Linux E-Mail Platform Could Aid Migration

Scalix released a new version of its Linux-based e-mail and calendaring software and expanded desktop support.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based vendor of messaging software said that Scalix 9.0, released on Monday, offers a migration path to Linux messaging by providing cross-platform interoperability. Scalix develops messaging software for Linux and open systems architectures. Scalix includes e-mail and calendaring functions, shared folders and contact management, while the underlying technology is extensible to other kinds of messaging such as IM or collaboration applications.

“We plug and play nicely in a mixed-vendor, mixed-platform environment,” said Julie Hanna Farris, Scalix CEO and founder. She said the product lets customers save money by moving their e-mail platforms to Linux on the server side while maintaining the desktop operating environment of choice. “Some enterprises want to buy best-of-breed solutions they can integrate through standards,” she said.

With the new release, Scalix expanded its desktop support to include Outlook 2003; support for Ximian Evolution and Scalix Web Access will be added by late summer. The product lets cross-platform customers deploy integrated e-mail, calendaring and scheduling across Windows, Linux, UNIX and Macintosh desktops. The company included a Web services-based administrative platform and single sign-on capabilities.

The latest release is the company’s fourth. The product’s code base is open source, and it’s built on HP’s OpenMail source license, which Scalix owns. Some aspects of the product are closed source, Farris said.

Scalix 9.0 is licensed at $60 per seat, with volume discounts available. Farris said that non-Linux-based companies would save money by licensing the product because they could reduce the number of e-mail servers necessary and, when doing server upgrades, buy cheaper Linux server software.

“This is more about what the company is paying for the mail server. We don’t go in and say, ‘Change your mail system,'” she said. Farris pointed out that many companies face changing out their mail servers anyway. “Most of the market is running on releases of mail server software that are several years old,” she said. Besides being hard to maintain and unreliable, she said, “some are quite old and support is terminating.”

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