The battle for email cloud is set to heat up as enterprises start to rethink their email strategies, that's according to Forrester chief analyst, Ted Schadler. And the chief beneficiaries are going to be Microsoft and Google.
In a new report, Four Giants Compete For Your Cloud Email Business, Schadler explains how the advent of cloud services is going to shake up enterprises' spending on email.
Email is going to the first large-scale cloud application wrote Schadler. "The reasons are simple: Email in the cloud is cheaper; it will evolve faster; and it is a commodity application that an email provider can run. Not only that, it's a great test bed to master the issues of cloud computing providers.
And we're not talking about being a little cheaper either. Cloud-based email is going to be a lot cheaper "unless you're a 50,000-person company with a highly centralised email platform or you run hardware and software until it's old and crusty and a decade behind the times." Schadler wrote.
But when it comes to deciding which company is going to dominate the market, the issue is not so clear cut. With four major companies offering similarly priced services, the differentiators are going to be the level of integration that they offer.
It could be a lucrative market for vendors, not so much for the email itself but for the other services that can built on top of the mail offering. "We estimate that for every dollar you spend on cloud email, you'll wind up spending $3 to $10 on other cloud collaboration and communications services" Schadler wrote about enterprise spending plans.
And the winners are probably going to be Microsoft and Google said Schadler. Microsoft is the dominant player in the email market while Google made the boldest move into the cloud but he warned that IBM and Cisco shouldn't be discounted as providers.