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  • 17 March 2004 16:06

Gartner Says By End of 2004 Fewer than 10 Enterprise Spam-Filtering Vendors Will Remain

Gartner Says By End of 2004 Fewer than 10 Enterprise Spam-Filtering Vendors Will Remain

STAMFORD, Conn., March 17, 2004 — The enterprise spam-filtering industry will experience a dramatic vendor consolidation through the first quarter of 2005, according to Gartner, Inc., the technology and consulting firm. Gartner estimates that of the approximately 40 vendors currently offering spam-filtering products or services for enterprise customers, fewer than 10 will be operating by the end of this year.

In the next nine months, most vendor competitive positions will change significantly in this immature industry because of rapid changes in market dynamics. In part, Gartner analysts concluded, this is because many vendors have been unable to deliver best-of-breed functionality that is needed to fight spam. Those that do typically are small, new companies with a limited track record. Meanwhile, established vendors in markets such as antivirus, Web filtering or firewall are investing in spam-filtering, but so far have not met enterprise requirements.

"Enterprises require sophisticated detection engines that are constantly updated," said Arabella Hallawell, research director at Gartner. "If a solution blocks legitimate business e-mail, or is too restrictive or inflexible for an enterprise culture, it's not viable. If the spam-filtering solution requires a team of administrators or heavy end-user involvement to administer and update, then it's not practical either. The strength of a spam-filtering vendor's solutions detection and management functionalities is the most important factor to consider when choosing a vendor,"

Gartner clients report that 60 percent to 75 percent of incoming e-mail is spam. Once a nuisance and storage-cost drain, spam is now a major transmitter of malicious code and fraud.

"While many enterprise spam-filtering vendors will be gone or will refocus their technologies elsewhere by the end of this year, enterprises can't afford to delay decisions until the market shakes out," said Maurene Caplan Grey, research director at Gartner. "Their problems with spam have become too enormous."

While there are questions over any vendor's future viability in this market, Hallawell said enterprises can take some steps to protect themselves before making selection decisions and signing contracts. For example, companies should request protection clauses in the event a vendor is acquired. Shorter-term contracts also are preferable. "Companies must consider a vendor's core business fundamentals," Hallawell said. "A quality installed base also indicates sufficient strength to mitigate short-term vendor risks."

Gartner analysts have identified vendors best positioned to lead the enterprise spam-filtering industry. Vendors offering software, appliances and managed services providing boundary (Internet-SMTP level) solutions were evaluated.

The results from this spam filtering evaluation are available in the Gartner Research Note "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Spam Filtering, 1Q04." The Research Note lists vendors in categories such as Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players, based on their ability to execute and their completeness of vision. The document is available on Gartner's Web site at

Additional information on the security industry will be presented at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, March 28-April 1 at the San Diego Convention Center. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the industry’s largest event providing senior IT and business strategists with in-depth analysis on the future of IT. It is also the largest gathering of CIOs and CTOs in the world. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2004 offers attendees more than 180 sessions in 30 specialized content tracks, one-on-one meetings with Gartner analysts and an exhibition floor with more than 100 of the latest products and services in technology.

For more information in APAC, contact Jo Lobban on 61 2 9459 4692 or email

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) is the leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry. Gartner serves more than 10,000 clients, including chief information officers and other senior IT executives in corporations and government agencies, as well as technology companies and the investment community. The Company focuses on delivering objective, in-depth analysis and actionable advice to enable clients to make more informed business and technology decisions. The Company’s businesses consist of Gartner Intelligence, research and events for IT professionals; Gartner Executive Programs, membership programs and peer networking services; and Gartner Consulting, customized engagements with a specific emphasis on outsourcing and IT management. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has 3,700 associates, including more than 1,000 research analysts and consultants, in more than 75 locations worldwide. For more information, visit

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