Unjoin MAPI package sizing from SM package size
Idea shared by Ben G - 8/6/2019 at 12:08 PM
Proposed
Whilst it makes sense that things like Antivirus and Antispam package sizes are linked to the main SM account size (as every email account will need those features) - I think it's unfair that MAPI is as well, due to the fact it's unlikely (or at least, for a large amount of people) that every email account will need MAPI access.

In my case as an example, I have the 1000 email account SM package, but will only need around 50 of those accounts to be MAPI enabled - however I am forced into purchasing the 1000 MAPI license, when the 250 one would be plenty enough, and save me $200 a year...

Wasn't EWS only $149 a year before per server regardless of amount of mailboxes? I remember in one of the large MAPI threads that a fixed price for MAPI had been mentioned at around $99 as well - why did it then switch to account size pricing?

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2
EWS used to be a flat $199 per server.  

We use EWS for our many MAC customers.  We have an Exchange server for our corporate Outlook users, and therefore have NO plans to immediately run MAPI on SmarterMail-- not until enough time has passed and users in the community give MAPI two thumbs up.  Why?  We were repeatedly burned with EAS.  We recruited customers from other Exchange providers onto EAS and it wasn't long before complaints started.  Got tired of having to apologize for the bugs and idiosyncrasies.  We WON'T make that same mistake with MAPI.  It will have to prove itself before we even THINK about offering it on SM.

But SmarterTools jammed us.  We can't renew EWS for our MAC customers, without being forced to buy MAPI also-- something we neither need nor want.  So our $199 renewal is $600... TRIPLE the price.... with no way to buy stand-alone EWS anymore.

It's one thing to add a new paid-for feature, and give users the option to buy or not.  It's another thing to TAKE AWAY something (EWS) we've been using, unless we ALSO buy something we don't even want... with NO advanced notice.


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No one else feels a bit miffed by this? :(
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Apparently not.  Likewise, I can't get any buy-in on no longer being able to renew EWS without being forced to purchase MAPI also.  We have Mac clients who need EWS, but we don't need MAPI on SmarterMail right now.  We put corporate customers who need the full Outlook experience on our Exchange server.
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Miffed, yes but they seem to be standing behind it and we therefore had to pay the increased amount earlier this month and MAPI is not even available.  Like others we added EWS support because it cost pennies and made life easier for Mac users but because of the change EWS now costs 3 times more.

MAPI support is probably 5 years or more too late, for our customers that want Office they will and do purchase via O365 licensing and therefore want to benefit from Exchange/OneDrive/Teams integration.

In the longer term it probably means we will push O365 for customers that want the enterprise collaboration experience and for those that IMAP fits the bill will move them over to our dovecot based platform. In this regard it is not necessarily just a Smartermail issue but a wider challenge to provide something that is a technically and financially worthwhile alternative to 365 et al.
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Are you really that surprised?  Smartertools has become all about the money over the past year.  Last year, they changed their support policy and basically abandoned supporting previous versions and now this.

I feel like things will only get worse which is why we opted not to renew last year.

If customers don't speak with their wallets, they will continue to nickel and dime all they can.  I personally sense that Smartertools ownership is looking to pump revenue for a possible sale to a VC firm and cashing out.
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We just renewed and added MAPI since we thought it would be close.
We joined the beta and so far we and most others in the beta forum can't get it to work.
Based on the lack of response from Smartertools in the beta forum and the complaints I would guess its far from being ready.

So just a waste of our MAPI money.  Should have waited and added it when its ready and that might be awhile.

5
Based on the lack of response from Smartertools in the beta forum and the complaints I would guess its far from being ready.

So just a waste of our MAPI money.  Should have waited and added it when its ready and that might be awhile.

This EXACTLY is why we made the conscious decision NOT to implement MAPI for at least 6-12 months.  

We pumped up EAS like crazy to our customers, then took an embarrassing pie-in-the-face when it didn't work right.  We were able to move some to our Exchange server (eating some of the cost, in the name of saving our reputation) while others just left and went back to their old provider.  EAS was a disaster.  Being 80% or 90% right isn't good enough.  When even a few important things don't work, it harms the client.

We vowed NEVER to make that same mistake again with SmarterMail.  Won't implement ANY new features until they are proven to work, and work well.


1
The thing I think is odd, that I allready paid for mapi combined with EWS but it isn't in production yet. And seen the response of Smartertools there are still too many issues.
5
Just got our renewal quote and was wondering why it was so much higher than previous years. When I saw that MAPI had been combined with EWS and was at a 300% markup I immediately realized why.

Seems kind of ridiculous to charge 3x more for an existing product because of additional functionality that may or may not be coming within the next year. I see that a RC is about a month away, but originally we were told MAPI would be released with v17 in Sept 2018, then early Spring 2019, now sometime soonerish. I would earnestly be surprised if a fully functional MAPI implementation actually made it into SM by Spring 2020 (which honestly it would be better to be a year and a half late than be released and spend two or three years troubleshooting to find out it doesn't really work well, like EAS was after it had been initially introduced).

Realistically we have one customer chomping the bit for MAPI, meanwhile we only have maybe a dozen users currently using EWS (half of which are our own employees). At the new price EWS is not really worth the cost to us now. Before, it was easy tacking on an extra 20% to the SM renewal for the benefit of offering EWS to our customers (even if hardly any ended up using it), but it is another thing to justify the same cost as our SM Ent. Unlimited renewal for just the MAPI/EWS plugin alone. For those that have a large number of customers who need MAPI to offset the cost then it is a nice surprise that it is being combined with EWS. For those that don't, then it's just a slap in the face.

We are probably going to cancel EWS and re-evaluate demand once MAPI is finally released Live and is proven to be working 97-99% of all cases.
0
From an "is it legal" standpoint, I'm curious how a company can force(*) a customer to purchase third-party licensing for a component (MAPI) that has never been available for production use in said company's product.

(*) by forcibly bundling MAPI as a requirement to get EWS, even for customers renewing an existing EWS-only license.
5
The new EWS/MAPI pricing scheme should only be applied when MAPI is out of beta and considered stable and usable in production environnements.
Paying royalities for a protocol that isn't fully implemented/working is a non-sense to me.


6
@Scarab -- well said as MAPI was promised as early as Q1 2018. Good to know that others are in the same boat. Sometimes hesitant to post frustrations due to possible backlash.

We are in a similar position with little demand for MAPI. It only works with one client (Outlook) and those users are moving to Office365 due to Microsoft bundling it with Office upgrades. Would prefer to see webmail improvements, security enhancements, and better mobile device synchronization which would benefit more users.

Back to this thread. Here's an additional request -> unjoin EAS and Cyren from SM upgrades. So you can pay for EAS and Cyren licenses separately without having to renew SM. For example, if you're on v15 with no plans to upgrade, you don't have to pay for v17 to keep using 10 EAS licenses.
1
I think MAPI should be a separate option from EWS and EAS.
If EWS and / or EAS are needed to make MAPI work you could SEPARATELY list both EAS and EWS and MAPI, with the clause that those who want MAPI must also have EAS and / or EWS.

As it is now is a double shame because:
1 - it is not said that those who have EAS and / or EWS also want to have MAPI

2 - at the moment MAPI is in BETA (although maybe you should say preAlpha ...) and besides it is TOTALLY not working (go check in the beta forum: NO ONE of the beta testers has managed to make it work even remotely decent ...), but you are making him pay the same and I think this is ILLEGAL !!!


0
@gmaoret said:
go check in the beta forum: NO ONE of the beta testers has managed to make it work even remotely decent 

Do you have a link to the beta forum?  I can't seem to find it, and wonder if it's only for beta testers.

0
@ Paul R: you have to request access by send a mail to 'sales@smartertools.com'
1
I add to my previous post so as not to be misunderstood: I really like Smarter Mail very much.
I find it a great product, so I think the team has done a great job so far and I think SmarterTools deserves all my trust for the future.

But in the case of the MAPI beta I don't find it fair to pay (since it doesn't work much more than nothing ...) and I would also like SmarterTools to communicate more clearly and punctually to those trying out the product.

I don't understand how you can say that MAPI works well and we're almost at the point of having a full release when NONE in the Beta forum has managed to make it work as it should ...

1
Paul R. - You raise a good point.

I don't like the degredation into the question of legality or think it is likely to have any legs but  I do see the problem with the licensing vis-a-vis your use case and perhpas ours.  In our case, we probably wouldn't loose many users/domains by simply dropping EWS support if MAPI isn't ready to go.  That would re-open the can of worms considering re-balancing what is hosted in SM and that opens the other can of worms of Standard vs Enterprise (we've always chosen Enterprise) and the sizing of the SM server.

I have a lot of confidence in what ST are doing vis-a-vis MAPI.  
We've lost several thousand customers over the past few years over functionality with Outlook and have been considering whether to gamble the rest by offering MAPI in the early days even though we might pick up the add-on to develop confidence in it ourselves.

You raise a good point though.  For the handful of users that use Apple systems we've added the EWS option and not really recovered the cost of the add-on although it does reduce support costs to offset that.  I hadn't considered the effect of the new licensing because I assumed we would do both.  An EWS option with a MAPI option on top of EWS (a cascading option) would be a nice touch and certainly fairer to somone in your position.

I think Ben G's idea about not tying the MAPI option to the server size would be good if possible too, especially given that it can be enabled/disabled at the account level but I think ST did comment that it was constrained by the way Microsoft license it.  Given that ST are the only one, or possibly one of a very small group, who have moved forward with direct MAPI  integration, maybe it would still be possible for them to discuss these many constructive ideas/obstacles further with Microsoft.

I think you both have good points worth consideration.  At the same time, SM becomes somewhat unique as an alternative to our SPLA licensed Exchange servers and as long as it works, as I think it will, we'll run with whatever the plan is.  If it doesn't work (fully supporting Outlook without exceptions) then I'm not sure I see the value in the Enterprise version at all but would likely still offer the Standard version. If the MAPI integration fails I don't think it will be for lack of trying or commitment of resources on ST's part.  They have gambled a big part of the farm on it.   

In a discussion outside ST I've seen some thoughts of replacing large licenses with smaller licenses or licensing up both Standard and Enterprise in different sizes.  I suspect you could operate that way like the old split domain approach, especially with a plug-in filter like the old MxGuard used to do to shoehorn-in their product.  You might even do it with a domain level rule but it sounds like more of a headache than it's worth at the scale we've been knocked to with SmarterMail. 

These are early days and with positive input in this thread perhaps there is still an opportunity for ST to refine the licensing for use cases like yours.  Maybe what's really needed is a single version of the server with functionality addon's but I'm sure the devolopment of the UI to configure it, and the portal though which to license it, would slow things down quite a bit and I wouldn't like to see that.

All that said, and taking into consideration the comments on the current status of the beta, I  still think ST should take as much time as they need to get it right, not fast. Slow will result in more attrition of course but releasing it with some of the warts that plagued early releases of prior versions might change the future discussion entirely.  Bringing additional features to an existing user base who then champion it is a different proposition from trying to find a new user base in today's market.  

Let's keep it up-beat and positive while working together to drive the point home that ST might actually benefit from putting a little more thought into trying to cajole Microsoft into something more flexible.


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MAPI over HTTP - Let's do it!

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