Keeping unwanted spam away from businesses is a problem that is growing rapidly. As is the number of vendors with products for solving the problem. To a greater or lesser extent, these vendors have helped their customers to get the problem under control.
Many businesses are still filtering email and killing spam in-house, using either software installed on their mail server, or by installing specialist hardware (appliances) at the network edge.
Others are choosing to keep spam at bay by outsourcing the problem and subscribing to a hosted filtering service. The market for these services is about to hot up, as more vendors set up in Europe and seek resellers.
Until roughly a year ago, the market for hosted email filtering had not followed the usual pattern for IT products, where a vendor expands from its home market and seeks to go global. Instead, different vendors had become entrenched in Europe and the US but were not, on the whole, competing globally.
Two things have happened to change this. Firstly, the two main US vendors, Postini and Frontbridge, have set up in Europe. Secondly MessageLabs, the vendor with the lion’s share of the European market, has refocused its global partnership with IBM Global Services on the mid-market.
Frontbridge arrived in Europe about a year ago but has had limited success, finding it hard to attack the hegemony of local vendors, which, besides MessageLabs, include smaller firms such as BlackSpider and niche players like INSL/SpheriQ and Email Systems.
Postini, the largest US vendor, has only just arrived in the UK, but it is bullish about its chances. It has already attracted an impressive array of local resellers, some of whom are defecting from Frontbridge.
The reason for all this activity is that the vendors need to find new sources of revenue.
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