Rapid Growth in Electronic Mail Users and Technologies Predicted.
According to a new study, entitled "The Report on Electronic Mail," by The Eastern Management Group (EMG) of Parsippany, New Jersey, larger companies, as measured by the number of employees, have understandably been the first to apply comprehensive electronic mail systems. The report states that 38 percent of all companies employing over 50,000 people presently use electronic mail. Conversely, among companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, a modest 11 percent have considered the sometimes prohibitive expenses justifiable.
Those figures, apparently, are about to take a dramatic turn upwards. John Malone, president of EMG, notes, "It's not surprising to find that of those organizations with over 50,000 employees that currently do not utilize electronic mail, close to 100 percent are either planning or considering its future use. What is somewhat startling is that well over 50 percent of businesses with less than 1,000 employees have similar intentions."
The study reveals that the greater the size of the corporation using electronic mail, the stronger the likelihood that the lion's share of messaging is intra-company in nature. While in small firms only 68 percent of electronic messaging is intra-company (intra-office or inter-office), in very large organizations the number increases significantly to 80 percent.
For medium-sized companies (10,000 to 25,000 employees) the breakout between intra-office, inter-office and inter-company is almost even: 33 percent, 37 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
The report, which forecasts the spread of electronic mail through 1991 for technologies such as CBMS, telex, store-and-forward voice, facsimile and intelligent copiers, predicts a good deal of inter-industry casualties. Despite such casualties, the market as a whole will prosper, the report emphasizes.
Furthermore, the success of electronic maill will help stimulate peripheral industries. According to the report, the key which opens the door for office automation systems as a whole will be the eventual widespread acceptance of electronic mail.
At the beginning of 1983, less than 15 percent of the office automation systems market had been penetrated. By 1991, this figure is expected to soar to a penetration of between 85 to 95 percent. One of the principal motivations, claims the study, is electronic mail.
Although the concept of electronic mail is not new, only recently has the actual implementation of its technologies started to enjoy widespread popularity. The burgeoning acceptance of electronic mail as a viable messaging conduit spells major changes for several industries. Changes which for some will mean a protracted stream of revenues; while for others, only dry times.
According to EMG's study, 1983 aggregate revenues from electronic mail technologies (excluding CBMS) approached $1.5 billion. Contributing to these revenues were monies from teleprinters (56 percent), store-and-forward voice systems and services (6 percent), intelligent copiers (11 percent) and facsimile units (27 percent). That mix, however, may well change.
Says EMG's Malone: "The next handful of years will be pivotal. Industry match-ups and conflicts which have been developing recently will intensify. Revenues from one technology will shift to another.
Users, who have themselves become increasingly sophisticated, are not fond of redundancy--not in today's corporate environment, where each dollar invested must be justified. A natural result of close technological scrutiny will be a reduction in consumption of overlapping instruments. Why sink money into telex, intelligent copiers and facsimile? Some industries are bound to suffer eroision as others prosper. The trick will be to anticipate in which direction the trends are heading."
His firm's report indicates that by 1987 electronic mail aggregate revenues will have more than doubled the u983 total, as users pour close to $3.2 billion into the different tecnologies. Of that figure, teleprinters will account for only 35 percent--down 21 percentage points from 1983. Facsimile revenues will constitute 24 percent, while store-and-forward voice and intelligent copiers should record the largest gains, with 25 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
Following several years of tentative acceptance, store-and-forward offerings finally appear set for widespread market penetration. According to the study, only 365 store-and-forward voice systems were installed and operational at the close of 1983.
Prohibitive pricing, complicated by a low level of market awareness, has been the principal contribution to this modest showing. the slow start, however, is about to become history, says EMG.
Explains Malone: "With the advent of PBX-integrated systems, the entire store-and-forward market has taken on a new dimension. The technology has in effect been legitimized by an established industry, the private branch exchange industry. Market friction due to user reluctance to 'experiment' is being eased. The result? Both PBX vendors and stand-alone vendors will soon be realizing a surge in market revenues."
The repopt states that 1983 revenues of $92.8 million will increase eight-fold by 1987, wehn revenues will exceed $780 million. The end of 1991 will see more than $1.6 billion pouring into vendor coffers.
Malone adds, "The potential associated with store-and-forward has always existed. The key problem has been rooted consistently in user perception, never in the offering itself. A major transition, however, has been initiated. Potential users are beginning to look toward store-and-forward as an indispensable adjunct to existing PBX operations."
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|Date:||Mar 1, 1984|
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