It may sound a bit excessive to call it a "communication revolution" but Zarafa is actually changing the way we communicate.
There are many tools out there that allow us to communicate, send emails, chat with colleagues or clients, setup easily video conferences and participate in real time in the editing of documents. It's all great but it's all managed by large Corporations on their own infrastructure with prices that seem competitive the first year but then? Over time it will cost you more than on-premises or privately hosted solutions, you'll get the features they decide to give you, your data may be used to generate profits to somebody else and at the end of it you'll never own anything.
Zarafa wants to change the approach to one of the many IT investments your organisation needs to make and provide you with the communication tools you need and lower your costs while keeping control of your data. This is what the Zarafa Tour 2014 was all about.
Zarafa Tour 2014, confirming the focus on innovation
Zarafa has been the best MS Exchange replacement for a very long time as this is what companies were looking for. Users wanted to use the Outlook as they liked it but were often unaware of the costs of the complexity of running a MS Exchange server, fortunately many organisation didn't have that issue as they are running Zarafa but users are totally unaware of it as Outlook works as expected with emails, shared calendars and folders.
But the way we work and communicate is changing rapidly and so is Zarafa. As more users work while on the move or from home the simple mail client connected is not enough anymore. Now users need information on their smartphone or tablet, want to see their calendar or emails wherever they are in a secure way, they may even want to initiate a call or a videoconference without installing software as they may be working on a Chromebook or similar devices. Thanks to the efforts that Zarafa put in developing WebApp, the new web interface that allows to integrations with almost anything, you'll have those features and a lot more.
Integrated video conferencing
As the need to communicate in real time is felt also by SMBs having a way to setup a quick call or an on-line presentation with a customer within your communication platform is important. Zarafa Communication Platform is already integrated with platform like Spreed (http://www.spreed.com) which offer features that allow to setup video conferences even with larger of people but some may want a quick way to communicate with essential tools and just a few participants.
With Zarafa you can now have your own integrated real time communication solution which will allow you to set up a call or a video conference with a click. You can share documents and load presentations without having to use external applications or third party tools like Webex or GoToMeeting.
Thanks to WebRTC, the Open Source platform used to provide the service, you will only need a browser, connect to Zarafa and arrange the meeting by planning it to the calendar or simply clicking on the contact if shown as on-line. As WebRTC uses a peer-to-peer communication method your data doesn't transit in third party servers so it respects the privacy or your communications and documents.
File and documents sharing
Z-Files is the new WebApp plug-in that enables access to remote files. Files can be hosted on a company file share or on file sharing platform such as OwnCloud or DropBox. With Z-Files you will be able to send and receive emails with attachments wherever you are and store them on your server.
With Zarafa Z-Files you can also set a file size limit over which, instead of sending a file as an attachment, the recipient will receive a secure link to the file.
As Z-Files is a modular plug-in you will be able to integrate Zarafa with Document Management Systems like Alfresco, Nuxeo or any others very easily allowing you to replace the application stack Microsoft Exchange+SharePoint very easily.
Email security and encryption
Sometimes we need to exchange sensitive information with colleagues or customers which should not be seen or intercepted by third parties. Email security in general is a complex issue as the entire transmission chain through which our emails are transiting is generally insecure.
The best security we can get in email terms, without having to spend very large amount of money for complex infrastructures and connectivity, is by encrypting the messages before they leave our browser or email client.
Zarafa integrated S/MIME also in WebApp to make security easy for the end user. All the complexity is managed by Zarafa on the server side while the user needs only to choose what if he/she wants to just sign or also encrypt the message.
... and more to come
This is just a taster of the new features Zarafa is bringing to the market. Many partners are also developing integrations for VoIP systems, ERP, accounting packages, etc...
All this will provide you with a complete communication platform which is integrated with your applications, without adding complexity to your IT infrastructure, reducing your costs and giving you full control over your data.