Growth seen for vendors offering to tidy up IM

Rampant, and previously unsanctioned, use of instant messaging (IM) within companies has created a booming market for vendors who offer to add control such as encryption, archiving and logging.

In fact, a report released this month by The Radicati Group Inc. predicts that market is set to grow from US$6.8 million at year-end 2003 to US$25.7 million by 2007. The researcher warned, however, that IM management vendors risk being eventually eaten up by big league IM providers such as Microsoft Corp. and America Online Inc.

For the near future IM management companies such as IMLogic Inc. and FaceTime Communications Inc. will rule the roost, however, steadily gaining market share as companies look for quick and easy solutions to their IM dilemmas, Radicati said.

IMLogic is poised to take 44 percent of the market with US$3 million in revenue by the end of this year, Radicati said, while FaceTime is set to have 37 percent of the market and US$2.5 million in revenue.

A lack of interoperability and standards in the corporate IM market is aiding the vendors' cause, the researcher noted, making companies chose IM management tools that fit in with their existing networks. Management providers also come as a welcome relief for IT departments that find themselves suddenly grappling with rogue and non-standardized IM use in their enterprises, Radicati said.

Western Europe and North America, leaders in corporate IM adoption, are set to be the largest markets for IM management products, the researcher predicted. Western Europe will provide 50 percent of IM management vendors' revenues by 2007, while North America will supply 32 percent, Radicati said.

However, IM management will be a growing market worldwide as IM becomes a more prevalent and central corporate tool, Radicati, in Palo Alto, California, said.

More predictions about the market are available in Radicati's The Messaging Technology Report for July 2003.

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