Case Study: How the Reliance Group to Migrated from Lotus to Scalix

Linux-based Scalix solution cut messaging costs for India’s largest communications company by up to 90 percent

About the Reliance Group

The Reliance Group is among India’s top three private sector business houses, with assets of over €22 billion and an €11 billion net worth. The Group’s flagship company, Reliance Communications, is India's largest private sector information and communications company, with over 150 million subscribers. It has established a pan-India, high-capacity, integrated (wireless and wireline), convergent (voice, data and video) digital network, to offer services spanning the entire infocomm value chain.

Other major group companies — Reliance Capital and Reliance Infrastructure — are the market leaders in their respective areas of operation. Through its products and services, the Reliance Group touches the life of 1 in 10 Indians every single day. It has a business presence in over 20,000 Indian towns and 450,000 villages, and in five continents across the globe.

The challenge of managing messaging costs

With more than 250 companies and a user base of more than 120,000, the Reliance Group faced several major concerns:

  • The high per user cost of their existing IBM Lotus Domino messaging platform.
  • Heavy resource requirements for the vast deployment of Lotus servers.
  • The premium power user licensing fee they had to pay for all their users, even though 60 percent of users only needed email with occasional access to webmail.
  • As a cost saving initiative, they wanted to migrate the thousands of email-only users from MS Office to OpenOffice and the Thunderbird email client. However, limited Lotus integration with Thunderbird proved to be a roadblock.
  • The Reliance Group’s SME and corporate clients for on-premises and hosted email were also looking for a feature-rich, cost effective alternative to MS Exchange and Lotus Notes.

Solution Requirements

The Reliance Mail and Messaging Team came up with key criteria for a feature rich, cost effective email and collaboration alternative:

  • Email, calendaring and other features on a par with Exchange and Lotus.
  • Clear licensing differentiation between power users and email-only users.
  • Equal or lesser resource requirements.
  • Minimal infrastructure costs for servers and third party solutions (Linux was the preferred platform.)
  • Feature rich, easy to use webmail.
  • Compatible with multiple email clients, including Thunderbird and Outlook.
  • Integration with existing third party applications in the ecosystem.
  • Customization and re-branding for offerings to outside clients.
  • Work with Active Directory setup and single sign-on.
  • Work seamlessly on thinner bandwidth such as the data cards used by many Reliance Capital field employees.
  • Co-existence with the legacy Lotus Notes solution, including the syncing of address books.
  • calable with high availability.
  • Support for SAN/NAS storage.
  • Virtualisation support.

The Scalix Solution

Using the determined criteria, the Reliance Mail and Messaging Team started evaluating several available options in market. Including Zimbra, NetCore, Atmail, Mithi, and Google, as well as Scalix.

Proof of Concept comparison tests gave the advantage to Scalix due to its offerings, flexibility open platform support, and speed of webmail on data cards from various locations.

Following the key feature tests, the Reliance and Scalix technical teams performed exhaustive Lotus-to-Scalix co-existence and migration tests.

The Results

Reliance and Scalix agreed to migrate 90,000 of their users from Lotus to Scalix over a 5-year period from 2010 to 2015. Reliance also started offering Scalix as a lower-cost hosted email solution to their SME and corporate clients.

The results of the migration from Lotus to Scalix are proving remarkable:

  • A 90 percent reduction in licensing fees for both premium and standard email users.
  • Thunderbird connectivity saved local email client costs.
  • Blackberry connectivity saved the additional cost of migrating the Blackberry environment.
  • Deployment with the Red Hat Cluster Suite along with a virtualized environment helped
  • educe server hardware requirements.
  • Linux servers brought down server OS and user license costs.
  • Scalix helped assure continuous operations with full 24 x 7 support for both Reliance and their clients.

According to Mr. Rohit Dighe, head of the Reliance Mail and Messaging Team, “The deployment of Scalix in our production environment, as well as the migration of mailboxes from our existing solution to Scalix, happened as planned and seamlessly. Scalix has worked very well, and has more than satisfied our expectations. In fact, we have plans to implement more licenses from Scalix in the future.”

Mr. Dighe continued, “Scalix not only provides a specific niche within the messaging and collaboration industry, it also helps us to solve problems that others could not. They have a very impressive track record in the open source email market.”

About Scalix

Scalix is the most field-proven Linux-based email, calendaring and messaging software that significantly expands the proven and successful HP OpenMail product on which it is based. Scalix delivers premier enterprise collaboration for standalone and hosting environments, reducing the cost and complexity of messaging and fostering freedom of choice with products based on open standards and open source. Scalix, Inc. is headquartered in New York, with international offices in London, Frankfurt, Mumbai, and Tokyo. For more information, please visit