Convenience and collaboration are driving a boom in wireless email, with research firm Gartner tipping a billion users worldwide by the end of 2014.
Worldwide business wireless email accounts were estimated at more than 80 million in early 2010, including large, midsize and small organisations, as well as individual professionals – corresponding to about 60 million active users.
Wireless email makes an individual’s email account accessible and usable via mobile networks on mobile devices, within a local client application or through a Web browser, through a software gateway connected to (or part of) the email server. At the moment, Gartner estimates just five percent of the global workforce uses wireless email, even though around 40% are mobile for at least part of their day. However, social networks are expected to lift wireless email use.
As wireless email begins to integrate with social networking and collaboration, social networking is increasingly complementing email for interpersonal business communications. Gartner predicts that by 2014, social networking services will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20% of business users.
“People increasingly want to use mobile devices for collaboration to share content, information and experiences with their communities,” said Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner. “Social paradigms are converging with email, instant messaging, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and presence, creating new collaboration styles.”
Cloud email and collaboration services by Microsoft, IBM, Google and other players already include mobile support, but are very early in adoption. However, Gartner predicts that adoption will grow significantly in the next three to five years. In 2009, only three percent of email accounts were in the cloud but by the end of 2012, that number will increase to 10%.
“Thanks to ease of access, the cloud will generate indirect competition in the wireless email software market and will transform it in the long term,” Basso said. “Cloud email offerings from software and service players, such as Google’s Gmail, will begin to be adopted, pulling wireless email implementations into the cloud as well. Through 2012, wireless email products and services will be interchangeable, shipping in large volumes at reduced prices. Wireless email will be highly commoditised and on any device. This commoditisation will, in turn, drive standardisation and price reductions on service bundles from mobile carriers.” NZ site for security products Anti-virus and internet security software provider AVG has launched a New Zealand website (www.avg.co.nz) for local users to purchase, upgrade and download their software. AVG says New Zealand’s resellers and SMEs are a top priority. The new site offers a more cost-effective platform for Kiwi consumers, with products priced in NZ currency.