The European Email Market Is Poised for Growth

Europe has dozens of languages, thousands of historic sites, and is approaching 200 million email users, according to a new study from The Radicati Group. Currently comprising just fewer than one third of the world's email users, the report looks at critical trends for growth in the European corporate messaging market from 2004 to 2008. The market for service-provider email solutions--software that provides Web-based email and other remote access services to ISPs and IT organizations--is expected to grow at a 17 percent annual rate as more companies enter the market to compete with the likes of Sun Microsystems and Critical Path. Hosted email is driven in large part by user desire for mobility and device independence, allowing them to access the same inbox from anywhere. Owing to the premium price tag on both Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, their combined 56 percent of the installed European corporate messaging market accounts for a whopping 95 percent of messaging server license revenues. The giants continue to slug it out. According to Sara Radicati, Radicati Group president, IBM has done a better job in Europe holding the market Lotus Notes pioneered than it has in the U.S.: "Notes got there first, and has had very deep entrenchment, with loyal, larger accounts," she says. "Microsoft has just not penetrated Europe as well, and has had some trouble getting very large accounts in Europe, and has had trouble with smaller accounts" because of high prices. The other 44 percent of business-email users employ solutions from a variety of smaller vendors, as well as open source alternatives. Open source-email platforms have anywhere from 3 to 30 percent of the European messaging market, depending on industry. But the majority of corporate email users name Microsoft Outlook as their email client of choice. Based on corporate user surveys Radicati concludes that 46 percent of all European email traffic is spam, and she projects an increase to more than 70 percent over four years. Based on respondent data about the productivity costs and exposure to misleading or fraudulent messaging generated by spam, Radicati indicates that unsolicited emails will generate more than 85 billion euros in losses in 2008, "if nothing is done to curtail it," she says. This amount far exceeds predicted losses due to computer viruses. Various proposals are under consideration worldwide to tightly regulate email traffic through both regulatory and technological means, although most are considered too preliminary to fully evaluate. Taken in aggregate Radicati concludes that the messaging market in North America closely mirrors the European experience--for now. Greater Europe has some low-tech wildcard countries that may change the landscape in the near future. "The big question is whether there is going to be accelerated growth from the eastern European countries, but I think we are a couple of years away from that," Radicati says.
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