Business Email/Productivity Suite

So this may be a roundabout way of asking @jarland for his opinion but I also would like to hear everyone’s opinion.

I’ve used Zimbra before.

I’ve used Outlook before.

I’ve used Axigen before.

I’ve never used Crossbox as a productivity suite.

Anyone have any opinions? Why? Why not? What’s your thought?

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I used group-office for a about a year in 2008 for small office of 4. It worked great for me, the 3 other non-tech-savvy people didn’t care for it.
Not really what you are looking for, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it lol.


I haven’t used Crossbox either, kind of overkill setup for my personal stuff.

I remember finding Zimbra extremely heavy back when testing it as a replacement for my previous employers on-prem Exchange solution, and for our usecase back then it was actually cheaper to migrate our users to O365.

Full disclosure, I work for Axigen so I would be really interested in hearing your opinion here if you don’t mind sharing? :slight_smile:

Another one that has similar features might be Mailcow maybe?

Personally I just use a Virtualmin server with roundcube as webmail. Gotten so used to it over the years that everything else just feels weird. No push notifications for emails or anything, but it just works.


For personal stuff, Crossbox is overkill however if it’s for your enterprise and you plan to grow it’s really a great tool.
I mainly like the MX one option when you have multiple mails servers you can use the same MX.

However TIP: Always go directly for a Master Proxy + Server backend, I wouldn’t do an all-in-one setup it’s hard to migrate then to a scalable infrastructure.


I’ve used mailcow (with Roundcube for webmail access instead of the default SOGo) for years now.

Only time it has issues is when DNS goes funky.

I have always fancied trying Axigen/Crossbox/Zimbra though.


Oh, might also mention Kerio.
Quite a lot of our trial sign-ups come from Kerio, some we win, some we lose.
Never tried it personally though.


I’ve used OpenXchange and Zimbra, quite a few years ago. They were OK.

Afterlogic is nice, provided for regular accounts at MXroute. The mobile interface doesn’t provide calendar and contacts, but the webmail works well. If you use the desktop web interface for contacts, it works fine, but if you import a lot of contacts, chances are you will have to use another CardDAV client to clean up contacts (it’s picky as to which phone numbers and email addresses it shows).

Crossbox is nice and fancy, but for webmail I actually prefer RoundCube (which Crossbox also provides, along with other webmails, NextCloud, Mattermost and more). AFAIK native Crossbox doesn’t offer calendar and contacts.

Never tried Axigen. I personally hardly ever use webmail, so not sure if I will, either, as it did look fancy/expensive … :sweat_smile:


Yeah actually CrossBox doesn’t provide calendars or such if you press it’s simply nextcloud’s calendar in a Iframe :

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I feel like for businesses, none of the above cuts the current business demands.

Businesses now need more than email to manage their to day, like shared inboxes, multi-channel communication channels, social media tool and so on. So when I think of a Business Productivity Suite, I immediately think of CMS’s, ERP’s and everything in between. Email is just one piece, a major important piece, but still just one of the pieces.

That said, I use and refer MXroute as the email provider, even for companies using CMS’s and ERP’s, like ZOHO One that make it a pain in the ass to have your primary email on an external IMAP or POP.
for instance, yesterday I had to setup fake email for ZOHO One users to use as their “Zoho mailbox”, in order to then setup an imap account for them that is an MXroute email id. But it’s totally worth it.
Crossbox on the other hand, apart from the looks, it doesn’t pull me in.

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Huh well I’ll be! It’s been a few years (actually like 6-7 years now, so I started using it before Axigen X was a thing and I remember the email I got when “Axigen X has been released!”. Did end up upgrading to Axigen X) since I last used Axigen but I really liked it.

  1. On the sysadmin side, the control panel was very intuitive and easy-to-use, straightforward experience. I did have an initial issue setting it up where Axigen somehow just wasn’t seeing emails whereas if I setup Zimbra on the same server it worked out of the box (with updated DNS records and such, I think Axigen JUST came out with DKIM support too). I don’t remember how I resolved it but it got done.
  2. On the user experience side, it was nice (non-technical members of our team really enjoyed it). But this was when calendar wasn’t fully built-out yet and conversation view was still slated for Axigen X4 (at the time, 4-5 years away). The product was great but at the time we moved away as there were other solutions that supported conversation view and (iirc) full calendar support (I think at the time there was calendar support but it wasn’t fully built out yet). Calendar was important as we used a ton of meeting invites for scheduling and (at the time) not having good support for that was a little frustrating. I think at the end of the day, our users just enjoyed the familiarity of Zimbra better.

However, Axigen was always in the back of my mind as one of those products I wanted to keep an eye on and try again at a later time. Haven’t gotten back to it but honestly, 10/10 I have so much respect for the team behind that product. It’s definitely something that got a lot of love.

So I’ve been keeping an eye on OpenXchange for a while. Can you expand on why they’re just “OK”? I saw the web-based office alternative as a major plus, but then again I (at the time) didn’t have the funds to pay for docx → openXchange reader.

Yeah. I think Crossbox more of as a drop-in replacement for Horde Groupware but with “newer web tech”.

Had to interact with that ages ago, they have quite active regional resellers in this area; their main selling point is/was “seamless” Outlook integration (EWS), whilst many of the alternatives have EAS (mostly based on Z-Push) and you have to install an EAS connector in Outlook if IMAP is too old-school for you. Installing connectors is (was?) sometimes frowned upon in certain environments, if it’s not an issue you may just self-host and install the AGPL Kopano or its new fork (?) and rival on the block, grommunio (drama)
Gave a cursory look now at Axigen, which I didn’t know… it only does EAS, correct? Nice interface

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I will admit, there are things that still are a bit fiddly to get right, especially if you’re new to it, but the documentation is for the most part quite good these days.
Those that don’t have a problem reading, usually fare quite well, the rest bothers me on support for even the simplest of questions.

Calendar is now quite well integrated, and conversation view will come in X4 which initially was on route for Q4 2021, but has been pushed to Q1 2022.

There are some properly nice things about the product, and there are places where there is definitely room for improvements.

Don’t hesitate to give me a shout should you try it out again though!

We do have an Outlook connector also which works ok-ish, for calendar/contacts syncing with Outlook.


Sounds great! Yeah I totally understand getting everything right takes time. The documentations were absolutely solid when I was looking at them too at the time.

Looking forward to it all! There’s definitely some amazing parts of the product:

  • Administrator side (Sysadmin side) is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
  • User experience is spot on with the mail (san conversation view but the way I envision it, conversation view is hard and would make quite the disruption on the current way Axigen operates so I understand that’ll take time to get right).
  • As a standalone product, it’s very well done (even the fiddly parts are good enough for the standalone product as a whole).

I’ll probably give it a shot when X4 comes out. I’m so used to the Conversation View workflow to email handling that it’s one of those “on the surface small but in-depth big/deep” quality of life improvements that I find a critical factor to my email experience.

I’ll try to keep an eye out for it but when X4 comes out please post it on this forum! Super excited to hear about that!

When I say I’m a big fan, I am a big fan. I feel like it’s such a small world that you actually work for Axigen as I found out about it by simply deep-diving into Google at the time. Axigen at the time always felt like that “secret quality product” that didn’t get enough love/widespread adoption compared to Horde/Roundcube/RainLoop. While I haven’t used it as much, I’m 100% supportive of Axigen.

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i haven’t used OX since 2008 or something, so memory is blurry. But when we switched to Zimbra, it was a nice upgrade. IIRC, syncing with phones worked better, and Zimbra provided Sieve (I don’t recall what kind of filters OX had, but they weren’t as good) … :innocent:

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Not wanting to derail but has anyone seen issues with non-exchange imap servers and outlook? Mainly having to manually click “send/receive” all the time, even when set to check every X minutes?

I like to keep things mostly disconnected. An app for each thing I need. Big SaaS suites are easy to lock yourself into. I suppose if there’s any one where most of my stuff ends up, it’s NextCloud.


That’s very true.
Once you adopt something like ZOHO One, you’re kind of stuck with it. And they sure know it, afterall they are increasing the prices for current users in 15%. Starting next January.

To be honest, I’ve never really got into the conversation view.
It does get asked a lot though, so seems it might be me who’s missing out :slight_smile:

Will try to put out a notice here and tag you when it gets released.

Thanks for the feedback, I will pass it along to those above me.
It’s not like I can take any credit for the product, I’ve only been here for just over a year now :slight_smile:

Not really. I’ve set it to send/receive every 5 minutes and honestly it’s better at updating all folders than Thunderbird has been in recent iterations.


Same but you still have to manually click send/receive or it won’t show new emails. I’ll keep digging (or, as its outlook probably remove and re-add the account).

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God ZOHO one was terrible — even when it was still free-ish.

Moved to GSuite and never looked back (benefit being that Google does have a way to export your data into mostly standard formats).

Edit: If you’re looking for a self-hosted solution, then Crossbox is fine. Still rocking my old license :slight_smile: