Samsung Contact Is Dead

Samsung SDS has announced the premature end of life of its Unix/Linux-based Exchange alternative, Samsung Contact.

Back in 2001, Samsung licensed the source code for OpenMail from HP. Its aim was to provide a migration path for HP's installed base, open up new markets for an Exchange alternative, and add unified messaging functionality.

Initial indications were positive. The Samsung management seemed willing to invest in the business, and ran the U.K.-based Contact business unit as an essentially separate entity -- almost as if the Contact team were a startup and Samsung was its VC. However, in 2002 there was a management change at Samsung and the new guard felt unwilling to fund Contact at the previous level. Since then, the team has steadily shrunk, as it hemorrhaged talent -- notably to its main competitor in the Exchange alternative market, Scalix.

It's a shame. We always had a soft spot for HP OpenMail, which held a significant proportion of the large enterprise market in its heyday. It also had a fine, U.K.-based team at its beautiful Pinewood office, nestled in Berkshire woodland. However, Scalix carries on the torch, its server also being based on the OpenMail code.

... Richi Jennings [who worked at HP Pinewood 1987-2001 and was Samsung Contact's CTO until 2003]

One Comment

  1. Sai
    Posted January 22, 2006 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

    Richi, I, being a part of that wonderful team (HP OpenMail in India & UK) and a wonderful product it is consoling in the least to see the transmogrification..

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