According to a newly-released IDC study of the worldwide enterprise instant messaging (EIM) applications market and leading vendors, the value, necessity, and use of instant messaging (IM) applications for business use will continue to increase at least through 2009. Riding a wave of media attention, hype and new product releases, the worldwide enterprise instant messaging market, which includes both instant messaging server products as well as enterprise instant messaging security, compliance, and management products, jumped 37% in terms of year-over-year revenue in 2004, and is expected to grow from $315 million in 2005 to $736 million in 2009.
"With more than 28 million business users worldwide using enterprise instant messaging products to send nearly 1 billion messages each day in 2005, and many more crossover "corporate consumers" who use consumer instant messaging networks in the workplace, these products are clearly reaching more mainstream users," said Robert P. Mahowald, program director for IDC's Collaborative Computing research. "Especially in compliance-driven sectors like Wall Street, financial services, and government, instant messaging is a critical differentiator. In the next few years, IDC expects instant messaging - once the plaything of teenagers - to continue to grow into its role as a substantial business collaboration application."
Dedicated enterprise instant messaging market leaders whose actions continue to shape the market have emerged and are staking their ground. Microsoft's LCS and Communicator products drove intense partnership activity throughout 2004; IBM's Sametime and Workplace Messaging offerings took instant messaging into new, larger-scale role-based implementations; and Jabber, equally adept at speaking XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), helped catalyze Wall Street buyers in a transition from consumer instant messaging to enterprise instant messaging use. AOL showed its continued strong position by pushing deeper into business services with the help of its many partners.
The study also found that in 2004, products in the management and security segment of the enterprise instant messaging market, demand for which had previously been driven mostly by compliance, appealed to a broader audience as the result of new relationships between vendors in this segment (FaceTime, IMLogic, Akonix etc.) and the enterprise instant messaging market leaders (Jabber, Microsoft, IBM etc.).