Buyer's Guide
Email Applications
November 2022
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Administration & Technical Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Its security is absolutely stratospheric, and it costs a fraction of its competition
Pros and Cons
  • "Its security is absolutely stratospheric. In an application, you can lock down to field-level security. For example, I could log in and see a field in an HR database with salaries. When you log in, you see exactly the same database, but the field with the salary just isn't there. So, you can literally have field-level security on it, and you can also have secure encryption. For example, I could give you that database allowing you to see the salary, but a calculation that shows how much they get per month in another field is encrypted. So, you won't be able to see that because you don't have the encryption key. You can implement high-level security very simply."
  • "The only improvement that we're planning to do is that all our applications are still designed in the layout and format of Notes version 4, and our plan over the coming years is to modernize their look. One of the things they're developing or considering deploying is a program to automatically upgrade the look and feel of databases. If they deploy that, that will be revolutionary. In other words, we decide on a corporate look and feel for our database and press a button. We've probably got 50 different applications in Notes, and it would just go through the whole lot and upgrade all of them to look the same."

What is our primary use case?

We've got several key production databases within Notes. We are a chicken hatchery. We produce chickens for eating meat. We produce 10 million a week, and every single egg is traced on a Notes database. Every single delivery note is printed out from a Notes database, and many reports come off it. 

We're all on-premises. We've got two data centers, one in the north and one in the south, and they, in effect, are private clouds because people log onto them from everywhere around the country.

Most users are on version 11, but our servers are on version 12. We've got probably 50% of our head office onto the desktop version 12. We've been waiting to upgrade it till they release 12.01, which they did yesterday, so we'll be upgrading everybody to 12.01 in the new year.

How has it helped my organization?

We grow 6 million chicks a week up to fully grown and ready for eating, and to do that, we have 120 lorries that move around the country moving the chickens. Every single movement of a lorry is recorded on a Notes database, and delivery notes, animal transport certificates, and all other such things are sent out. We've got auto-texting facilities within it, so as soon as it's all been planned, a text goes out to every driver with the start times and the sites they're going to. So, there is a lot of automation.

We've got mobile versions on iPads on farms, where they key data into an application, which then comes straight back through into a database with reports coming off it. We've got a different version for the hatchery one, which we use in our turkey business for hatching the turkeys, and that's a variation on the theme. 

For the tablets, the programming was incredibly simple. We already had a database written that was used, and we made a tablet version of it in a day and a half. It uses HCL Nomad, which is the mobile version of Notes. It uses that, and it makes the database look totally different when it's on an iPad. You open the same database on a computer, and it looks conventional. So, it is dynamic. It swaps between the two. It is very easy to mobilize. It probably took five minutes per tablet to install the app. You open up an iPad and install the app from the App Store. You then do a Control+O and open the database.

What is most valuable?

Its ongoing license cost is a fraction of its competition. 

Its security is absolutely stratospheric. In an application, you can lock down to field-level security. For example, I could log in and see a field in an HR database with salaries. When you log in, you see exactly the same database, but the field with the salary just isn't there. So, you can literally have field-level security on it, and you can also have secure encryption. For example, I could give you that database allowing you to see the salary, but a calculation that shows how much they get per month in another field is encrypted. So, you won't be able to see that because you don't have the encryption key. You can implement high-level security very simply. 

What needs improvement?

The only improvement that we're planning to do is that all our applications are still designed in the layout and format of Notes version 4, and our plan over the coming years is to modernize their look. One of the things they're developing or considering deploying is a program to automatically upgrade the look and feel of databases. If they deploy that, that will be revolutionary. In other words, we decide on a corporate look and feel for our database and press a button. We've probably got 50 different applications in Notes, and it would just go through the whole lot and upgrade all of them to look the same.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Notes since 1997. We started on Version 4, and we're now on Version 12.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since it has been swapped from IBM to them, it has moved forward light-years. It had stagnated with IBM, and since HCL took it about three years ago, it has moved from version 9 to version 12. They're doing a version a year. They've made it go mobile. I've got lots of databases on my mobile phone that I use all the time, and it has moved unbelievably. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is infinitely scalable. We have a cluster of probably 25 servers across the two data centers of Notes servers. We have 150 users logging in every day, but I also have another 400 users who use email only on mobile phones, and the servers don't blink. You could put noughts on the end of those users, and it would still work. You could have thousands of users, and it'd be fine. To give an example, IBM used it on 250,000 users across the world.

How are customer service and support?

Support-wise, they are incredible. If you've got an issue, you can log it on a website. If it's an urgent one, you'll get a call within 10 minutes, usually from India. They are very knowledgeable people who sometimes are the actual programmers who've written the database. If an issue gets too complicated, they resolve it, and they won't give up till they've resolved it. It is probably the best support I've had on any application platform.

What about the implementation team?

We do have in-house programmers, but we also use two external business partners to help us on big programming issues and to understand our databases so that if internal programmers aren't available, they take up the slack.

They also have expert people maintaining the servers in the background, so we also use them for support on that.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is far cheaper to license. It is a third of the cost of our Microsoft license for 10 times the amount of usage.

Developing applications cost a fraction of anything else. There are two reasons for that. First of all, applications are very fast to build. All the security is already built into the platform, so you don't have to worry about security at all. The other thing is that because fewer people use it than, for example, Microsoft SharePoint, the salary commanded by programmers is slightly lower. So, it is not only faster; you also get cheaper programmers. So, you really win-win-win on it.

What other advice do I have?

There are two real headliners. The first one is that ongoing license cost is a fraction of its competition, and secondly: security, security, security. It is the most secure platform you will ever have. The email system, over 30 years, has never, ever been hacked. It is just so secure. We get hacked emails coming in here every day of the week, and when you look at the MX record, which is the header of the email, every single one of them is on Outlook 365. There are regular hacks of that. It's one of the most insecure platforms out there, but everybody is using it.

I would rate this solution a 10 out of 10. It is absolutely phenomenal. If you're not using it, tell your IT manager he must consider it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Justin Keswick - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Desktop Analyst at Tech Mahindra
Real User
Top 10
It replaces a mishmash of different solutions with one fully integrated product.
Pros and Cons
  • "Google seems to be a more stable environment than our current on-premise Microsoft solution that we're replacing."
  • "G-Suite is excellent for what we're trying to do, but it could use some extra features. For example, it would be helpful if we had a seamless way to convert Excel macros to Google Sheets."

What is our primary use case?

We use G-Suite for updating documents. We are implementing it in two stages. In the first stage, we are only using Google Drive, Chat, Sheets, Slides, and we're working toward replacing Microsoft Office 2010. It's deployed in the cloud, which is why we need Google One login to act as the single sign-on.

The first phase is Google Open, which uses Google Drive, and the second phase will be Google Connect, which will be replacing Microsoft Outlook with Gmail. Beyond that, we're also going to get rid of Microsoft Active Directory, which lists users and systems.

Our company builds commercial aircraft, like airplanes and helicopters, manufactured in various countries, so it's a global supply chain. In a multinational company like this, you need to share documents across all these different locations in Europe, North America, or South America.

We're also using G-Suite in manufacturing, so we use big-screen TVs to share documents and update information. It's a touch screen, so it's a big panel on wheels displaying diagrams, engine repairs, and that type of thing.

What is most valuable?

We're replacing a mishmash of different solutions with one fully integrated product.

What needs improvement?

G-Suite is excellent for what we're trying to do, but it could use some extra features. For example, it would be helpful if we had a seamless way to convert Excel macros to Google Sheets. We use the OneLogin to authenticate users logging into G-Suite. We'd like to see a lot of the same information provided from Microsoft Active Directory, such as the user's location, telephone number, etc. If G-Suite could develop this type of service, that would be amazing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using G-Suite Enterprise for the last eight months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, Google seems to be a more stable environment than our current on-premise Microsoft solution that we're replacing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

G-Suite is easy to scale. With an on-premise environment, you have hardware limitations, like hard drive space, server CPU, RAM, etc. You don't have those limitations with a cloud platform because Google has server farms and unlimited hard drive space. So you're going from an environment where you have limitations to one that doesn't.

I'm unsure how many users we have worldwide because our global user footprint includes implementations in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. So I couldn't give an accurate number of how many users will be onboarded in the next two years.

We're planning to expand our usage through integrating with other solutions. When I log in, I have around six applications that use the single sign-on, but we will onboard more. We're switching over from the Microsoft environment, like Excel macros, or connecting to the databases and pulling down data from SAP. All of that functionality will be replicated within Google Workspace.

How are customer service and support?

I have never used Google support. I'm also a big Google user outside of the company of Google Workspace. I have a personal Google One account that gives me 1 terabyte of data. And most Google support is self-serve. I do a Google search for help, so it's all pretty straightforward. I've never had a situation where I needed to contact somebody.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a bundle of things, including Microsoft servers and Microsoft Outlook email. Other things like file transfer would be covered under SFTP, and we used a product called Axway. 
If you're transferring files between countries, you need to do some encryption like PGP. We use Stormshield for email file transfer. But when you get to larger files, like over 15 gigabytes, you need an SFTP server. If you're transferring a video, then you're going to put it on Google Drive, and because it's authenticated, you can do those file transfers.

How was the initial setup?

On our end, the deployment process is signing up the users. They submit a form with their department and email address, and that's how they get authenticated. I am a senior desktop analyst, so I set up the users, provide them with a laptop or desktop, and set them up with services like Google Workspace. I'm part of the provisioning process. Our headquarters in France handled the primary deployment, and we provide end-user support. I never was involved in the actual setup or implementation.

The only maintenance necessary is the authentication platform instead of the OneLogin product. We're deploying Google Workspace and ServiceNow, which is my primary application as a support person. I can pass through authentication when I'm in the office through OneLogin. If I'm logging in externally on a non-company computer, I can use OneLogin authentication on my phone to get into ServiceNow.

What was our ROI?

We're in between phase one and phase two of our implementation, so the real cost savings is going to be the ease of use and reduced support cost.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would not be able to say how much the company paid for the enterprise solution. But from an end-user perspective, I can say that Google One is reasonable. I know schools and small companies use G-Suite. So if public and non-profit enterprises use it, then I don't think the price is a limitation.

What other advice do I have?

I rate G-Suite Enterprise nine out of 10. If you're looking at implementing an application through G-Suite and using the single sign-on, you need to bring on people with a different skill set. For example, if you're replacing those Excel macros, you need somebody who knows the Apps Script programming language. Procuring that knowledge and those skills is the real cost.

People looking to implement G-Suite need to evolve and change their mindset from an on-premise solution to a cloud solution. When working on a cloud solution, you need to retrain your employees. We also set employees up with a trainer when we onboard them. This is a short session that bridges the gap between what they've traditionally used, like SharePoint or sharing files via Excel, and moving toward sharing files between departments on Google Drive.

You also need to become cross-functional in how you utilize the product. For example, we might have one senior marketing person or somebody overseeing technical publications in each country. If you're going to share documents in common, you need to identify who those individuals are and share them with the team.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Technical Consultant at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Real User
Top 10
Good query vault, scalable, stable, with quick responding support
Pros and Cons
  • "The archive allows the customers to search any items as far back as five or ten years ago."
  • "I cannot perform application backup, and I am not able to repair the license."

What is our primary use case?

I am not an end-user with this product. I'm a technical consultant.

I am responsible for the migration, as well as the upgrades of this product for my customers.

We use this solution in large enterprise companies, with several mailboxes, and are not able to go through the cloud, due to regulation or other similar reasons.

These companies need a reliable archive solution, and I always recommend Enterprise Vault.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution performs searches for items very quickly. 

Also, the mailboxes are very small in the on-premises locations. This reduces the time for the IT department for maintenance and improves performance on the Exchange server.

What is most valuable?

The most used feature of this solution is the search vault.

We have some customers who have many items in their mailbox. We want to provide them with a cache for two, three, or six months back.

The archive allows the customers to search any items as far back as five or ten years ago.

The search vault doesn't have the cache on Outlook and doesn't make it slower.

What needs improvement?

The backup area needs improvement. I cannot perform application backup, and I am not able to repair the license. 

If someone deletes an item from the vault server, I am not able to restore a single license. I would have to restore the complete mailbox and all of the partitions, which is a lot of work.

It is not a very good solution for the backup and restore capabilities.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this product for almost four years.

I try to keep the customers up-to-date. Almost all of my customers have the 12.4 or 12.5 version.

I do, however, have a customer who has an older version. But most are up-to-date.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. This product is great.

We always have the systems on. I barely see any problems with this product. The issues are normally coming from the SQL server. Or, if the customer is not doing the maintenance.

The problems are from the SQL server, and not from the Enterprise Vault.

At times when there is an upgrade, we can experience a small issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is huge. I archive billions of items with no issues at all. The search is great, especially with this newest version.

I don't have any issues with the scalability of this solution.

The size of the environments that we have deployed this solution to varies. We have customers with 15,000 users, some with 10,000 users and there are some with 100, and 500. The largest deployment is 15,000.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very fast. It's great. I always get my answer and I am always able to get an engineer to solve the issues.

One time, I had a case that took three months to fix tables in SQL and they did it. It was on the dark side, but they got the job done.

It took some time but it was resolved.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I haven't had any clients who used another archive solution. They have exchanged on-premises but not to another archive.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved with the design. I installed the product. I upgrade the product and I migrate it to SQL. I do everything.

I start with the step-by-step rule task guide, follow the rule task requirements and the requirements for the SQL server. I install the product, create the policy for the clients, archive a couple of mailboxes to show the clients how is done. Once that is complete the customer takes the lead.

It can take a couple of days to deploy.

After the installation, the maintenance is a couple of hours a week, depending on the company, and how large they are. This does not require full-time work. A couple of times per week is sufficient.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is an area that is not relevant for me. I am not an end user or a buyer. I don't have this information.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Microsoft Exchange Archive is the largest, but I haven't used it. I always recommend Enterprise Vault because this is the main solution.

Microsoft has many solutions, but they don't work perfectly. It's not the best option.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend to my customers to open a new partition for every year or every six months.

It depends on the company and how many items they archive, how many mailboxes are archived, to keep the backup very fast. When I close the partition, I won't need to backup anymore. When it's closed, it is not changing.

There are many items, billions of them. To maintain, you can create a new partition every six months and back up a little bit more. The backup window is very convenient for the customer.

If you are on-premise and cannot go to the cloud, this is the best solution for easy maintenance of your Exchange server. You can go through many mailboxes with several items without a problem.

This product has done its job very well. I would rate Veritas Enterprise Vault a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Senior Technician at Computers At Work
Reseller
Lightweight, simple, and robust; easy to maintain and doesn't require a lot of system resources to run
Pros and Cons
  • "What I like most about Kerio Connect is that it supports ActiveSync, and that is its most critical feature. The solution is also a nice, simple, robust, and stable mail server."
  • "Having a native Outlook map integration would make Kerio Connect better."

What is our primary use case?

I use Kerio Connect for email applications.

What is most valuable?

What I like most about Kerio Connect is that it supports ActiveSync, and that is its most critical feature. The solution is also a nice, simple, robust, and stable mail server. I also like that it doesn't require a lot of system resources to run because it's all integrated into itself, and it doesn't rely on any other technologies to function. We went from Exchange to Kerio Connect for those reasons.

What needs improvement?

Kerio Connect does as advertised, so there are no real issues with the product itself. It's developed regularly, so there are constant updates. Possibly, the support and development have lessened since they've sold the company, but as far as the product itself is concerned, there isn't anything that I would suggest needs improvement. If I'm being picky, Kerio Connect uses a proprietary, mappy atom for Outlook, and it would be nice if they used a native mappy connection instead, but that's the only additional feature that I would like to see in its next release. If they have native Outlook map integration, that would be great, but other than that, it's got all the functions that I think a mail server should have.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with Kerio Connect for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Kerio Connect is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Kerio Connect is a scalable solution. How easy it is to scale would depend on the degree you want it to scale. For our clientele, it's perfectly fine. If you have up to fifty users, it's fine. I haven't tried to scale it beyond that. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't accept more. I/O is the critical resource that it requires beyond that, so as long as you have fast drives, there's no reason why you couldn't go bigger in terms of scaling Kerio Connect. It supports a lot of features and clustering, and if we have a lot of users, it's fine.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've worked with several solutions over the years, and we went with Kerio Connect because we weren't happy with Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft 365 at the time. We got more back from Microsoft Exchange, particularly in a host environment, but we found the on-premises version way too unwieldy for the number of clients, or the size of clients that we deal with. For example, the server and all the other infrastructure to make it function was way too complex and expensive, while Kerio Connect is simple and lightweight, and it does what you need.

Kerio Connect is also much easier to maintain and keep going, compared to Microsoft Exchange which was unwieldy. You have to update Microsoft Exchange, plus it has all these prerequisite requirements. We also tried SmarterMail, but we're stuck with Kerio Connect because it works.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for Kerio Connect was very straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated Microsoft Exchange.

What other advice do I have?

I use both Kerio Control and Kerio Connect.

Kerio Connect is deployed on-premises. It has a cloud version, but we use its on-premises version.

I'm giving Kerio Connect a high score, but it would depend on simple use cases and the number of clients you're using it for. For what we've used it for, it's a nine out of ten because it works.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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Head of NCIS at DSB it services GmbH
Real User
Top 20
Very flexible and secure with excellent storage capacity
Pros and Cons
  • "Very secure with great storage capacity."
  • "The WebAccess feature is somewhat lacking and could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

Our email environment is complicated and we use GroupWise as a data sync server. We have around 700 users and approximately 10 terabytes of emails with four servers. We are customers of GroupWise, supporting our clients who need IT assistance. I'm the head of NCIS.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very flexible and has great storage capacity. If you have, for example, two terabytes of email data in a GroupWise system, it would be equivalent to five or six terabytes in another tool that would likely also require more resources. It's a huge advantage. This is a simple tool and we find it to be more secure than Exchange. 

What needs improvement?

The web client could be improved. The WebAccess feature is similar to what you would find in an Exchange environment but it's not as good as you'd get with the full client in the caching mode. It would be preferable if the WebAccess were a little more like the full client. That would make things easier. Unfortunately, there are fewer manufacturers that currently support Micro Focus and GroupWise these days.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 17 years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is definitely scalable up to many thousands of users. 

How are customer service and support?

Customer support did what they could but we had some issues because it required coordination between GroupWise and SUSE Linux or the Micro Focus storage support. It became a ping pong between these two parts of the same company and was unpleasant.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a look at Lotus Notes, but it was terrible. And Microsoft was not a choice we could make because our existing license included GroupWise so we could save a lot of money by only having to purchase the server. Netscape was the previous solution we used but it wasn't able to do all the things we needed.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, requiring a simple rollout of the software. We installed it on all the workstations and then set up the servers. We then did a drop-down of all the emails and that was it. We carried out the main work ourselves but also used a consultant. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is a more expensive solution than Microsoft because Microsoft has a few other tools and products in one license. There's probably not a lot of difference at the end of the day because a Microsoft environment requires more servers and more storage, which you don't need in a GroupWise environment. I believe the maintenance of one GroupWise license costs around 30 Euro per year. Aside from the hardware, there are no additional costs. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We know a lot of organizations that used GroupWise for a long time and then moved to Microsoft Exchange Server or to Office 365. They have a lot more work to do in their new Microsoft environment. I think the security is still much better in GroupWise than in a Microsoft environment.

What other advice do I have?

It's important to take a look at the hardware you are using.

I rate this solution eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Email Applications
November 2022
Get our free report covering Zimbra, GFI, HCL, and other competitors of Microsoft Exchange. Updated: November 2022.
655,711 professionals have used our research since 2012.