The current Hollywood blockbuster romance You've got mail shows that email is still one of the best loved applications around.
It is set to become more popular, making it a key driver for networking in the future, according to industry analysts.
Peter Deane, managing director of Horizon Open Systems a UK network integrator, believes that email is the killer application at the moment and will continue to be so for a considerable time.
At a Network News round table discussion on issues facing network managers, he added that there is still a potentially huge market for email systems among SMEs, many of which don't even have modern computer systems.
"Email has got a long way to go yet," he claimed.
Nora Ephron, screenwriter of You've got mail, puts the popularity of mail down to its ability to connect like minded people.
"The Internet looks infinite, but it's a great big city, it's really a series of villages, full of people who care about similar things connecting with one another."
IDC analyst, Rebecca Wettemann, backed up Deane's claims, adding that: "Messaging is clearly the killer app, but information sharing and calendaring and scheduling are gaining ground."
According to recent research by IDC the total number of emails corporate users send each day in Europe will increase from around 346 million in 1998 to just over 2.1 billion by 2002. The survey also revealed that the number of UK corporate email users is set to rise from 3.2 million in 1997 to around 3.8 million by 2002.
Wetterman said that as email becomes a more integral part of corporate communication, firms are starting to outsource their messaging: "A lot of people are turning around and saying managing mail boxes is not one of our core competencies."
For more stories see 3 March issue of Network News
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