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Scalix Launches Channel Program For Linux Groupware

Scalix has launched a global partner program for its Linux-based groupware alternative to Microsoft Exchange.
Scalix has launched a U.S. channel program designed to entice partners to sell and service its Linux groupware server.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based software company launched on Monday its first channel program, Scalix Partner Network, which will provide leads and service opportunities for value-added resellers, distributors, consultants and systems integrators, according to the company.

Scalix licensed Hewlett-Packard's OpenMail technology and opened for business in 2002. Since then, it has worked to optimize the Linux groupware platform for the corporate environment. In 2004, company executives began recruiting partners throughout Europe--primarily in Germany, a Linux hotbed--and developed a global partner program in 2005.

In preparation for the launch of Scalix 9.1 at LinuxWorld next week, the company is officially launching its first channel program and portal for infrastructure-savvy partners in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Scalix executives said.

According to the company, there is no fee to participate in the program, which will provide lead registration to protect the integrity of leads and accounts, MDF for generating marketing activities, technical training and certification programs, competitive margins, no-cost licenses for internal use and a partner portal with a variety of marketing materials and information that will go live on Monday.

Scalix competes directly with open-source and commercial e-mail and calendaring servers, including Microsoft Exchange, Sun ONE, Novell GroupWise and other open-source offerings. The server, which provides significant support for Microsoft Outlook as a front-end client, will give partners myriad opportunities because of the complexities involved in integrating a new groupware server into a networked environment, said Glenn Winokur, president and CEO of Scalix.

"If you look at the applications gaining traction in Linux, it's mostly point applications, Web applications and fairly soloed apps," Winokur said. "There are major Unix-to-Linux conversions out there, and e-mail and calendaring is an application that touches everyone in an organization and has a lot of touch into the network, directory and storage. We see this as an interesting opportunity."

One longtime partner said the Scalix solution is a best-of-breed, compelling alternative for many customers looking to migrate to Linux from proprietary platforms.

"Scalix is a proven solution from a code base that was once a business solution from HP," said Peter Radochia, president of KyndL, a Linux systems integrator and IBM Business Partner based in Wakefield, Mass., who has implemented Scalix at several customer sites. "Customers who go to Scalix want to get away from Microsoft as the back end, and they can use Outlook or the Scalix client as a front end."