IDC Believes the Number of Worldwide Unified Messaging Application Users Will Scale Dramatically and Reach 38 Million by 2004

FRAMINGHAM, MA – FEBRUARY 20, 2001 – The success of hosted unified messaging (UM) applications, the growth of IP-based PBXs, and improvements to reliability and scalability have fueled worldwide UM spending and mailbox growth. According to IDC, the number of UM mailboxes will increase from 1 million in 1999 to more than 38 million in 2004. Vendor revenues in this market are expected to jump from $132 million to nearly $2 billion during this time.


"Several trends will continue to drive the unified messaging marketplace," said Robert Mahowald, senior analyst for IDC’s Collaborative Computing program. "Among them are an increasingly mobile workforce, the availability of leading message stores, open and standards-based applications, and well-known and well-financed market sponsors."

According to IDC, new and improved UM products have also enticed a growing number of service providers to jump into the game. Although demand for enterprise UM applications will outpace hosted UM applications in the near term, IDC predicts hosted applications will be the leading worldwide segment in 2004, with 22 million mailboxes and nearly $1 billion in revenue.

IDC believes the United States will continue to represent the majority of total UM software mailboxes through 2004. However, the rise of EMEA and Asia/Pacific will gradually reduce North America’s dominance for total users.

IDC’s new report Turning the Corner: Unified Messaging Applications Market Forecast and Analysis, 2001-2004 (IDC #B23746) examines the market for unified messaging applications for business usage. In addition to examining the trends driving the adoption of unified messaging applications, this study provides detailed vendor profiles for the enterprise and service provider segments of the market. It also highlights pressure points in the UM application sales and implementation chain and looks at the critical relationship between vendors, service providers, and resellers. Forecasts are provided through 2004 by region. Some of the end-user insight contained in this report was derived from IDC’s Emerging Messaging Technologies Study (2000), portions of which will soon be available to IDC clients.

To purchase this report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4389, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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


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