Highs and Lows in a Segmented Collaborative Applications Market, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – July 10, 2000 – Like a family made up of many different personalities, the collaborative applications market consists of younger and older segments that interact on some levels while operating independently on others. The biggest segment achieves growth in large part by cannibalizing users from other segments, while smaller segments cannot seem to decide whether other collaborative segments are helping or hurting. The resulting mix of growth highs and lows is a key message of a new IDC report titled Collaborative Applications Market Forecast and Analysis, 2000-2004.


According to IDC, the collaborative applications market – which consists of solutions for integrated collaborative environments (ICE), team collaborative applications (TCA), standalone enterprise email, standalone service provider email, real-time data conferencing, and group calendaring/scheduling – is expected to hit $3.1 billion in software revenues worldwide this year. Examples of how market factors may yield very different growth results from one application segment to the next including the following:

· Segments are at different phases of development ranging from introduction (real-time data conferencing) to decline (standalone service provider email).

· The negative impact of ICE solutions' integration of broad collaborative functionality on standalone solutions ranges from limited (TCA) to fatal (standalone enterprise email).

· The emergence of hosted application services will boost demand for certain applications (standalone service provider email) and sustain growth for other enterprise saturated markets (ICE).

The fastest-growing segments of the market in terms of revenues will be team collaborative applications, followed by standalone service provider email and real-time conferencing software.

"Among the more mature segments, ICE has frozen opportunities for standalone enterprise email and to a degree, group calendaring/scheduling, but both ICE and group calendaring/scheduling suppliers will benefit from demand from a new source – the ASP market," said Mark Levitt, research director for IDC's Collaborative Computing program. "Emerging segments such as team collaborative applications and real-time conferencing will benefit from largely untapped opportunities and the convergence of standards and the ASP model, which will make it easier than ever for people to collaborate across networks and firewalls."

"ICE solutions have turned the standalone enterprise email market into a wasteland from which most users have already migrated," said Robert Mahowald, an analyst in IDC's Collaborative Computing program. "We expect that ICE solutions will be in demand among ASPs looking to offer hosted services, but standalone service provider email solutions have a lot of advantages that could keep that segment going strong."

IDC's recently published Collaborative Applications Market Forecast and Analysis, 2000-2004 (IDC #B22331) forecasts collaborative application software revenues, new users, and total users. It also discusses market drivers and inhibitors and presents leading vendor market shares in each segment. Additionally, IDC analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of major vendors in each segment. IDC's Leadership Grid, which provides IDC's view of the relative positioning of each leading company's market opportunity alignment and ability to gain market share, is presented for the ICE segment. The report also contains an appendix with comprehensive forecast assumptions, methodology, definition, and taxonomy information and analysis for the overall software industry.

To purchase the report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at ctoffel@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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