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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Sanjay Zalavadia, Xenia von Wedel, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

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Zimbra Leverages Cloud Computing

Delivers flexible collaboration platform to educational institutions

Zimbra, a division of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) and the leader in open source, next-generation messaging and collaboration software, today announced that educational institutions will now have access to the award-winning Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS), without having to manage on-premise software and hardware. Zimbra Hosted leverages the global cloud computing power of Yahoo! to bring world-class collaboration to educational institutions, which can now choose which delivery method -- on-site, Zimbra hosting, or hosting through local partners -- will best meet the needs for collaboration within their community. The flexibility that Zimbra offers is unmatched by competitors and helps schools decide how best they can serve their diverse constituencies -- students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

With over 30,000 students, faculty, and staff, not to mention thousands of alumni, we needed a collaboration system that would offer best-in-class email and calendar for our students and enterprise features for our faculty, said James Lyall, associate vice prost of IT at Kansas State University. We evaluated many collaboration systems, and found that there was nothing else on the market that could compare to Zimbra Hosted, which offers superb technology, and delivers different tiers of service for our different constituencies. Additionally, we can retain control over the system through flexible branding and privacy options, without worrying about installation, upgrades or maintenance.

Zimbra Hosted leverages Yahoo!s worldwide infrastructure, allowing Zimbra to provide proven service level agreements (SLA) -- with 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime, 24/7 support and built-in disaster recovery features. By taking advantage of cloud computing, Zimbra brings customers powerful access to its communication and collaboration tools without associated infrastructure costs and resources for technology management and administration. Users of Zimbra Hosted will not need to implement software upgrades, pay for maintenance, or add additional hardware.

More than 500 educational institutions are already using Zimbras collaboration and communications software, but our customers wanted more options and flexibility for delivery and management, said Satish Dharmaraj, Zimbra co-founder and Yahoo! vice president. Zimbra is the partner of choice with the only open collaboration solution on the market that is built from the ground up to offer both on-site and hosted options. With the new Zimbra Hosted, we have removed the challenge of managing thousands of mailboxes and encouraged schools to rebrand Zimbra as their own, creating a communications portal that connects all key audiences.

Zimbras Hosted solution offers educational institutions the sleek Zimbra experience, with the latest in online and offline technology, enabling better collaboration amongst students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Key features of the Zimbra Hosted for Education include:

  • Control over look, feel, and brand options including logo/color scheme of collaboration suite, enabling schools to build a communications hub around Zimbra;
  • Special faculty packages that include enterprise-grade feature (Outlook® Sync, Apple® sync, BlackBerry® and more);
  • Mobile access to Zimbra on a wide range of handsets including the iPhone, J2ME enabled devices, or any mobile web browser, giving students, faculty, and staff the option to use any device they wish;
  • Comprehensive group scheduling calendar, along with RSS and Atom support, which allows schools to pre-populate the ZCS with campus-wide events, sporting events, lectures, or even class schedules;
  • Important tools for reducing maintenance costs for system administrators including per mailbox restore;
  • Data privacy and protection policies that enable educational institutions to maintain control over the contents of their collaboration suite;
  • Offline access via Zimbra Desktop, the AJAX experience for Zimbra users and users of existing POP and IMAP e-mail servers;
  • Native e-mail, contacts, synchronization from Zimbra to Outlook 2007; and
  • Ability to integrate with Internet and intranet data, as well as third-party application mash-ups (Zimlets).

Pricing and Availability
Zimbra Hosted for Education is available for students, faculty and alumni. Pricing is per mailbox and varies for different product versions. Zimbra offers substantial discounts for the education market -- contact [email protected] for the latest pricing.

About Zimbra
Zimbra, a Yahoo! division, is a leading provider of collaboration software for universities, businesses and service providers. Zimbra's rich AJAX interface is available on or offline to dramatically improve the collaboration experience. Zimbra is available on-site or on-demand through our extensive hosted partner program. More information at www.zimbra.com.

About Yahoo!
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! is focused on powering its communities of users, advertisers, publishers, and developers by creating indispensable experiences built on trust. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit pressroom.yahoo.com or the companys blog, Yodel Anecdotal

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