google microsoft email Cloud Email Battle: Google Gmail Rivals Microsoft ExchangeGoogle Gmail is already breaking through in the enterprise email industry, becoming a threat to the big email players in the market. Although Google holds only one percentage of the market and is still resistant to provide the small tweaks that certain businesses need, it still makes up nearly half of the cloud email market.

Since Google has emerged as a competitive rival, Gartner expects that Google, as a viable alternative to Microsoft Exchange Online and other cloud email services, will increase in the next ten years.

Matthew Cain, research VP at Gartner, said, “While cloud email is still in its infancy, at three to four per cent of the overall enterprise email market, we expect it to be a growth industry, reaching 20 per cent of the market by year-end 2016, and 55 per cent by year-end 2020.”

The Chocolate Factory is also facing a bitter battle with Microsoft in the email cloud space. An analyst has warned that this could stamp on other email providers.

In the last few years, aside from Microsoft Exchange, Chocolate Factory’s email service is the only one that appeals to enterprises. Other offerings such as Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, are losing momentum. VMware’s Zimbra  is just starting to look at businesses, while Cisco has already dropped its cloud email venture.

Google, however, is still hesitant to include additional features and provide small tweaks to meet the needs of their customers.

Gartner’s tech said:

Large organizations with complex email requirements, such as financial institutions, report that Google is resistant to feature requests that would be applicable to only a small segment of its customers. Banks, for example, may require surveillance capabilities that Google is unlikely to build into Gmail given the limited appeal.

Google is also reluctant to include back-end features for its enterprise clients:

While Google is good at taking direction and input on front-end features, it is more resistant to the back-end feature requests that are important to larger enterprises. Large system integrators and enterprises report that Google’s lack of transparency in areas such as continuity, security and compliance can thwart deeper relationships.

According to Cain, despite Google’s limitations, Google’s email service is making the enterprise email industry into a two-horse race.

“The intense competition between Microsoft and Google will make both vendors stronger and enable them to apply cloud expertise to other enterprise cloud endeavours,” he said. “The rivalry will make it difficult for other suppliers to compete directly in the cloud email and collaboration space.”

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