javivazquez at Zentyal

3.000 members in eBox forum

May 18, 2010 · No Comments

Exactly 6 months ago, November 18th, I wrote a post with the title “2.000 users registered in the eBox forum”. If you read it, you will find the following sentence:

“[…] We hope to reach 3.000 members in the following 6 months […]”

And guess what, today, exactly 6 months later, May 18th, we have reached 3.000 users registered in the eBox forum… Should I try now guessing the lottery numbers? :-)

However, I am afraid the 2.000 number given 6 months ago was not precise, by then we haven’t found out how many (SEO and the like) spammers  were hidden among our real registered users.

We did an important cleaning during December, and we kept continuously doing it since then. Therefore, our current +3.000 users are for real.

In the medium term, as soon as the forum software we are based on (SMF from Simple Machines) releases its new version, a revamped SMF 2.0, we will migrate and install some extra plugins to keep spammers out, or at least put it more difficult to them.

On the other hand, would any of you guess when the eBox Forum will reach 4.000 registered members?

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Growing portfolio: data backup and VoIP

February 23, 2010 · No Comments

Much time has gone since my last post, being the release of eBox Platform 1.4 and our (since yesterday) on-line store two of the latest and most interesting news.

eBox Platform 1.4 release has been a great step forward, more than 20.000 downloads in less than a couple of weeks are a clear evidence of the interest arisen. The huge increase of visits to our websites, partnership and support requests are the outcome.

On the other hand, our on-line store is bundled with the release of 2 new products we have been testing for the last 2 months: eBox  backup storage and eBox VoIP cheap calls.

As a consequence, eBox portfolio has growth and gained visibility, we are selling directly to our installed base and to and through our partner network.

First, we are offering directly to eBox’s users:

  1. Technical support, one-time eBox support and safe migration from 1.2 to 1.4 support.
  2. Subscription services, such as eBox backup storage, eBox VoIP prepaid credit and eBox Control Center.
  3. Our first book “eBox for network administrators”! (only in Spanish currently though)

Tech support offered directly to eBox’s installed base is two fold: on the hand, helping SOHO users to solve punctual issues and doubts; on the other hand, assist companies on real-time to migrate from the good 1.2 to the great 1.4.

eBox backup storage is for those SOHO and SMEs which desire to keep their data safe off-site at a low price, and eBox VoIP is for those interested in making  abroad and international calls at very cheap rates, from their desktop using a softphone.

eBox Control Center gives the possibility to those companies with a number of deployments (e.g. several branches) the ability to monitor and administer their eBox Platform servers from a simple web interface.

Secondly, we are offering to and through our partners network:

  1. To our partners: certified training, 3rd level technical support and eBox Control Center subscriptions.
  2. Through our partners to their clients: eBox backup storage and eBox VoIP credit.

The certified training warranties both the partner and his customers a quality service by a qualified technician. 3rd level technical support brings them eBox developers on when required (issues, complex configurations). eBox Control Center provides our partners with a web easy-to-use and simple tool to monitor and administer their eBox Platform deployments.

eBox backup storage and VoIP credit grants our partners a recurrent revenue, while growing their portfolio within a win-win relation.

Our portfolio will include new SaaS products bundled to eBox Platform, but in the meanwhile we have tailored an offering for every eBox user, whether big or small. Compelling enough?

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2.000 users registered in the eBox forum

November 18, 2009 · 1 Comment

As of today, November 18th, eBox forum has reached the number of 2,000 users registered.

2.000 members is not a small amount for a Linux small business server such as eBox Platform. It’s more impressive if you know how the numbers have evolved lately though.

The eBox forum was originally set up in May 2007, more than 2 years and half ago. However, 58% of the users registered during 2009 only, and 30% in the last 4 months and a half, since we released eBox 1.2.

Whether as Gateway, UTM, Infrastructure manager, Office Server or Unified Communication Server, it’s good to know than eBox Platform has become one of the most used server-side  products out there.

We hope to reach 3.000 members in the following 6 months, or even less if we have into account the number of improvements and new features already being tested for eBox 1.4:  Active Directory sync, remote backup, webmail, support for Master-Slave LDAP, PPPoE support, usability enhancements, …

The bigger is our community, the better will become eBox Platform, and also faster.

My sincere thanks to all our eBox community members!

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Growing records in the eBox forum

November 1, 2009 · No Comments

October has been a good month for records, our community is growing fast.

Last month, 163 users have enrolled in our forum, the main site for sharing ideas about the future of eBox Platform and getting free (as in beer) support.

eBox forum will reach 2.000 registered users before December. As of today, we are more than 1.900, from which 725 came in the last 6 months.

Directly from the stats section of the forum, 2009 October’s records:

  • 163 new users registered. An impressive 21,6% growth compared to the last top: 134 in September.
  • 184 new topics and 931 posts. 167 topics and 773 posts were the former highest, reached in May.

Another record is related to the number of downloads for the eBox 1.2 iso, more that 8.300 during October from the new Sourceforge repository.  Another 20% increase compared to September less than 7.000.

Worth to say that those downloads don’t take into account our under development unstable release eBox 1.3, only for installation through packages, neither eBox deployments from Ubuntu repositories.

Therefore, both new users registered in eBox forum and the number of downloads of our eBox 1.2 iso have grown ~20% in the last month, compared to the former one. It seems to point out we are in the right path.

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eBox as a Platform

September 25, 2009 · No Comments

Being eBox Platform the main product of our company, the title of this post could be just a nice play on words…

However, reading on the open source and business model debate, from Stephen Walli‘s to Mat Assay’s blogs, I believe I got to something interesting around eBox Platform as a platform, despite of (please forgive) the repetition.

From the latter, Mat Assay’s “Product management goes open source”:

[…] We were so busy marketing our vision that we almost missed listening to our users’ vision(s) […]

[…] open-source companies, if they listen to their users, are well-positioned to build platforms that can become the lifeblood of enterprise IT […]

If you ask me which is the eBox’s vision, I would speak about our perspective instead: eBox Technologies and eBox Platform desire to be for Linux in the server, what Canonical and Ubuntu have been for Linux in the desktop.

And the key point is: how are we building it?… Listening to our users and clients (our partners), so supporting them to develop their business using eBox as a Platform.

Not by chance, eBox Technologies is a 100% partner-focused company. Not by chance, our partner program puts the stress on flexibility, strongly encouraging our partners to develop their own value on top of eBox, even building eBox based products to be re-branded. Mixed, combined or pure, but always flexible.

Whether a mini data-center, a security/VPN appliance, or a micro home sever; eBox is being customized and combined to fit in every hole… Because marketing such a horizontal product would be much difficult without partners which struggle for their picked niches with self adapted tools.

It’s not a new business model neither a brand new strategy, but just a(nother) way to explain Ebox’s perspective.

Paraphrasing both Stephen and Matt blogs, I feel like “in the open road, once more unto the breach”.

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