Ten Leading Open Source Innovators: Page 9

Posted February 21, 2007
By

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance


(Page 9 of 10)

9. Scalix

Location: San Mateo, CA

Product or service: Scalix offers open-source messaging, calendar, and collaboration products for enterprise environments.

Why it’s innovative: Email applications are the heart of enterprise messaging and the springboard for further collaboration efforts. Scalix has taken pains in the latest release of its platform to extend the typical messaging applications (email, calendar, notes) to other enterprise applications. Taking a Web services approach, Scalix provides SOAP-based APIs for cross-application integration, allowing companies to link their email and calendaring with CRM, content management, ERP, and mobile applications.

For previous Microsoft Exchange customers, Scalix offers a migration application, and for those simply seeking more flexible server-side options, Scalix technology shields end-users who retain Outlook as the client from any changes.

Other email systems support Outlook, but due to the tight integration of Outlook and Exchange, users often notice a lack of functionality. Scalix Connect for Outlook natively supports MAPI and has been designed to provide feature-by-feature compatibility with the full range of functionality offered by Outlook. Additionally, SmartCache technology addresses the needs of mobile and remote users. SmartCache provides automatic offline email caching and retains a client-side copy of the user’s mailbox to avoid any disruptions in the event of network interruptions.

Driving enterprise-grade messaging to the mobile channel will be a must-have feature in the near future. According to Scalix, what hampers the adoption of enterprise-scale email on mobile devices is the fact that it tries to be enterprise-grade. Scalix argues that a full client-server messaging solution is overkill for most users, who simply want access to their inboxes and the ability to read and respond to messages. Scalix Mobile Web Client is a lightweight web interface that runs in any browser and provides basic mailbox access from cell phones, PDAs and hotel set-top boxes.

Finally, Scalix is embracing the application-ecosphere model for furthering adoption. Through its open community and many partnerships, third-party applications can be downloaded that have been fully integrated with Scalix. One such partnership is with SugarCRM (see above). The two offer an integrated, server-to-server CRM and messaging solution. Other add-on applications include antivirus, archiving and compliance, backup and restore, and performance monitoring applications.

What’s their track record? According to the company, more than 500 enterprise customers have deployed their software, which equates to over one million mailboxes and more than 10,000 deployed email servers. Customers include Rezidor Hotel Group, Concordia Bus, the city of Weymouth, MA, and Catawba College.

Funding: Scalix has raised $19.2 million in two funding rounds from Mayfield, New Enterprise Associates, and Mohr, Davidow Ventures. The company is in the process of raising a new round of funding.

What are the major obstacles to overcome? While Scalix shouldn’t expect to compete directly with Microsoft Exchange Server, there are enough Microsoft dissenters out there to constitute a solid market. Unfortunately, IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino has already captured much of that market.

As for open-source options, Scalix isn’t the only game in town. While Novell’s GroupWise isn’t open source, many will confuse it as such due to Novell’s commitment to Linux. Novell’s open-source NetMail messaging and calendaring solution evolved into Project Hula. Messaging Architects acquired NetMail and took over the leadership of Project Hula in late January. Adding to the confusion is Novell’s partnering agreement with Microsoft, and what that will mean when it comes to messaging is anyone’s guess. Scalix’ most direct competition comes from Zimbra and OpenXchange.

Management Team: Glenn Winokur, president and CEO, was previously COO of NetIQ. Phil Lavery, VP of sales and business development, formerly worked at Microsoft, where he held senior management positions in sales, marketing, business development, and channel management.

Jim Docherty, VP of EMEA sales, was formerly NetIQ’s VP of EMEA sales. Walter Lim, VP of finance, was previously corporate controller and senior director of finance operations for Informatica. Jim Black, VP of product development, was formerly VP of engineering at Critical Path.


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