Scalix, SugarCRM Build Integration Behind Outlook

Scalix SugarCRM

San Mateo, Calif.-based Scalix fields a Linux-based mail server, while SugarCRM, Cupertino, Calif., offers an open-source CRM system. Now both companies are using the Sugar Plug-In for Microsoft Outlook to bridge their product lines and put a Microsoft front end on what's essentially an open-source application stack.

"This is a natural. E-mail and CRM are complementary applications. We already supported Outlook, but with the Sugar Plug-in, right out of the chute we had something ready that we certified," said Scalix CEO Glenn Winokur. "Now we can go out to our partners and customers with this, and [SugarCRM] can go out to their partners and customers."

The Sugar Plug-in supports Outlook 2000 up to Outlook 2003. Scalix will add support for the upcoming Outlook 2007 client within months of its general release, Winokur said. Outlook 2007, like Office 2007, is due for general release in late January.

By using the Sugar Plug-In for Microsoft Outlook, Scalix and SugarCRM can create their own mini-software stack behind a familiar Outlook look-and-feel. The plug-in lets users synchronize shared information -- such as contacts, calendar items and tasks -- between the Scalix mail server and SugarCRM software. They also can use rule-based synchronization of named customer contacts, messages and appointments.

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Scalix already supported Outlook via its MAPI support. Indeed, such support for the Microsoft mail client has become almost a given for all e-mail, CRM and ERP products. and Sage Software, for instance, tout their own Outlook integration and even IBM's Lotus Domino, which competes head on with Microsoft Exchange Server, can use the Outlook client.