Zimbra email tip #3

Managing your tags.

Instead of creating folder to store your emails, you can sort your emails by assigning them tags. Create new tags by clicking on the “new tag” icon on the top right of the tags box.

Once you’ve created your tags, organize your email by simply dragging and dropping your emails against the tags. The same email can have multiple tags (it show’s up as a rainbow tag)

Sometimes you may want to delete a tag. Just right click on the tag name and in the overlay that appears – select the delete option.

Several other operations can be done by right-clicking including
1. Creating a new tag
2. Renaming the tag
3. Changing tag color

Zimbra email tip #2

We’ve got a zimlet for that!

The great thing about Zimbra is that it lets users do a lot of customization. There are a lot of features that can be turned on and off based on user preferences. Several features are exposed in the form of “Zimlets” – tiny modules that are designed to do a specific task such as send you a daily summary of your appointments for the day or help you connect to WebEx.

Check which Zimlets are available to you.

Go to Preferences->Zimlets (on the Left Pane). Turn on/off Zimlet of your choice

Zimbra email tip #1

Creating an appointment from an existing appointment.

Sometimes you may want to have the same meeting, with the same people but at a different time/location.

1.Go to your calendar.
2.Right-click on the appointment and select “Create a copy”

This will create a copy of the same appointment, everything will be identical and you can edit the time/location details (as well as pretty much any other field) and send it out.

Please note that any updates on the original appointment will not be reflected in the copy.

VMware Zimbra: cloud messaging & collaboration overview

When you think about VMware End User Computing, most people will think of VMware View and ThinApp. That’s great but there is more…. Zimbra!

I noticed that I didn’t write anything about Zimbra so far. Strange, because the fact is, I’m using Zimbra every day, on all my devices and I can say I’m both a happy user and Zimbra admin (although there isn’t much to admin, it really just works).

In this article I want to give you an overview of Zimbra, get you introduced to Zimbra

In January 2010 VMware acquired Zimbra. At that time, Zimbra was part of Yahoo! Yahoo! Mail and Calendar is based on Zimbra technology.  In 2010 Zimbra has 55 million paid mailboxes and 150,000 customers worldwide: Comcast, NTT Communications and University of Pennsylvania to name a few.

VMware CTO Steve Herrod wrote a great blog why VMware acquired Zimbra. Basically, there were 2 reasons:

  1. It is VMware’s mission to simplify IT and removing complexity. With Zimbra, VMware believes it can simplify one of the core services that IT provides to end users: email and collaboration. Zimbra can be downloaded as a virtual appliance. Setup and configuration is very simple and straightforward. Besides that, it is intended for small and large organizations, so, it is very scalable in an easy way. Also, as a customer you have an option how to use Zimbra: on-prem or from the Cloud. Zimbra has proven to be a great Cloud based email and collaboration platform.
  2. The second reason is the vCloud initiative.  An initiative to develop an ecosystem of telecom, hosting and service providers that offer cloud based solutions based on VMware technology. With Zimbra, service providers now can offer email/calendaring/collaboration as a service.

In January 2010, version 6 just shipped. Today, August 2012, Zimbra 8 is in beta. New features in v8 will be the integration of Zimbra with Mitel and Cisco UC solutions: call someone straight from your email client to name an example. Also, the UI looks amazing. Very clean!

The interface is one of the strong points though. On my desktop, laptop and mobile devices I always have the same interface. It doesn’t matter if I use the web interface or the Zimbra Desktop Client. Of course you also could use the native email clients on your IOS/Android device. There even is a Zimbra Client for Android (http://bright-streams.com/?p=348)

Another great feature are Zimlets. Zimlets add functionality to Zimbra and create integration between Zimbra and other tools/applications. For example, I do have a Google Translate Zimlet installed (it sits on the backend, on the Zimbra server).

After activating the Zimlet, a Google Translate button appears in the menu bar. When I receive an email, and it is in a language I don’t understand, I simply click on the Translate button and can chose to which language I want that email to be translated. Other examples are: Salesforce and Webex zimlets.

Zimbra has too many features to discuss during this overview. I do want to mention thought, that Zimbra can be added as a service to Horizon Application Manager. That way, users can access their email and collaboration platform via their Horizon based workspace.

With this article, I just wanted to give you a brief overview on Zimbra. It is a serious email and collaboration platform and for sure worth taking into consideration. Below I will add additional information so you can continue getting to know Zimbra.

 

Fling; VMware Zimbra for Android

VMware Zimbra for Android (VZA) has been around for a while but it’s not known that well.  It is an email client for Android devices which supports Zimbra backends. At this moment the VZA is a “fling”; a client to test drive, officially not supported.

I have been using the VZA for a while now and I can say it’s a decent client. I find it easy to install and use. It gives me my work email, calendar, tasks and Briefcase. I have my corporate email and files available in 1 app. On top of that, I run the VZA on my Samsung Galaxy SII  and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The VZA runs on Android 2.1 and above and the current version is 1.28. The app does require an ActiveSync enabled email client on your Android device (on most devices that’s the case). Also, because the VZA is available outside the Android Marketplace, you will need to enable your device to install applications from “unknown sources”.

You can download the client on http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vza More information is available on that site like comments and a video.

If your email environment is Zimbra and you have an Android device, go ahead, download the app and test it.

Do I eat my own dog food?

Customers and partners do ask me what I use on a daily base. Do I use ThinApp, Socialcast, Sliderocket, View etc etc? In other words, do I eat our own dog food?

Well, first of all, the base. My laptop is a personal Mac Book Pro. For the geeks (just like myself); a 2.66Ghz Core i7, 8GB Ram and a 256GB SSD and Snow Leopard. Yeah baby, I love my MBP. It’s quick!

On top of Snow Leopard I have installed VMware Fusion 4. I installed Windows 7 Enterprise inside Fusion. This VM is my VMware Workspace. So my VMware Workspace is completely separated from my personal Mac environment. This way you can apply the “Bring Your Own Device” concept securely.

I don’t have a corporate vDesktop yet. Basically the only reason is I’m offline too much of the time and the current View Client for Mac doesn’t support Local Mode. I do have a vDesktop on our European demo environment though. I can connect to it from my personal Mac side with the Mac View Client and from inside my Windows VM with the Windows View Client.

So, what am I using inside my VM? Of course email. My email resides on a Zimbra backend and I either use Google Chrome (my default browser) or the Zimbra Desktop Client Application to connect to Zimbra. Because there is hardly no difference between the browser and application way of connecting, I use Chrome to connect to Zimbra basically all the time. I can use my email independent of an OS and App and have the same experience every time by using a browser.

For my presentations I do use Sliderocket. I converted my most important PPT’s into Sliderocket and threw away all my presentations. All new presentation I create from scratch in Sliderocket.  Give yourself a bit of time with creating presentations and converting PPT’s. Not everything will go smoothly from the start but I love Sliderocket now. I’m still not a guru but I wasn’t a guru with Powerpoint either. I tried to create a small story here. Just in case I don’t have a connection, I have cached all my presentations into my Sliderocket Player application. You can download it for Windows, Mac and iPad.

Everyday I also use VMware App Manager. Via App Manager I can easily connect to several SaaS applications VMware provides me, like for example VMware Socialcast.  I intensely use Socialcast to collaborate with my colleagues. You can read about my Socialcast experience here. To connect to Socialcast I do use a browser but I have to say the Socialcast App is looking pretty good.

For my data I use Mozy Stash. Stash is in beta at this moment. This new technology keeps my data synced across all my devices. You can compare it with Dropbox. I will elaborate on Stash soon.

Lastly, I use a couple of ThinApp-ed applications, like Google Chrome and Adobe Reader.

I try to use as much VMware End User Computing technology as possible. When new technologies arrive I will continue to try to use them as quickly as possible. I can’t wait to use Horizon Mobile, Appblast and Octopus.