Solid Revenue Growth Forecast for Unified Messaging Market, Enterprise Segment to Grow Fastest, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – February 28, 2005 – According to IDC, revenue in the worldwide unified messaging (UM) applications market grew over 4% to $489.7 million in 2003 as successful vendors supported growth among carrier customers and battled the sentiment that cell phones, PDAs, and services alone provide enough message management and unification for most users. IDC expects revenue from UM applications for both enterprises and service providers to further increase through 2008, with business users ultimately becoming the strongest market segment.

"Business users are gobbling up PDAs, multifunction cell phones, and email devices such as BlackBerrys as a way to make themselves more mobile, but these devices often aren't linked to corporate email or voicemail systems, and can ultimately make business communications systems much more fragmented," said Robert P. Mahowald, research manager for IDC's Collaborative Computing service. "Vendors of UM products such as Cisco, Avaya, and Nortel Networks need to reassert their strengths in the storage, management, and integration of users' voicemail and email messages and as the primary architects of computer and telephony integration (CTI). 2005 is shaping up to be a year of convergence, and the winning UM products vendors need to lead – not follow – in any discussion about mobility and bringing IP voice to the desktop."

To take advantage of significant UM market opportunities, IDC believes vendors should consider the following:

— Combat the growing perceptions of business users who think mobile email on a BlackBerry is the best way to unify messages.

— Increase the role for real-time IP products alongside real-time presence-based platforms.

— Control the argument about securing IP lines in the shift away from TDM.

— Confront market transitions head-on, such as the shift to IP voice controlled at the desktop.

UM refers to applications that unite email, fax, and voice messages in a single mailbox, accessible by a PC, browser, or telephone.

The recent IDC study, Worldwide Unified Messaging Applications 2004-2008 Forecast Update and 2003 Vendor Analysis: Combating Good-Enough Messaging (IDC #32553), presents IDC's five-year view of the worldwide UM applications market through a top-down sizing of the 2003 market, specific vendor analysis, IDC Leadership Grids for 2004, and a 2004-2008 market forecast. Historical and forecast revenue data is shown for the total worldwide market and by geographic region. Also included are discussions of key market trends, future outlooks, and essential guidance concerning opportunities for selling UM products and services. This study incorporates information from reported and observed trends, financial activity, IDC's Software Census interviews, vendor financial statements and filings, and IDC demand-side research. Note that the market forecasts and analysis within this study update those published in Worldwide Messaging Applications 2004-2008 Forecast: An Early Look at FY03 Performance (IDC #31030).

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