With hosted email steadily becoming the defacto way in which email is delivered to organisations, the market has become saturated with varying providers that offer sliding scales of technology, service and pricing.
Traditionally the hosted email market was the preserve of service providers who partnered with vendors to deliver their service. Increasingly, the growth in the market has seen vendors choose to enter the market directly. The likes of Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and VMware all have direct market offerings.
Such strong vendor presence means that it has become a buyer’s market. Google and Microsoft are increasingly turning what was a cold war into a hot war competing aggressively for small and enterprise business. This has also meant that the traditional service provider market is trying to adapt its commercial model to ensure they are competitive with the market's big beasts.
However, there are number of things that mean that vendors don’t necessarily understand the requirements of the mass of businesses that sit in-between the very small and the very large. Put simply the mid-market is poorly served by vendors. Their inability to focus on migration and service means mid-market customers are left to figure out how they can shoehorn this vendor platform into their business.