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VMware waves goodbye to Zimbra

Email biz to merge with Telligent

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VMware has offloaded Zimbra less than four years after buying the email-cum-collabware business unit from Yahoo! Terms are undisclosed.

The buyer is Telligent, a developer of enterprise social software. It will merge its software into Zimbra, and the goal is to deliver a "unified social collaboration suite designed for the post-PC era".

This may be a concatenation of buzzwords, but the pitch has worked - Telligent / Zimbra Mk 4 is backed by Intel Capital, NXT Capital Venture Finance, BDCA, Hall Financial Group and VMware.

Telligent's boss Patrick Brandt will run the combined business. He says the acquisition presents an opportunity to "return Zimbra to its roots as an independent collaboration software leader with a vibrant open source community".

Certainly, Zimbra (Mk1) has seemed a little unloved since it was bought by Yahoo! for an astounding $350m (Mk2) in 2007. VMware snapped up Zimbra (Mk3) in January 2010 for "considerably less" money.

At the time VMware hailed Zimbra as a "great example of the type of scalable 'cloud era' solutions that can span smaller, on-premise implementations to the cloud".

The company envisaged Zimbra as a component for an "expanding portfolio of solutions that can be offered as a virtual appliance or by a cloud service provider".

The idea was to simplify IT especially for smaller businesses. Oh well. ®

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