least partially address the HA needs for on-premise installs of Zimbra.

John E. said that if anyone has additional questions about Zimbra Cloud and how it relates to partners, that he encourages partners to reach out to him.

Summary Of Recent Synacor Investor Call
Mark S. shared a summary of the most recent investor call with Himesh Bhise (CEO of Synacor), and said he has concerns about the future of SaaS sales, like Zimbra, for Synacor. He said that a statement from Himesh about the long term strategy for Zimbra would be very helpful. Mark encouraged those on the call to listen to the most recent and future investor calls with Himesh. John E. said the long term strategy includes not only the Zimbra product, but also the Zimbra business side too. Mark S. shared a link to the 2nd quarter earnings call: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2402372/3E ... 79D3DE2BEE . Mark also shared this link https://synacor.com/investor-relations/overview/ containing other investor news and presentations.

Zimbra Road Map and Partner Concerns
Marc G. and Mark S. said they would both greatly value a longer term road map being published by Synacor beyond just the current Zimbra LTS (long term support) releases. Current LTS releases are shown on this page: https://www.zimbra.com/support/support- ... lifecycle/ . Mark S. thinks a major missing piece in the Zimbra road map is a hybrid hosting offering, as compared to options available with Office 365’s F3 and F5 service tiers. John E. said that the road map is driven entirely by customer demand and that Zimbra Cloud is not the only thing Synacor might sell, for example, variations to Zimbra Cloud are sometimes sold to government agencies, where Synacor on-site employees manage a private version of Zimbra Cloud for those government agencies. Mark S. commented that verticals like the healthcare industry value the hybrid model where data sovereignty is important and BAAs (business associate agreements) normally need to be signed. John E. said that he is very focused on attrition situations with Zimbra involving Office 365, and he is putting together some package options for Zimbra partners to better compete. These options may appear in Quarter 1 2021 or Quarter 4 2020, at the earliest. Mark S. suggested creating partner co-branding slicks for marketing and said that this would be helpful for partners to add their own logos to the slicks. John E. said he has been pushing to lift a number of restrictions that currently exist with marketing materials available in the Zimbra BSP program and that if there are any pain issues, he encourages partners to raise those issues with him for further discussions.

Free/Busy Interoperability and Other Zimbra Integrations
Mark G. asked about how to connect Zimbra to an Exchange server for free/busy information. Mark S. suggested checking the Zimbra Wiki, which has a couple of articles discussing this topic. John E. commented that a common issue with free/busy interoperability is that there are no standards, since everything uses proprietary methods. Marc G. also asked about how to integrate Zimbra with services like Calendly. John said that Zimbra has looked at the possibility of creating a Zimlet for this integration and that Zimbra is also looking closely at integrations for other general-use services, rather than just for specific verticals, as this could otherwise compete with partners that specialize in vertical-specific integrations for Zimbra.
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Re: September 2020 Zeta Alliance Weekly Call Summaries

Postby rleiker » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:49 am

Hello Zimbra Community,

Here is a summary of this week’s conference call. A few brief reminders:

September 15, 2020

Integrating Calendly With Zimbra
Noah P. said he has a couple of customers trying to integrate Calendly with their Zimbra calendars. Noah contacted Calendly support to discuss how to integrate and was told that they did not have resources to add interoperability with Zimbra, and instead they recommended using Exchange, which was not helpful. He also learned that Calendly does not support integrations using ActiveSync, which is available in Zimbra. Noah reported that he also considered youcanbook.me, which offers a CalDAV interface for integrations, but it too did not appear to work well with Zimbra. John E. said that a Calendly integration is on the Zimbra road map for the Modern UI in 9.0, but he did not know the timeline of when this might occur. Cine suggested looking in to harmonizely.com which provides both CalDAV and Zapier support for integration with Zimbra. John E. asked Noah about the specific integration goals he is seeking to achieve with Calendly and Zimbra. Noah said that he is trying to enable outside parties to schedule appointments via Calendly, which then uses Zimbra calendars to determine availability for appointments.

Differentiation Between Zimbra Cloud and On-Premises Zimbra
Following-up on the prior week’s Zeta Alliance call where Zimbra Cloud was discussed in detail, Noah P. asked which features Zimbra BSPs (Business Service Providers) can rely on that are unlikely to be implemented in Zimbra Cloud, and remain only available in on-premises Zimbra installs, for market differentiation purposes. John E. said the more traditional on-premise features in Zimbra are less likely to appear in Zimbra Cloud, which for example, would include the archive and discovery features. But, Zimbra Cloud is likely to implement most, if not all, of the Modern UI integrations available in Zimbra 9.0, like Zoom, DropBox, etc. Noah said he feels Zimbra Cloud is driving Zimbra pricing downward for BSPs, so he is trying to show justification of the value provided by an on-premise install for Zimbra to customers. John E. said that Zimbra Cloud is designed to push back against certain low-cost service offerings from Microsoft and Google. He explained that this is more difficult to do in markets outside of North America where Microsoft seems intent on diving for a $0 price point, as compared to the North American market where there does seem to be a pricing floor. He said that Synacor is still learning what works best with Zimbra Cloud and feedback on this new service is welcome. Mark S. asked if there were any updates available on when the Zimbra channel can begin to sell Zimbra Cloud. John E. said the further roll out globally is pending the availability of a complete picture of how such a scenario could play out, and not necessarily due to technical barriers, but it does not yet have a firm timeline.

Question About Recent Synacor Earnings Call
Mark S. asked about the last earnings call for Synacor with Himesh Bhise, where there was a discussion about head-count reductions and wondered how it affected the Zimbra division. John E. suggested re-listening to the earnings call for everyone to form their own opinions.

CardDAV Issue With iOS Devices
Mark S. asked if anyone is having trouble with CardDAV when using an iOS device for synchronizing contacts. John H. said there is a known Apple bug in iOS 14 that is being investigated, where there is a rewrite issue taking place involving a local host name, but that does not seem to be related to the issue Mark asked about. Mark said that CardDAV in Zimbra does not seem to be responding appropriately when he creates a CardDAV account on an iPhone, similar to an issue discussed in an earlier Zeta Alliance conference call where certain contacts do not seem to be getting synchronized to an iPhone when using ActiveSync. Mark said he has not observed anything relevant to the issue in the Zimbra logs hinting at the specific cause of the issue. John E. said that since the CardDAV standard is easy to access over HTTPS, he suggested querying the CardDAV interface on Mark’s Zimbra server to look for anything that looks unusual, and suggested using either a library called Neon or another utility called Cadaver for querying CardDAV on the Zimbra server.

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