Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mediemarknaden krymper en dryg miljard första kvartalet 2009

Swedish language

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Den nedgång i medieinvesteringar som inleddes fjärde kvartalet 2008 når full styrka

under första kvartalet 2009. Mediemarknaden minskade med närmare 15 procent

jämfört med motsvarande kvartal 2008. De totala medieinvesteringarna uppgick till

drygt 6,6 miljarder kronor, vilket innebär att omsättningen under första kvartalet

minskade med drygt 1 miljard jämfört med första kvartalet under fjolåret.

De flesta medieslag tappar reklamintäkter. Inom morgonpressen, kvällspressen och

fackpressen, finner man den största minskningen. Även populärpress och utomhusreklam

visar kraftigt vikande annonsintäkter. TV, radio, gratistidningar och oadresserad

direktreklam och kataloger/-vägledande medier tappar reklamintäkter, men ökar sina

marknadsandelar något eftersom intäkterna minskar mindre än mediemarknaden som


Internet, adresserad direktreklam, mobilmarknadsföring och butiksmedia klarar sig

relativt bra även om annonsintäkterna i dessa medier minskar något. Bioreklamen och

Event Marketing tillhör ”vinnarna” med ökningar på över 25 procent första kvartalet


- Att nedgången är så kraftfull och slår mot de allra flesta medier är ovanligt. Man får gå

tillbaka till 2001/2002 och svallvågorna efter IT-boomen för att finna motsvarande

minskning av reklamintäkter, enligt Magnus Anshelm, VD på IRM.

28 april 2009


Cloud Computing and 3D as Key NABAlternativ för inlägg Takeaways

Boston, MA - 28 April 2009 -

Strategy Analytics and DIS Consulting identified two key media technology trends emerging from the NAB Show as it wound down last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. 3D technology and Cloud Computing Services both featured strongly at a surprisingly upbeat annual convention where attendance was off by around 20% from last year’s show, yet still attracted the industry’s key senior decision makers.

The research partners, who have recently introduced a new advisory service aimed at the media creation and distribution industry, have determined that two overarching trends dominated the 2009 NAB Show:

  • The plethora of origination, post and distribution of 3D programming to homes and theaters - both hardware and software - and

  • The cloud computing services concepts being promoted by a number of companies including Microsoft, Chyron and others.

3DTV appears to be gathering steam this year as it has begun to rally device makers, programmers, distribution channels and direct to home service providers to its cause. However, David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics, points out: “Many obstacles, such as lack of standards and creative challenges, lie ahead before 3D reaches large numbers of home users.”

Simultaneously, cloud computing offers an alternative to costly, in-house labor and storage of archives, which, along with the security of fingerprinting technology, allows many processes to be transferred off-site.

Douglas I. Sheer, CEO and Chief Analyst of DIS, said, “Despite some resistance to the idea of off-site storage and the desire to fully amortize existing equipment, cloud seems to be finding a receptive audience, especially as it offers some interesting cost savings advantages.”


UK Web Users Keen on Social Networks

NEW YORK (April 28, 2009)

It is not easy to set hard and fast rules for marketing in social media when the landscape is changing so rapidly. Social networks in particular still perplex many marketers hoping to connect with these highly engaged audiences.

People in the UK are embracing social media. eMarketer estimates that 39% of UK Internet users—more than 15.4 million people—will use social networks at least once per month in 2009. By 2013, that figure is expected to rise to 21.9 million, or 50% of UK Web users.

eMarketer’s estimate is lower than some other researchers’ because it reflects average monthly usage for a given year. Other estimates tally Web users who may have a social network profile but do not visit a site frequently.

Globally, only Canada and Brazil surpassed the UK in usage of social network sites, according to comScore World Metrix data from late 2008. And the UK had a sizable lead in Europe, with almost 80% of UK adult Web users—29.4 million people—visiting social network sites in December 2008.

In the UK, Facebook is well on the way to eclipsing its chief rivals, MySpace and Bebo. Its expansion in 2008 lifted Facebook to the No. 2 spot in terms of online traffic, behind google.co.uk, at the end of the year.

Facebook accounted for 3.6% of all Website visits by UK Internet users in December 2008, according to Hitwise, while Bebo took less than 1% and MySpace about one-half of that.

Facebook’s momentum does not seem to be slowing. Hitwise reported that Facebook accounted for one in every 24 UK Internet visits in February 2009, and that traffic to the site had increased by 18.6% during 2009 alone.

LinkedIn, a popular global business network, told eMarketer it had 2 million members in the UK in March 2009. Almost one-quarter of its European members are UK residents, though LinkedIn is also available in French, German and Spanish.

In the short term, professional networks such as LinkedIn and Plaxo are attracting the newly unemployed, many of whom would probably not join a social network for purely personal reasons,” said Karin von Abrams, senior analyst and author of the report “UK Social Media: Joining the Conversation.”

Also, developments in other social media, such as corporate blogs, microblogs and podcasts, increasingly present opportunities to communicate with customers and mobilize influencers on behalf of brands.”

UK Social Media: Joining the Conversation

Friday, April 24, 2009

Social Technologies Allow For More Accessible Innovation In Down Economy. In Social Media Spending To Outpace Other Interactive Marketing Channels Ove

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Cambridge, Mass., April 24, 2009 . . .

Social technologies are enabling marketing professionals to engage in low-cost, low-risk innovation during the current recession, according to best practices shared among more than 600 attendees at the Forrester Research Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) Marketing Forum this week in Orlando, Fla.

Marketing budgets are following the innovation trail — social media spending in the US will grow from $716 million this year to more than $3.1 billion in 2014, a 34 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). That’s a significantly higher rate of growth than the future spending on other interactive marketing channels. Overall, interactive marketing spending in the US will grow from $25.5 billion in 2009 to nearly $55 billion in 2014, a 17 percent CAGR, according to a new Forrester forecast previewed at the Marketing Forum. The forecast is part of a larger Forrester report to be published later this spring.

“Marketers don’t need to start revolutions in order to innovate, they need to solve problems,” said Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director Christine Overby. “For consumer-facing companies, that means tapping into consumers’ increasing expectation that they will participate with your brand; for B2B firms, it means leveraging the power of innovative customers who are increasingly engaging with their peers to solve their problems. Social technologies allow for accessible innovation where the risks and costs are not as high, but the return is significant.” Social Technologies


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Despite the economic downturn and its inevitable strains on overall advertising expenditures, one category is clearly holding up as a beacon of change and growth: online video. Magna forecasts the US market for online video will grow by 32% this year, rising from $531 million in 2008 to $699 million in 2009. While these figures represent downward revisions from our forecast for the sector in the middle of last year (prior to the subsequent escalation of the recession), these gains will likely outpace growth rates for most other emerging media platforms.


The reasons for growth are simple: as marketing budgets are reduced across industries, advertisers look to reach their consumers in a more targeted and cost-effective manner. User-generated content accounted for a significant volume of potential advertising inventory in the past, although little was considered desirable for larger brands, given their collective preference for association with professionally produced content. But in recent periods, the expanding availability of premium network and cable TV programming combined with increasing broadband penetration – now covering 60% of US homes by our estimates– collectively led to a 24% increase in time with professionally produced online video during 2008, following a 50% rise during 2007, according to Accustream.

Still, this represents a limited volume of top-tier inventory. Few large advertisers can achieve broad reaching objectives solely by using an online video-only campaign if there are any content preferences involved. For point of april_html_240e48b8

Source: MAGNA

reference, during 2008 490 billion person-hours of traditional television were consumed according to Nielsen. This equates to 244 times more consumption of professional content video than of online video. Even assuming last year’s growth rate continues through 2012, traditional TV would still account for 98 times more consumption

Over the next few years, we expect traditional TV content – and traditional TV suppliers – will continue to account for the bulk of online video budgets, but as user-generated content sites increasingly supply professional content to their mass audiences, these sites will produce faster rates of growth. Ad networks will continue to serve a valuable niche to the ecosystem, aggregating otherwise unsold (or undersold) inventory in an efficient manner, with cost-effective ways to reach large audiences. Traditional print publishers will continue to hold valuable inventory, but few will produce significant volumes of content to capture much market share. In total, by 2011, we expect online video to generate slightly more than $1 billion in net advertising revenues for video content. This represents a compounded annual growth rate of 36% for each year between 2006 and 2011. april_html_5bfb0724

Source: MAGNA. 2008 Growth Rate from Accustream

Source: MAGNA, US Census

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Research finds females turned off by emails - Emailvision survey reveals just one in ten women actually read their email newsletters

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Women are only half as likely to read the email newsletters they receive and are more prone to cancel their subscriptions, according to research by Emailvision*.

A survey by the specialists in on-demand software for email marketing found that only one in ten women open and read their digital newsletters compared to one in five men The findings also showed that in the past 12-months more women (17%) than men (7%) had cancelled subscriptions to digital newsletters. Women cited cluttered inboxes as the main reason for opting out, while men found that content simply wasn’t relevant enough.

However, nine out of ten said they wanted to receive more personalised newsletters from their favourite brands incorporating individually tailored information. The more popular ones were tailored with at least a name and contained relevant discounts or offers.

Consumers are spending much more cautiously in light of the recession and so brands must be smarter in the way they manage customer relations,” commented Nick Gold, UK managing director, Emailvision. “Personalised content is the key to more targeted interaction, and will not only help build trust between customer and brand, but also improve the opportunities to cross-sell products or services.”

As a result of the findings and drawing on experiences from within their UK client base, Emailvision has outlined five basic steps to getting it right with gender targeting in email marketing:

1. Know the gender of your database – working out the gender might not be too difficult on your database if you have the ‘title’ field filled in and can differentiate between Mr and Mrs. But what about Doctor? Or if the field is left blank?

2. Start from the beginning - do you have a mandatory gender field when customers sign up to your newsletters? This will save time and effort when you get to the stage of gender targeting.

3. Show your male recipients male product lines and female recipients female product lines – although it sounds simple enough, a more visually relevant email will have higher response rates. Product images can be pulled from website CRM systems as dynamic content.

4. Some e-tailers will often default to the female version of the email if the gender of the recipient isn’t known – however, having an action link at the top of the email with ‘Click here to view the male version’ to then swap to the male version of the email will raise response rates and show a much more personalised approach. Plus, this type of link will then automatically update the database for future campaigns.

5. To really get it right with a personalised gender specific email, you need to do your research – one client surveyed their entire database to get real feedback of how their customers would like to be addressed and targeted – open rates soared when they implemented the popular and more formal ‘Dear Mr/Mrs Last Name’ rather than the ‘To Firstname’ that had been historically used.

*Survey based on responses from 300 consumers in the UK, April 2009

Companies invest heavily in search marketing as they continue to reap good returns

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London, 23 April 2009:

Companies are continuing to invest in search marketing as both paid and natural search channels continue to deliver, according to a report published today by Econsultancy and Guava.

Search engine optimisation (SEO or natural search) is the digital channel where companies are most likely to be investing more budget, with 55% of respondents expecting an increase in their budgets this year. Just under a third of respondents (31%) say that SEO spending will stay the same and only 6% say there will be decreased investment.

The research also found that 45% of responding organisations are planning to increas their budgets for paid search. Only 11% of respondents say they are decreasing their spend on pay-per-click marketing, for reasons which include click cost inflation and lower conversion rates caused by the credit crunch.

The picture is less positive for online display advertising, although there are still more organisations (24%) who are increasing budgets than there are companies cutting back (16%).

The third annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report, based on a survey of more than 800 company and agency digital marketers, gives a comprehensive overview of the search marketing landscape, and also includes research about the use of social media sites for marketing.

Twitter, in particular, has shown phenomenal growth since last year. Last year only 3% of responding organisations said that they were using Twitter in their marketing strategy, compared to an overwhelming 49% this year. Facebook is now being used by 65% of companies as part of their marketing efforts.

The study also found that just under half of company respondents (48%) report that SEO return on investment (ROI) has gone up in the last year, compared to only 6% who say that ROI from this channel has gone down. For paid search, 43% report that ROI has increased compared to 15% who say that it has decreased.

The proportion of company respondents who say that they are tracking paid search return on investment effectively has increased from 33% last year to 45% in 2009. For SEO, there has been an even bigger increase (in those tracking ROI effectively), from 20% to 35%.

Linus Gregoriadis, Econsultancy’s Research Director, said: “Search marketers are still getting strong return on investment from paid search marketing despite the recession, increased competition and click cost inflation. This research provides more proof that companies are turning to digital channels such as paid search and search engine optimisation where there is a measurable return on investment. Crucially, companies are also getting better at measuring their returns from search marketing which, in turn, is leading to more investment.”

He added: “The benefits of marketing on social media sites are not always as measurable but companies are increasingly experimenting with sites such as Facebook and Twitter as social media become more important.”

Lucy Cokes, Director at Guava, said: “We have been delighted by the response to the surveys and feel we have gone some way to achieving our aim of providing the most comprehensive and useful piece of year-on-year search engine marketing research in the UK. At Guava we predict that social media marketing will move from an integrated part of our SEO campaigns to being delivered as a standalone service. This will change will occur over the coming year as larger companies want to take more control of this element of their marketing.”

Other findings:

It is clear that Google remains king, with 85% of responding companies utilising the search engine for paid search. 94% of agencies say their clients typically pay to advertise on Google.

Approximately half as many responding organisations (44%) use Yahoo, whilst a third (30%) are using Live (Microsoft’s platform). Yahoo has taken the biggest hit since last year’s survey, with 5% fewer company marketers now using Yahoo for paid search. Similarly, 7% fewer agencies say their clients pay to advertise on Yahoo’s search results pages.

Only 5% of companies are paying to advertise on mobile search listings and, surprisingly, that percentage has not increased since last year although 23% are planning to do this. More than two thirds of respondents say this is either not on the radar yet (37%) or that they have no plans to use mobile search (32%).

Survey respondents were asked specifically about the factors which had negatively affected their return on investment from paid search in the last 12 months. The higher cost of clicks emerged as the most significant issue and CPC (cost-per-click) inflation is being driven both by increased competition and efforts by the search engines to extract as much profit as they can while still delivering return on investment.

Just over a third of respondents (37%) said that the credit crunch was explicitly an issue and a similar proportion (34%) said that lower conversion rates were negatively impacting ROI. These factors are very closely related.

Only 5% of respondents report that the end of best practice funding has negatively impacted their return on investment. The change in Google’s trademark bidding policy has had more of an impact, with 15% of company respondents citing this as a negative factor affecting ROI.

The full E-consultancy / Guava UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmarking Report 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


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SAN FRANCISCO, CA April 22, 2009 –Online engagement by Internet users is deepening, according to a new report on the online landscape released today by The Nielsen Company. This increased engagement is in part a result of a shift toward video content and social networking as popular online subcategories. The full report was distributed at the ad:tech conference in San Francisco, CA.

The Internet remains a place of continuing innovation, with users finding new ways to integrate online usage into their daily lives,” said Charles Buchwalter, SVP, Research and Analytics, Nielsen Online. “In recent years the Internet has changed dramatically as people seek more personalized relationships online. In particular, time spent on social networks and video sites has increased astronomically. Advertisers are starting to positively re-assess the value of the online experience and create more meaningful relationships with consumers.”

Since 2003, interests of the average online user have shifted significantly. Categories that consisted of portal-oriented browsing sites, such as Shopping Directories and Guides and Internet Tools/Web Services, used to be the top categories for user engagement. However, today the active Internet user tends to prefer sites that contain more specialized content. This change in preferences is seen in the fact that video and social networking sites have moved to the forefront, becoming the two fastest growing categories in 2009.

Audience Utilities, Video and Social MediaPage 2Nielsen NetView, Combined Home and Work, Excluding ApplicationsSegment2/03 vs2/092/08 vs2/09Video339%8%Member Communities87%11%Search50%4%E-mail76%3%Percent Change by SegmentAudience by SubcategoryNovember 2007: First month that video audience exceed e-mail audience Page 2 of 3

Highlights of the report regarding the two fastest growing subcategories — online video and social networks – include:

The number of American users frequenting online video destinations has climbed 339 percent since 2003.

Time spent on video sites has shot up almost 2,000 percent over the same period.

In the last year alone, unique viewers of online video grew 10 percent, the number of streams grew 41 percent, the streams per user grew 27 percent and the total minutes engaged with online video grew 71 percent.

There are 87 percent more online social media users now than in 2003, with 883 percent more time devoted to those sites.

In the last year alone, time spent on social networking sites has surged 73 percent.

In February, social network usage exceeded Web-based e-mail usage for the first time.

Online Advertising Down–But Not Out

With the global recession in full swing, online display advertising has plateaued at 20 percent of total online ad spend in the U.S. In particular spending on online display advertising by financial services, automobile and retail companies has declined steeply. On the other hand, several key, heavy ad-spending industries such as healthcare, consumer products and telecommunications appear to be moving even more spending online.

Share of Online Image-Based Advertising Impressions by Industry


Source: Nielsen AdRelevance, U.S. Page 3 of 3

The longer-term prospects for global online advertising continue to be brighter, Nielsen reported:

Led by social media, search and video, the Internet’s share of total ad spend will continue its steady upward trend as global economies emerge from the current recession.

Given the increased focus on digital marketing by leading packaged goods companies, the Internet’s share of commerce will continue to rise as well.

Marketers are being forced to adapt to social networking capabilities. In the age of Twitter, feedback barriers have all but disappeared, creating a near friction-free environment for playing back brand experience, campaign reactions or brand events. Recent public cases involving Motrin, Amazon, and Domino’s show that marketers must be quick and savvy to react to these unprecedented channels of instant feedback.

30 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers recalled seeing some form of advertising while using their mobile phones, up from 18 percent one year prior.

Social media, search and video will bolster online advertising spend in 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eventbyråerna omsatte 7 miljarder kronor under 2008

Swedish language

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IRM har tidigare enbart mätt event marketing i externt marknadsföringssyfte men har nu

tillsammans med Sponsrings & Eventföreningen även inkluderat en fråga om företagsinterna

event så kallade corporate events. Resultatet blir att branschen beräknades omsätta 7

miljarder kronor under 2008.

20 april 2009


Thursday, April 16, 2009

61% of marketers have not changed marketing strategies in a recession

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Marketing automation leader Eloqua has revealed that 61 percent of marketers have not changed marketing strategy in the recession. The research conducted at the recent Technology for Marketing & Advertising conference in London highlights key trends for the B2B marketing industry and challenges preventing its growth. Budget cuts (40 percent), a lack of industry understanding (19 percent) and lack of integration between teams (17 percent) are highlighted as key challenges that must be overcome if the industry is to succeed in the recession.

Interestingly, the majority of respondents surveyed believe that nurturing and converting sales inquiries into qualified leads is more important than generating new leads in B2B marketing campaigns. Notably, half of respondents currently have a marketing automation system in place, but only 6 percent of respondents named raw lead generation as the most important component of their sales and marketing campaign. The survey also discovered that a third of the marketers didn’t know how many of their marketing leads turn into buyers, while more than 75 percent said more effective measurement would make their business more competitive.

The results support the strategies outlined in Eloqua’s new whitepaper entitled “The Springboard Effect,” which details the importance of increasing conversion rates through the marketing and sales pipeline and how businesses can leverage marketing automation techniques to enhance ROI from sales and marketing campaigns and emerge stronger after a recession.

During economic downturns, far too many organizations spend time agonizing over where to cut back in order to recession-proof their business. Historically, the budget axe would often strike hardest in marketing because of its perceived function as a pure cost center,” said Brian Kardon, chief marketing office, Eloqua. “The results from our survey reinforce what many of today’s business leaders understand – never before has it been more important for marketing organizations to invest in solutions that enable them to better understand and track their prospects’ ‘Digital Body Language.’ Programmes and processes that manage, nurture, automate and deliver a greater number of qualified leads to sales are invaluable in protecting and growing the bottom line.”

Eloqua’s survey also found that 41 percent of marketing executives reported that their sales and marketing organizations are not currently aligned. “In a tight economy, the need for a smooth hand-off of leads from marketing to sales becomes even more critical. Eloqua delivers seamless integration between sales and marketing databases as well as lead routing processes that facilitate the most efficient follow up and effective results,” continued Kardon.

The research also highlights that email marketing is set to be the biggest growth channel for B2B marketers in 2009, followed by direct mail and real time lead generation.

For more examples of how businesses can strategically optimize their marketing and sales activities to create a competitive advantage, download a free copy of “The Springboard Effect

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Increasing Prevalence of Virtual Workplaces Boosts Prospects for the World Unified Communications Markets

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - April 14, 2009 -

With large, small, and medium enterprises expanding their field of operations, united communications (UC) will assume an increasingly significant role in the future. The technology enables deeper levels of interaction among vast and disparate groups of remote workers, partners, suppliers, and customers. The complete UC user installed base is likely to grow from about 520,000 users in 2008 to about 43 million users in 2014.That market earned revenues of over $71.0 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $1.8 billion in 2014.

“UC streamlines business processes and helps reduce costs, grow revenues, and improve customer satisfaction by providing users with a unified access and presence across various communications applications,” says Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Melanie Turek. “However, the investment in both the software and the services required to unify all the components may be substantial, posing a major challenge to vendors to provide strong return on investment (ROI) evidence to their customers in order to drive adoption in tough economic times.”

In the light of the economic circumstances, UC offers the ability to achieve cost cutting by providing an advanced conferencing platform integrated through presence with other communication methods. When businesses invest in various communication applications three to four years down the line, integration with business process applications will provide the key ROI incentive for the continued growth of the UC market. However, it is difficult to justify UC deployments by employing traditional ROI methods.

“Soft benefits are hard to sell in a tough economy and hard-dollar benefits are dependent on a number of factors such as installed infrastructure and ability to invest in additional applications,” explains Turek. “Also, vendors are not yet delivering products that are interoperable out of the box and universal presence federation is years away.” Extensive efforts are required for UC solutions upon deployment. The host of platforms, applications, and services that need to be integrated come from different vendors, and interoperability, even when officially guaranteed, is rarely seamless and plug-and-play. Trends indicate that companies will continue to follow a “stepped” approach to implementation, which will involve the deployment of elements of a complete UC suite one or two at a time over several years.

“Prominent participants in this arena are investing heavily on UC development and marketing, providing strong market momentum,” explains Frost & Sullivan Global Program Director Elka Popova. “Vendor’s success will depend heavily on their capacity to pursue open standards-based solutions that facilitate interoperability out of the box, paving the way for best-of-breed deployments and investment protection.”

It is imperative for vendors to be articulate when defining products in their portfolios and go all out to meet customer criteria for UC. Forging partnerships with competitors and ancillary participants will help to firmly establish and defend market foothold. Essentially, vendors must offer a complete range of reliable and scalable solutions to help customers deploy solutions ideally suited to their particular business needs and generate new high-margin services.

Worls Unified Communication Markets

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

20 Percent of Commercial E-Mail Market Will Be Using a SaaS Platform By the End of 2012

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STAMFORD, Conn., April 7, 2009 —

The Software as a Service (SaaS) model for e-mail solutions is proving attractive for many customers and will represent 20 percent of the commercial e-mail market by the end of 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. In 2007, the SaaS e-mail market represented 1 percent of the commercial e-mail market.

Gartner analysts said that the impact of the SaaS model for e-mail will have direct and material consequences for traditional third-party product vendors, effectively cutting the addressable market for traditional third-party applications by one-fifth. However, by 2012, the move to the SaaS model for e-mail will create opportunities for new third-party applications.

The lost opportunity to the traditional third-party market may be more than 20 percent because the earliest adopters of the e-mail SaaS model are small or midsize businesses (SMBs), which can represent up to 40 percent of the market when measured by the number of companies which are likely prospects,” said Matt Cain, research vice president at Gartner. “However, SMBs are less likely to buy third-party tools compared to larger organizations.”

According to Gartner, there are four general categories within the third-party community for e-mail services that will be affected to a greater or lesser extent by the move to the SaaS model for e-mail.

Applications Core to Running Premises-Based E-mail Examples include disaster recovery, reporting, backup, spam and virus filtering. In this case, the need for most third-party management applications goes away in a SaaS deployment as the vendor provides all core level two and three help desk duties, supplies all required services for redundancy and recovery, provides all reporting options, performs all version upgrade functions, and protects the perimeter with its own spam and virus filters.

Applications That Extend the Core Services of the E-mail Platform Examples include mobility, fax, archive and encryption. Most SaaS vendors offer archive and encryption services, although they may source them from a third party. Fax services can fare better; in some cases a native SaaS implementation exists, and in others, customer-side fax services will be integrated with a SaaS system.

Client-Side Applications Examples include PST management and e-mail efficiency add-ins. There will be no immediate impact on vendors that work on the client side of the e-mail SaaS equation because the present paradigm is for rich clients to access SaaS resources. The longer-term concern, however, is that the prevalent storage model will move from the client (PST) to a server side storage model — hence eliminating the need for PST management tools altogether — and the default access mechanism moves to the browser, away from “fat” client access. A continued market for e-mail efficiency add-ins is likely, but vendors would need to shift browser plug-ins.

Applications Needed for SaaS Implementations Examples include premises and SaaS management tools and premises-to-SaaS migration tools. This is where the move to the SaaS model will create some new demands for third-party tools as companies look for tools that help them perform single seat management and provisioning of premises-based and SaaS services, known as a hybrid model. There are also opportunities for vendors to facilitate migration from the premises to the SaaS platform — an area ripe for exploration by third parties.

Mr. Cain said that other opportunities for third parties will be via acquisition by SaaS vendors, which will fill in missing platform gaps as has already been the case with Google and Postini, Cisco and Ironport, and Microsoft and Frontbridge.

There will also be an impact on the hardware market; 20 percent fewer on-premises e-mail seats will mean fewer sales opportunities for server vendors, and SaaS providers are likely to build their own servers and/or move to a single source model.

To a certain extent, this winnowing of opportunities for third parties in the e-mail market has been under way ever since Microsoft’s Exchange 2007 incorporated features such as virus and spam blocking, voice mail and disaster recovery, which had previously been addressed only by third parties,” said Mr. Cain. “In many ways, e-mail is the “litmus test” for the SaaS model, disrupting a pre-existing set on on-premises-related businesses. We can expect similar third-party dynamics to occur in adjacent collaboration spaces, such as instant messaging and virtual workspaces.”

E-Mail SaaS Threatens Third-Party Vendors.

Monday, April 06, 2009

IT Buyer Best Practices at Small Businesses

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass., April 6, 2008 – Under increasing economic pressure, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. are using more diverse information sources to first learn about IT products, technologies, and suppliers and, once aware, gather more information. Despite the growing use of the Internet as a source of information, a trend that will continue, word of mouth still receives high mentions by SMBs, according to a new IDC study.

“A major challenge for providers of advanced technology products and services is how best to reach the 7.9 million SMBs in the United States,” said Merle Sandler, research manager for SMB Programs at IDC. “SMBs use multiple information sources, so technology providers need to develop an effective promotional portfolio to ensure visibility in the places where SMBs turn for IT information, bearing in mind that their preferences vary by business size, vertical industry, and attitude cluster.”

Among key highlights of IDC’s research are the following:

  • Word of mouth is most often cited by small businesses (SBs) and medium-sized businesses (MBs) as how they initially become aware of IT products, technology, and suppliers. However, vendor Web sites and word of mouth tie for first place as a source of more detailed information for both SBs and MBs.

  • SMBs differ far more by vertical industry than they do by company size regarding places where they become aware of technology as well as sources for more detailed information. Communications firms cite the highest average number of sources, while banking/finance firms averaged the lowest.

  • SMBs differ a great deal by cluster regarding the information sources that they utilize.. A well above average share of SMB 2.0 firms mention online sources for both becoming aware of and gathering IT information.

IDC’s study, http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp;jsessionid=SDI2CX5S4IV2KCQJAFDCFFAKBEAVAIWD?containerId=prUS21778809

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Sky’s the Limit for Cloud Computing

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An estimated 1.6 billion people now use the Internet, according to Advanced Micro Devices Inc., every last one a potential subscriber to cloud computing services. But can cloud computing overcome concerns regarding security, functionality and availability to achieve its vast potential?

As the Internet moves into the era of dynamic, user-generated and alterable content, the acceptance of cloud computing will rise, according to iSuppli Corp.

‘The cloud,’ is a modern phrase for the online world, describing a system that allows content or services to be accessed from the Internet using devices located anywhere in the world. Such devices include PCs, mobile phones and video game consoles.

iSuppli defines cloud computing as the provision of a service to a user, beyond simple file storage, a feature known as cloud storage. Such cloud-computing services integrate a number of features and functions controlled by users, such that at the end of the activity, by employing the application or service, the user has solved a problem, or created, modified, enhanced and/or saved a file. iSuppli believes that as cloud computing evolves, the definition will evolve.

Cloud computing services had their genesis in the business world, allowing the use of information and data to be shared with employees regardless of physical location, and updated when needed. But in the consumer market, such services are new, and currently growing in number and popularity.

An example of a well-liked business-focused cloud computing application is Google Docs, an online program that allows users to create, save, and store word processing, spreadsheet and presentation files. A popular consumer-focused cloud storage application is Flickr, the online photo storage service.

“Social networking websites blur the line between cloud computing and cloud storage, because they offer a variety of services, including online storage, blogging, contact networking and instant- and non-instant messaging,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms, for iSuppli.

“However, when consumers and businesses consider the use of cloud computing, they harbor legitimate concerns in the areas of security, functionality and availability.”

Security issues take the form of controlling access to the application and its files. Functionality centers on exactly what tasks users are able to accomplish with an application. Availability issues concern the minimization of downtime, because an online service is non-existent when offline.

Where functionality is similar or the same, online applications compete with offline applications, whereby an offline application competes directly with a particular PC application. For example, Google Docs compares to Microsoft Office.

Ironically, the primary enabler for consumer cloud computing services—Internet bandwidth—is also the primary inhibitor, as it almost completely dictates the type of cloud application the user can run.

Despite concerns and inhibitors, cloud computing holds strong promise for global Internet users, iSuppli believes.

Clouds Over Cloud Storage

While cloud computing holds strong potential, the sky has become partly cloudy for the distinct but related area of cloud storage.

For small and medium businesses, cloud storage offers an attractive way to save valuable digital data, doubling as a storage server and a backup system. With cloud storage, there is no need to maintain a RAID based server, to rebuild and replace hard drives or to run maintenance and diagnostics when glitches occur.

For consumers, cloud storage represents a new way to back up data, especially family photos, music and other critical data. Among corporate road warriors, cloud storage is a major technique to share common files over the net and work on a collaborative basis with other employees in a company. Last, but not least, cloud storage enables users to buy value notebooks that come with limited storage.

However, the atmosphere for cloud storage has become somewhat chillier during the last 12 months.

During the past year, the economic recession has led to a shrinkage of available amount of excess capacity in data centers that could be leased out for use as cloud storage,” noted Krishna Chander, senior analyst, storage devices, for iSuppli.

News has circulated that Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard are pulling out of the online storage market. On the other hand, amidst these pull outs, the previously rumored news that Google may enter this market with its G-Drive has reemerged.

Beyond the economic downturn, another factor is slowing demand for cloud computing: the abundance of external storage solutions that can be attached to their PCs using USB interfaces. External hard drives ranging in capacities of 250Gbyte to 2Tbyte are available from retail stores and e-tailers and are priced attractively around 10 cents per gigabyte. Given this alternate option, consumers are more hesitant to adopt an online storage scheme.

This raises a question: should Google continue to be developing its G-Drive strategy?

The potential revenue for Cloud Storage is estimated to rise to about $5.8 billion by 2013, climbing steadily at a pace of about 64 percent from $487 million in 2008. However, if consumers take the external storage alternative, cloud storage revenue will amount to only half that level by 2013.

The total number of worldwide users for online storage could rise to about 729 million in 2013. However, if there is a greater uptake of external storage, the user population will amount to only about 445 million in 2013, down about 40 percent from the more optimistic outlook.

“Service providers need to come up with creative ideas to entice new consumers to stay or to renew their cloud storage subscriptions,” Chander added. The Sky’s the Limit for Cloud Computing

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adoption of SaaS Applications Is Significantly Higher in Companies in France and the UK, Compared to Germany

Publ. by www.redviking.se

Egham, UK, March 30, 2009

CRM Is The Most Popular SaaS Application in All Three countries

Companies in France and the UK are significantly ahead of those in Germany in terms of adoption of software as a service (SaaS) applications, according to a recent survey* by Gartner, Inc. However, Gartner said that the responses from German organisations suggest that the difference in adoption levels will shrink if users follow through on their plans for SaaS adoption in 2009.

Seventy one per cent of French survey respondents said that their organisation currently uses SaaS for enterprise applications, compared to 68 per cent in the UK and 45 per cent in Germany. The survey also looked at actual levels of SaaS use compared with the number of employees an organisation could have using SaaS. The results showed higher levels of usage and adoption were indicated in France.

The survey findings on the length of time that SaaS applications have been in use across the three countries further indicated that France has a slight lead in terms of adoption. Only 4 per cent of French respondents said that they had used SaaS applications for less than a year, compared with 17 per cent in the UK and 21 per cent in Germany. This runs slightly counter to the traditional assumption that the UK is more advanced in terms of SaaS adoption.

We believe that North American vendors have enjoyed greater success in the UK because less effort is required to localise products and sales and marketing strategies,” said Chris Pang, principal research analyst at Gartner. “However, other European countries are also willing adopters of SaaS applications and that international vendors not already active in the French and German markets should certainly investigate opportunities for growth here.”

Overall, customer relationship management (CRM) is the most popular SaaS application across the three countries, ahead of enterprise resource planning (ERP); content communications and collaboration (CCC); and supply chain management (SCM). Gartner said that CRM’s popularity is likely a result of the media exposure of high-profile vendors such as salesforce.com. In addition, CRM SaaS applications tend to cover a wider range of functions in common processes, such as sales automation, marketing automation and customer service support whereas SaaS applications such as ERP, CCC and SCM tend to focus on specific areas of business process support such as expense management, talent management, recruitment, web conferencing and procurement.

While there are many more vendors offering SaaS for applications other than CRM, their media exposure has generally been less conspicuous,” said Mr Pang. “Nevertheless, the penetration and use of ERP, CCC and SCM applications should not be underestimated. Many businesses already use some of these applications within a part of their organisation, and vendors looking to sell SaaS applications should find that most businesses are now more open to using SaaS than they were five years ago.”

Regarding motivations for using or considering using SaaS in 2009, respondents were united in choosing SaaS primarily because they considered it more cost-effective than an on-premises application. Other reasons included ease of deployment and internal resource constraints. More than 50 per cent of the survey respondents saw SaaS as a viable alternative to an existing on-premises solution and 40 per cent saw SaaS as a complementary addition to their IT environments.

The survey results clearly indicate that adoption of SaaS application software in three of the largest country markets in Europe continues to evolve and that opportunities for SaaS application software vendors are still present,” said Mr Pang. “End-user organisations will focus even harder on TCO (total cost of ownership), return on investment and rapidity of deployment issues in the current recessionary environment. The good news is that, to varying degrees, SaaS can confer advantages in each of these areas.”

Gartner press release