SMBs to drive cloud based email and collaboration

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 04, 2013


The SMB segment in India account for 45% of revenue for public cloud e-mail and collaboration services, according to a study by Ascentius Consulting that also suggests the mid-market segment will continue to grow at the expense of hosted e-mail services.

In the study titled: “Evolving market for e-mail and collaboration platform in India,” Alok Shende, Director, Ascentius Consulting observes that limited IT resources, budget constraints and likewise a preference for pay-per-use model are driving SMBs to opt for these hosted services.

The study highlights that the total revenue across on-premise, hosted, and cloud-based e-mail and collaboration platforms and services was estimated to be $77.8 million in 2012 and is expected to reach $111 million by 2015, growing at a CAGR of 12.6% over the forecast period. but it is the hosted e-mail and collaboration services revenue that witnessed a huge transition from past years.

The report shows the Revenue from on-premise email services grew to $5 million in 2012, and are expected to reach $8 million by 2015. In comparison, public cloud e-mail services reached $10 million last year and is expected to grow at 27% CAGR to US$20.5 million in 2015. This estimates that the segment is likely to grow at the expense of hosted e-mail services rather than the on-premise e-mail. 

Other studies have shown that SMBs are quickly adopting cloud e-mail services. In a recent global cloud survey, IT services firm SpiceWorks found that 6% of companies had adopted at least one cloud service. The most commonly adopted cloud services were Web hosting, email hosting and collaboration services, with the respondents using an average of 4.2 services. According to the survey, companies are realizing tremendous increase in ROI and are saving on time and complexity by moving to hosted email services in the recent years and the trend is likely to continue.

According to the Ascentius study, at present, Microsoft Office 365 acquired 70% share of the public cloud e-mail and collaboration services market. Microsoft leads both on-premise and public cloud e-mail markets with 78% share coming from Exchange Server and 70% from Office 365. Google Apps has a market share of 29%, finding greatest traction among mid-market segment and SMBs. While Yahoo Business E-mail and Rediff Pro accounted for the remaining small percentage of the market.

Shende explains that the biggest category, that of on-premise license software, is growing but at a decreasing rate. On the other hand, public cloud-based services have a small base, but they are growing at a rapid clip. He believes going forward, investments in unified communications would also drive growth of new email and collaboration among SMBs.