|By Sridhar Vembu||
|September 22, 2009 06:00 AM EDT||
There are reports that Yahoo has put Zimbra on the block. Honestly, this came as no surprise at all to us at Zoho.
I remember scratching my head when the acquisition was made; I didn't see how an enterprise/business focused open source offering like Zimbra fit with Yahoo, as a technology, as a business or strategically. Zimbra is an open source installable product offering primarily intended to be installed within medium to large organizations. Yahoo has never made an installed product in its history and is mainly focused on consumers, with an occasional foray to sell those consumer-focused applications to small businesses.
Zimbra's service provider offerings made no strategic sense to Yahoo either, because Yahoo, being a service provider itself, has no interest in selling technology to other service providers like Comcast. Finally, we have been on both sides of the product vs. web-service divide, and I can assert with confidence that it is not easy to take a product and make it into a scalable web service; in fact, the main reason Zoho Mail got delayed was that it was originally written as an installable product, much like Zimbra, and we essentially rewrote it to be a web service.
Most acquisitions fail, but I believe this particular one was particularly poorly thought out. The real cost of the acquisition is not just the $350 million paid by Yahoo. In 2007, Zimbra was starting to position itself as a cloud applications suite, a competitor to Zoho, and better known than Zoho. It is fair to say that today Zimbra is not our main competitor. The acquisition clearly slowed them down. Of course, from the point of view of investors or management, the Zimbra acquisition made sense: they got theirs, so it is a “win” for them.
It is unlikely that anyone would pay $350 million for Zimbra today, so for Yahoo, it is a clear monetary loss. Zimbra customers lose too, because both the original acquisition and now the de-acquisition inevitably lead to product delays and confusion. Ultimately, the Zimbra acquisition proved to be a negative-sum game, or value destruction. The price paid wasn't compensated by the value created to Yahoo or the customers.
Why do we care to write about this? Actually, deals like Zimbra are why we never took venture capital and have said “no” to acquisitions. I know and respect a lot of venture capitalists, but I honestly believe the VC model is too “exit” focused. I would not say that VCs pressure companies to sell (that would be too simplistic), but the implicit understanding when you take venture capital is that you have to be working towards an exit. Well, for some of us, a company is not just a disposable commodity; it is an institution, a culture, and we prefer to build things slowly. In that sense, though we are direct competitors, I really admire the 37Signals crew, and we really respect their view on this.
[This Opinion piece appeared originally here and is republished under a Creative Commons license.]
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...
Feb. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 3,013
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at ...
Feb. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,611
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Feb. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 3,651
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
Feb. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 2,316
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Feb. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 2,810
NuoDB just introduced the Swifts 2.1 Release. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc., discussed why scaling databases in the cloud is challenging, why building your application on top of the infrastructure that is designed with this in mind makes a difference, and what you can do with NuoDB that simplifies your programming model, your operations model.
Feb. 1, 2015 10:15 AM EST Reads: 1,711
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
Feb. 1, 2015 10:15 AM EST Reads: 2,105
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
Feb. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,320
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,479
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
Feb. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,314
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session a...
Feb. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,584
“We are a managed services company. We have taken the key aspects of the cloud and the purposed data center and merged the two together and launched the Purposed Cloud about 18–24 months ago," explained Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,156
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 1, 2015 09:30 AM EST Reads: 2,474
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,874
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
Feb. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,967
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
Feb. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 3,014
"Application monitoring and intelligence can smooth the path in a DevOps environment. In a DevOps environment you see constant change. If you are trying to monitor things in a constantly changing environment, you're going to spend a lot of your job fixing your monitoring," explained Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,982
"Desktop as a Service is emerging as a very big trend. One of the big influencers of this – for Esri – is that we have a large user base that uses virtualization and they are looking at Desktop as a Service right now," explained John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,481
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
Feb. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,718