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Home » GFI User Forums » Kerio Connect » End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect (What's the best path forward for Kerio Connect?)
End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150027] Thu, 15 July 2021 17:14 Go to next message
mayall is currently offline  mayall
Messages: 84
Registered: October 2006
I submit the following in the hope that it will be read by those at GFI Software who are responsible for the future of Kerio Connect and that this will spark thoughtful discussion.

Many discussions on this board have centered on the future of Kerio Connect largely complaining about a perceived lack of support, fixes, and new features. It would be great if there was a public policy and process for Kerio Connect while it fades into the sunset (which all software eventually does).

I've been involved with email from the early days, having created an email client and server. (Anyone remember Emailer and LetterRip?)

While email remains very useful and popular, there have been enormous changes:

1. The rise of the behemoths, especially Gmail.
2. New messaging processes including text, chat, and proprietary systems.
3. Generational changes in how email is used.

Kerio Connect is a good product. It's quite well designed and generally robust. Those of us who run Kerio Connect servers have remained loyal because the server does what it should. But the days of small email servers are numbered. Making money off a product like Kerio Connect must be extremely difficult.

There are two reasonable paths forward for useful but unprofitable software:

1. Shut it down. Preferably this follows a public EOL process with an especially good final release and licenses that continue to work in perpetuity.

2. Open source it. Making a product open source is a difficult decision but obviously allows a product to live on, assuming the community finds the product useful enough to maintain it.

I assume most of us would prefer Open Source as a path forward.

To be very clear: GFI Software owns Kerio Connect and can do what it wants with it. Given the difficult market for email servers, I believe GFI has done a reasonable job maintaining and supporting Connect. I assume it is tough to make money off Kerio Connect but perhaps I'm wrong.

Kerio Connect has already had a long life but I am optimistic that Kerio Connect servers will be running for many more years.

Thanks,

Will Mayall
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150030 is a reply to message #150027] Fri, 16 July 2021 03:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
j.a.duke is currently offline  j.a.duke
Messages: 231
Registered: October 2006
Will,

Thank you for your thoughtful piece.

I remember and have used both of the email products you mention.

Connect is a thoughtfully designed tool. I too would like to see it continue to grow and evolve, but I'm pessimistic that can occur under GFI's stewardship.

While I can't code, I would contribute however I could to an open source version.

Cheers,
Jon

[Updated on: Fri, 16 July 2021 03:42]

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Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150032 is a reply to message #150027] Fri, 16 July 2021 14:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
freakinvibe is currently offline  freakinvibe
Messages: 575
Registered: April 2004
I am also a long-term user of KC. I like the product, but it is clear nothing really happened to the product in the last 3-4 years. There was the introduction of TLS 1.3, but that was about it. I believe GFI has more or less abandoned it.

The market for small email servers is indeed not very big, I guess. And it gets smaller. And there are competitors as well.

So I think, I will use KC as long as I can and then look at some other on prem email software. I do not really feel appetite to move emails, calendar and contacts to the cloud.

Hopefully, we can still run it for a couple of years. Let's see.


Dexion Services AG - IT Support Services in Basel, Switzerland
https://dexionag.ch
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150067 is a reply to message #150027] Sat, 24 July 2021 21:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Backspin is currently offline  Backspin
Messages: 91
Registered: June 2008
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherland...
The one nasty thing GFI did with Kerio Connect last year is to switch all licenses from perpetual to subscription based. This means that you will have to keep paying GFI to keep your server running, even if there's no maintenance or product development. They are going to squeeze every last drop of money out of all the once loyal Kerio customers. Personally I think this was a disgusting move, but maybe the people to blame are the ones who sold the Kerio company to GFI.

Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150074 is a reply to message #150067] Mon, 26 July 2021 17:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bud Durland is currently offline  Bud Durland
Messages: 561
Registered: December 2013
Location: Plattsburgh, NY
Backspin wrote on Sat, 24 July 2021 15:45
but maybe the people to blame are the ones who sold the Kerio company to GFI.
To be fair, nearly all software vendors are moving to a similar model; they've figured out it can be a cash cow.
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150092 is a reply to message #150067] Thu, 29 July 2021 15:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mayall is currently offline  mayall
Messages: 84
Registered: October 2006
Backspin wrote on Sat, 24 July 2021 12:45
The one nasty thing GFI did with Kerio Connect last year is to switch all licenses from perpetual to subscription based. This means that you will have to keep paying GFI to keep your server running, even if there's no maintenance or product development. They are going to squeeze every last drop of money out of all the once loyal Kerio customers. Personally I think this was a disgusting move, but maybe the people to blame are the ones who sold the Kerio company to GFI.
Well, that concerns me. I had not heard that. Can you point me to a page that describes that?

Thanks,

Will
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150094 is a reply to message #150092] Thu, 29 July 2021 16:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Backspin is currently offline  Backspin
Messages: 91
Registered: June 2008
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherland...
Just check the Dashboard of any Kerio Connect server that you renewed the license for in the past year. 'Product expiration date' was always set to 'never' (except for trial and NFR licenses), but it should now have a date set.

Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150097 is a reply to message #150094] Thu, 29 July 2021 21:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kingswaygroup is currently offline  kingswaygroup
Messages: 52
Registered: June 2008
I was told not that long ago that a roadmap for the product was being developed but it seems that even that is not coming forward anytime soon or maybe at all. GFI is largely a Windows house it would seem and why they took Kerio on is still a question in many of our minds. Our group as well has been with Kerio since v4 if I remember correctly and it has been solid all the way through but new ideas and features are not being implemented or maybe we are not aware. I know that 9.4 is in beta but again I struggle to gain traction in a marketplace that thinks the Microsoft or Google name are the only way forward and for some reason people do not do math when purchasing. I have fought with Microsoft when things go badly and they are awful to deal with often resulting in weeks to months of difficulty for the client. Kerio and even GFI have been (most recently) more responsive although I have only had one major issue to deal with. But I have nothing new to offer the next client when I want to say how we compete with those major brands. I do not want it to go EOL, at least not while I have need for work and a paycheque, but the easiest thing for GFI to do would be to connect with the resellers and act like they care. Now it is time for GFI to respond.

David Green
The Kingsway Group Inc.


David Green
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150114 is a reply to message #150097] Tue, 03 August 2021 08:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ikheetleon is currently offline  ikheetleon
Messages: 24
Registered: January 2008
Good thread! Have been with KC / KMS for about 15 years. Have been a happy customer but last couple of years almost no development/new features. When I get the notification my license is expiring, I'm wondering if I should renew or migrate to something else. Would be good to have a timeline to know what we are up to. Seems only fair to loyal customers.
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150141 is a reply to message #150114] Tue, 10 August 2021 10:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pavel-v is currently offline  pavel-v
Messages: 12
Registered: December 2018
From a look at GFI I believe that they are going to maintain current state for as long as possible with cost as low as possible. It will work for them may be next ten years and after that the product sort of disappear.
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150146 is a reply to message #150141] Wed, 11 August 2021 17:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
chrwei is currently offline  chrwei
Messages: 184
Registered: October 2009
I hear you on the lack of support, pre-GFI was MUCH better. The last few were met with either wrong info at first or "that's just how it was designed, put in a feature request". However, I just finished a support session, and this was by far the best GFI support experience I've ever had, and I'd even rate it better than average over all. I hope this means GFI is listening and making changes.

Connect does have many shortcomings, but really there isn't much comparable out there. They are either more expensive, or have fewer features, or are cloud service.
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150243 is a reply to message #150027] Fri, 10 September 2021 22:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RustyB is currently offline  RustyB
Messages: 75
Registered: April 2010
We are in September and the only new releases this year have been two very minor bug fixes. This is what our year of software maintenance went to.

Are there any good Exchange alternatives out there that operate on-premise? Or has everything pretty much gone to the cloud these days?
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150245 is a reply to message #150243] Sat, 11 September 2021 02:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zebby is currently offline  zebby
Messages: 153
Registered: March 2009
RustyB wrote on Fri, 10 September 2021 21:20
We are in September and the only new releases this year have been two very minor bug fixes. This is what our year of software maintenance went to.

Are there any good Exchange alternatives out there that operate on-premise? Or has everything pretty much gone to the cloud these days?

Two releases just to address two bugs and in 2020 four releases of bug fixes and adding just one new feature - TLS1.3.
It does feel like Connect is heading to the graveyard which is a great shame.

We've renewed for another year but everytime I do I wonder if we've made the right decision.

Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150247 is a reply to message #150245] Sat, 11 September 2021 13:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
AndreasL is currently offline  AndreasL
Messages: 88
Registered: July 2008
Location: Germany
If Kerio Connect dies silent I went to MDaemon. All needet plugins for antivirus, active sync etc still exists. Mdaemon does the same as Kerio Connect.
Re: End Of Life strategy for Kerio Connect [message #150261 is a reply to message #150027] Thu, 16 September 2021 19:10 Go to previous message
jcooper is currently offline  jcooper
Messages: 103
Registered: May 2009
Location: Syracuse, NY
Very good, thoughtful post. GFI seems to be owned by BGC Partners (which used to be part of Canter Fitzgerald), so any decisions they make are purely from an investment POV I think and those that pull the strings don't care on iota about the software or what it does (or doesn't do). But if GFI could find someone who did care and sell it, that would be the ideal scenario (but only perhaps a hair more likely than Open Source). My guess is they wouldn't have held onto it this long if it were at a loss, but they must see it going that way -- as you say Google et al have convinced everyone to hand over their data with the (disingenuous) promise of the magical cloud that will take away all their problems -- so they might be convinced to unload it now that they've made some money and have bigger fish to fry.

Wishful thinking I know. But a man can dream can't he? To have the basic functionality of Exchange but without the cost, overcomplexity, and bureaucratic licensing that makes you feel like you work for the software vendor and not the other way around, is huge, and it's tragic more people just give in and hand over their data to Microsoft and other "big tech." Someone who cares about those things and knows enough to run a software company, could make a once very good server into something great.

Thanks,

Jeff

[Updated on: Thu, 16 September 2021 19:11]

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