For over 15 years Open-Xchange has led the market in hosted email solutions, right from when we released our first real SaaS email platform. That was at a time when the word “Cloud” did not exist in a technology context, and the concept of web-based solutions was still relatively new. Moving forward to 2016, we released a fully hosted solution in our own data centers and have continued to innovate ever since.
Over the last two years, the Open-Xchange team has been working to significantly upgrade our hosted platform by implementing a containerized architecture. This was rapidly augmented with Kubernetes and continually refined to provide a better and more efficient hosted email platform. Today this delivers a hosted platform with increased efficiency and operational agility.
While many of our customers choose the Cloud route for delivering email services, we also understand that some of our customers prefer to host OX App Suite themselves. Those customers can now also benefit from the development work on OX App Suite, with the release of OX App Suite Software Subscription v8.
What is OX App Suite Software Subscription v8?
In short, Open-Xchange now delivers the most advanced version of OX App Suite (based on the OX App Suite Cloud platform) so that it can be deployed on any customer’s Kubernetes architecture.
This package not only includes the new containerized architecture, but also the latest version of the OX App Suite software. This includes an enhanced User Interface (UI) and other features that are only available on this new architecture.
What is Kubernetes?
Officially Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, but simply put it is the brain behind a containerized system. It manages everything, to keep it up and running no matter what happens.
Open-Xchange adopted Kubernetes for many reasons, including its maturity, stability, efficiency and of course because it too is open-source. What this means to our customers is that they get engineering agility end-to-end and a much easier system to maintain.
Delivering real benefits?
OX App Suite Software Subscription v8 delivers a range of benefits to both customers and their end-users. The first is consistent and repeatable rollout, as Open-Xchange provides all the Helm charts and necessary resources to deploy a full OX App Suite Software Subscription to a Kubernetes cluster.
Other advantages include:
- Frequent, incremental releases (around every four weeks).
- Operating System maintenance, automation, orchestration, and features like “cluster restarts” are also included.
- High quality automation reduces unplanned downtime.
- Rolling updates and Zero-Downtime Deployments.
- More standardized, streamlined operations, which results in improved quality and less downtime.
- More efficient resource utilization - CPU utilization is optimized.
- High availability and failover.
- Security and Isolation - Open-Xchange is working on “hardened” images for improved security.
The Enhanced UI
The enhanced v8 UI design builds on three basic principles:
- Significantly improve on original/successful features
This reduces change churn because the UI is still very familiar, yet significantly improved.
- Deliver a cleaner UI
Visually the UI appears less congested to simplify the User Experience (UX), while keeping all functionality easily accessible.
- Make the UX more enjoyable.
The enhanced UI is designed to excite users, drive usage, and reduce churn.
The result of all this UI and UX work is significant and includes:
- Increased customer satisfaction, as observed by existing customers on our hosted platform.
- A UX that is more intuitive, which improves usability.
- Personalization features, such as background selection, which help with user buy-in and in turn reduces change churn.
This is a major development for Open-Xchange and our on-prem customers. It also delivers a wide range of potential benefits. The new architecture, for anyone who is already using containers, offers significant advantages for operations and end-user stability. For anyone not using a containerized architecture, Open-Xchange can discuss the benefits this approach delivers and help in the transition.
The end-user features and benefits alone make this release very attractive: the exciting enhanced UI, new theming, and addition of AI, along with the new features on the roadmap.
Finally, you are not alone - we include a lot more documentation and training, for example:
- OX App Suite v8 user interface training
- OX App Suite v7 vs v8 training
(please check spam for registration email to the Rise training)
And, as our customers already know, the Open-Xchange team is always available to talk about our products and how we can support your business. Contact us anytime.