Cloud email providers are reaching parity with the services they offer and the prices they charge but could be set for a radical overhaul before too long, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
Forrester principal analyst Ted Schadler has completed a study into the big four providers - Google, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco - and found that the first two are likely to remain the most popular providers for some time.
Schadler said that features, systems and pricing are "rapidly approaching parity", and that enterprises should begin considering who provides their email, and whether they are getting the right service. If not, he urged them to move to another provider.
"Over the next five years, most of you will be re-evaluating your email strategy and partner," said Schadler.
"Already there is a battle raging to win your business. You will win as vendors compete on price, features, innovation, bundles and service. But for vendors, it will be a tough five years as companies pick a messaging and collaboration partner for the next decade."
The email cloud war will see its biggest battles over the next five years, he added, as firms re-evaluate their providers, and the providers re-evaluate their position.
Cisco, he explained, will go after mid-market firms as it looks to get a hold on the market, while IBM will seek to convert more of its existing customers to cloud-based platforms.
Microsoft and Google, meanwhile, will continue to fight over the remaining larger share of the enterprise market.
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