Press Release

STAMFORD, Conn., September 16, 2011 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Google Gmail is Now a Viable Alternative to Microsoft in the Enterprise Email Market

Outlook for Cloud Email to Be Discussed at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo



After being in the market for five years, Google's enterprise Gmail is building momentum with commercial organizations with more than 5,000 seats, and it now presents a viable alternative to Microsoft Exchange Online and other cloud email services, according to Gartner, Inc.

"The road to its enterprise enlightenment has been long and bumpy, but Gmail should now be considered a mainstream cloud email supplier," said Matthew Cain, research vice president at Gartner. "While Gmail's enterprise email market share currently hovers around 1 percent, it has close to half of the market for enterprise cloud email. While cloud email is still in its infancy, at 3 percent to 4 percent of the overall enterprise email market, we expect it to be a growth industry, reaching 20 percent of the market by year-end 2016, and 55 percent by year-end 2020."

Mr. Cain said that, other than Microsoft Exchange, Google Gmail is the only email system that has prospered in the enterprise space over the past several years. Other enterprise email providers — Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino — have lost market momentum, Cisco closed its cloud email effort and VMware's Zimbra is only now refocusing on the enterprise space.

Google's journey to enterprise enlightenment, however, is not complete. Google focuses on capabilities that will have the broadest market uptake. Large organizations with complex email requirements, such as financial institutions, report that Google is resistant to feature requests that would be applicable to only a small segment of its customers. Banks, for example, may require surveillance capabilities that Google is unlikely to build into Gmail given the limited appeal.

While Google is good at taking direction and input on front-end features, it is more resistant to the back-end feature requests that are important to larger enterprises. Large system integrators and enterprises report that Google's lack of transparency in areas such as continuity, security and compliance can thwart deeper relationships.

"Email is not a commodity, and cloud email is still maturing," Mr. Cain said. "We believe that, for most organizations, performing one more on-premises upgrade, which will take an organization through 2014, is the most prudent approach. A less-risky approach to cloud email is via a hybrid deployment, where some mailboxes live in the cloud and some are located on premises. This hybrid model plays to Microsoft's strengths given its vast dominance of the on-premises email market."

"The intense competition between Microsoft and Google will make both vendors stronger and enable them to apply cloud expertise to other enterprise cloud endeavors," Mr. Cain said. "The rivalry will make it difficult for other suppliers to compete directly in the cloud email and collaboration space."

Additional information is available in the Gartner report "Google Gmail Emerges as a Significant Threat to Microsoft in the Enterprise" at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1770424.

Mr. Cain will provide additional analysis on the cloud email at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.

Additional information for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando 2011, October 16-20, is available at www.gartner.com/symposium/us. Members of the media can register for the event by contacting Christy Pettey at christy.pettey@gartner.com.

Additional information from the event will be shared on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc and using #GartnerSym.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:
October 3-5, Tokyo, Japan: www.gartner.com/jp/symposium 
October 16-20, Orlando, Florida: www.gartner.com/us/symposium 
October 25-27, Sao Paulo, Brazil: www.gartner.com/br/symposium 
November 7-10, Barcelona, Spain:www.gartner.com/eu/symposium 
November 14-17, Gold Coast, Australia:www.gartner.com/au/symposium 
November 21-23, Mumbai, India: www.gartner.com/in/symposium

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About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,300 associates, including more than 1,800 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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