Scalix and SugarCRM have teamed up to offer integration that allows their mutual Linux customers to move between their primary Microsoft Outlook desktop e-mail client, SugarCRM software and Scalixs Linux-based Mail Server.
Customers will now be able to integrate their Linux-based messaging from Scalix with their CRM (customer relationship management) system from SugarCRM, using multiple versions of Microsoft Outlook, giving them an integrated, server-to-server CRM and messaging solution, the companies said Dec. 18.
This integration is enabled by Scalixs native support for Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, and its support for Mozilla Thunderbird clients, as well as by the Sugar Plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, which gives customers integrated functionality.
Support for the upcoming Outlook 2007 client is expected within months of its general release, currently scheduled for January, 30, 2007.
Mutual customers will now be able to synchronize shared information between SugarCRM and Scalix, including contacts, calendar items and tasks, undertake e-mail archiving from the Scalix inbox into SugarCRM, and do a rules-based sync of designated customer contacts, messages and appointments.
Integration with Scalix Web Access, its AJAX Web client, is expected with the next release of the product, targeted for the end of the first quarter of 2007, Glenn Winokur, Scalixs chief executive officer, told eWEEK.
While Winokur acknowledges that the majority of corporate desktops are running Outlook, he points to the fact that the Scalix "clients of choice" architecture offers users choice in client desktops and mail interfaces, so their IT departments can let them retain the familiar e-mail client they use daily, while still gaining the benefits of Linux and open source for the underlying messaging infrastructure.
"Scalixs feature-to-feature support for Outlook is one of the primary reasons companies are choosing Scalix when they want a Linux-based Exchange alternative. We are seeing an increased demand for integrating best-of-breed open source solutions," he said.
Winokur also confirmed to eWEEK that the company is preparing to raise a new round of funding, saying it was "in a pre-planned cycle of exploring various options for our next round of funding."
Jacob Taylor, SugarCRMs CTO and co-founder, points to the convergence of the broad adoption of Outlook in the enterprise and the increasing deployment of Linux infrastructure.
"Scalixs Outlook support and Linux environment directly addresses the needs of our customers," he said.
Channel partners like Gordon Hubbard, the managing director of Custom Technology Australia Pty. Ltd., an Australian-based Scalix and SugarCRM VAR partner, welcomed the move, saying that this collaboration "will be a huge advantage for customers and resellers building open enterprise systems."
The integration would give customers "best of breed commercial open-source CRM and industrial-strength messaging—integrated on the scalable Linux platform. We look forward to seeing the benefits of improved integration between these two leading software suites," he said.
SugarCRM also now has more than 1,000 paying customers, while Sugar Open Source, available at no cost, has been downloaded over 1 million times. The product now has more than 300 extensions and other enhancements that have been contributed by the development community.
Users also like the fact that it is based on open technologies like Linux, MySQL, Apache and PHP, and that it supports multiple platforms—Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X and Linux—and has database support for Oracle, Microsoft and MySQL, said SugarCRM CEO John Roberts.
"The move to commercial open source is happening at the operating system, database and application layers and customers increasingly want to be in control and to avoid being locked-in by proprietary software vendors. Commercial Open Source is an idea whose time has come," he said.
The Department of Human Services for the State of Oregon, its largest state public agency with over 9,000 employees, is one such customer.
The Department uses the Sugar Cube Appliance to manage relations with 35,000 health care providers and has achieved HIPAA compliance while reducing paper-based health care transactions and error rates.
"SugarCRM was one of the great successes within DHS over the last year. We achieved HIPAA compliance and delivered a centralized and secure data set with reporting capacities that were extremely easy to use," said Bill Crowell, the CIO for the department.