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Zimbra Collaboration Suite Adds Link To iPhones

The Zimbra Mobile for iPhone 2.0 service allows two-way synchronization of e-mail, calendars, and address books.

Charles Babcock

July 15, 2008

2 Min Read

Zimbra, a unit of Yahoo, is offering automated over-the-air synchronization between iPhones and its Zimbra Collaboration Suite server, making the iPhone more of a data-synchronized, enterprise-ready device, said Zimbra officials.

The Zimbra Mobile for iPhone 2.0 service allows two-way synchronization of e-mail, calendar, and address book, allowing business users traveling out of the office to get their latest mail, appointments, or updated contact information. "We believe the iPhone is now an enterprise class device," said John Robb, Zimbra's VP of marketing. Zimbra in its first phase of iPhone 2.0 support is providing synchronization for Apple's native 2.0 applications on the iPhone. "We will look to expand the support" to use of Zimbra's own client applications, such as Zimbra Documents, Zimbra Tasks, or Zimbra Briefcase in the future, Robb said.

The Zimbra support gives the iPhone a chance to be a more direct competitor with an established enterprise data synchronization devices, such as the RIM BlackBerry. Zimbra already supports the Windows Mobile Pocket PC, the Treo Palm OS series, and Nokia E series smartphones. "We've been tuning and polishing Zimbra Mobile to be a great match for the iPhone 2.0 software," wrote J.J. Zhuang, a Zimbra chief architect, in a blog post on July 11.

The Zimbra Mobile service is available to existing Zimbra subscribers of its $500-a-year Network Edition of Collaboration Suite, provided the subscribers have an Apple iPhone with the just released 2.0 version its software. Zimbra's open source code offerings and device neutral approach prompted Stanford University's IT department to announce last week that it will offer Zimbra e-mail and calendar services to faculty and students later this summer, replacing Web mail (such as Google Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft Hotmail, etc.) and an Oracle calendar application, Sundial.

Zimbra was selected because it is available as open source code and "allows access to e-mail, calendar, and contact lists from a single, unified Web interface," said Ammy Hill, campus readiness specialist for IT service at the university, in a statement to students and faculty on the upcoming change. She said the Zimbra was also selected because it will work with Windows, Macintosh, or Linux.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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