Spam Filtering Vendors May Decrease Significantly

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If you’re looking to change your current spam-filtering or antivirus vendor or to add new technology to your enterprise, be advised: The spam-filtering market is poised for rapid consolidation and acquisition. According to research conducted by Gartner Inc., instead of having several e-mail-security-related point products at the boundary, many enterprises will want only one or two. By 2005, the stand-alone spam-filtering market may evolve into a boundary e-mail security market. Antivirus software, basic e-mail server security protection and inbound/outbound content filtering will form the core of boundary e-mail security solutions. Successful, long-lasting vendors will develop and offer better detection and management capabilities for spam-filtering solutions and will build out their broader e-mail security offerings.

“Essentially, today people are looking for very specialized functionality. They’re looking for specialized antivirus and filtering technology, and that’s where the innovation is coming from. Typically smaller companies are doing very focused pieces of the technology. As the market is maturing, we tend to find that organizations are trying to solve a broader problem within their organization, which is, how do I secure e-mail in a broad sense? Given that shift of customer need, what we’re seeing is some of the big security, management and operating system vendors start to look at this as a core piece of technology. Not from a revenue base as much as control of the marketplace. It’s an opportunity for them to extend a product line further into this area. We’re tending to see a lot of consolidation, or we believe we’re going to continue to see a lot of consolidation within this market as we see a merging of technology between filtering and antivirus,” said Betsy Burton, analyst, Gartner.


Small vendors won’t disappear from the marketplace entirely, however. Security, spam-filtering and antivirus are some of those markets where small vendors will continue to play. “It’s interesting because it’s not like the ERP or the CRM database markets where we’ve had big players come in and take a dominant position in those marketplaces,” said Burton. “We think we’ll continue to see small vendors because there’s always new viruses. There’s always new ways of doing e-mail marketing, so there’s always going to be advancements of technology that are going to have to happen, and those happen often with the smaller vendors. One of the things that user organizations that are making buying decisions need to understand is, what part of the problem are they trying to solve and how much are they willing to take on themselves? For example, am I looking for someone to come into my organization and solve my e-mail problem? Or am I willing to make the investment to bring everything in house, do it myself, apply the right resources to manage systems, reduce false positives and false negatives, and also have a lot tighter control over my quarantine. They have to step back and figure out what spam filtering means organizationally and culturally, and that should drive their buying decisions.”


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