Zimbra upgrades enterprise email and collaboration suite

Zimbra Collaboration Server 7 features new and enhanced features for collaboration, calendaring, and IT management

VMware's Zimbra unit has released a major upgrade of its eponymous email and collaboration application suite for enterprises that adds and improves data sharing, calendar features, and IT management capabilities.

Zimbra Collaboration Server 7 now features a "briefcase" that lets users collaboratively upload, store and check files in a central repository, providing what the vendor calls "lightweight document management."

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For IT staffers, Zimbra 7 offers more granular controls at the administrator level for tasks like managing email distribution lists and for server rebooting and load balancing, the company said Monday.

Zimbra's new calendar component has more tools, including a wizard to automate and simplify the process of scheduling meetings for end users and SMS alerts for appointments and tasks.

On the mobile front, Zimbra 7 has a client designed for the iPad and includes support for the BlackBerry Server 5.0 via the Zimbra Connector for BlackBerry 7.0.

The Zimbra suite is offered as cloud-hosted software by Zimbra hosting partners, but can also be installed on customers' servers.

Zimbra, which EMC's VMware bought from Yahoo a year ago, increased its number of paid mailboxes 10 percent to 66 million in 2010 compared with 2009, said John Robb, VMware's senior director of products and marketing.

VMware is backing Zimbra in a strong way, investing in its business and integrating it into its sales channel so that its partners can resell the Zimbra suite, he said.

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