After talking to customers, partners, and prospects, the recessionary period has redefined what customers want in an email server. In the recent years, the buzz words were collaboration and unified messaging. Even though these continue to drive how email server companies design their products, customers just want to be able to get their email and reduce their operational expenses.
The feedback that we have received is that in this tough economy, the only function that customers are concerned about is getting and sending email. Because of this, they are willing to settle for free email services like Gmail. They are also concerned about security with the ever increasing spam and virus attacks. However, at this time, advanced collaboration features are not their priority. The most surprising finding is that customers will continue to invest in purchasing mobile devices where they can get their email remotely; in other words, wireless e-mail is growing.
As evidenced by the record sales at Apple for iPhones, mobile devices continue to grow and accelerate. While companies like Nokia and Motorola have abandoned the wireless email software market to focus on their core competency, RIM continues to accelerate and dominate this market with Microsoft and Apple closing the gap and gaining speed.
The market for wireless e-mail products has been available for many years and every email server company provides a method to get their email on mobile devices. RIM revolutionized the market with their Blackberry devices. Since then, the price for mobile devices has dropped significantly as new entrants have forced existing manufacturers to reduce their prices. Even Apple continues to drop their price for iPhones.
The challenge to any business and email server companies is to support the different devices and wireless software that are in the market place. As the wireless products have matured, multiple versions of the software and hardware have made it extremely challenging to stay abreast of the products and support the new software. Many companies have created policies to support a specific device and software. For email server companies, partnering with software companies that specialize in providing integration with mobile devices has reduced their expenses and development time.
Industry experts are predicting that there will be more consolidation in wireless email software leaving only a few players to dominate the market place. If so, it would greatly simplify the complexities and costs of supporting wireless software.
What customers want from wireless email:
Customers want to be able to access their corporate email and keep the master copy on their email server. They want to be able to read, delete, and change the email and have the change synced back to their server. A secure connection from their mobile device to their data to safeguard their data is a must, and also, a secure log-in where the users can access their email. They want a consistent interface to access their email no matter what the device. "Nice to have" features are to be able to get push email and access to their corporate email addresses.