Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Symantec Buy Sends Instant Message

With its acquisition of instant messaging management startup IMLogic, Symantec acknowledged what users and analysts have said for for months: IM use is growing rapidly, and so are its security risks. (See Symantec Buys IMlogic.)

Symantec moved late Tuesday to acquire one of three primary IM management companies. The deal was no surprise: Symantec and IMLogic already had several technology partnerships, Symantec is highly acquisitive, and IMLogic fills a hole in its product line. Symantec and rivals like Computer Associates and McAfee handle security features such as antivirus and antispam and email management but left IM management primarily to startups IMLogic, Akonix, and FaceTime. (See Startups Tame IM Beast and CA Buys Archiver.)

Symantec did not disclose the sale price, but industry sources peg the cash acquisition between $65 million and $100 million. Thats peanuts for Symantec, which paid $11 billion for backup software giant Veritas last year and $370 million for email security firm Brightmail in 2004. (See Symantec & Veritas: It's a Deal and Symantec Buys Brightmail .)

The combination of IM management and security was overdue, according to users who recently identified IM security as a major security challenge. (See Startups Tame IM Beast.) Market statistics show IM use is growing like a weed. According to market research firm The Radicati Group, the average number of IMs sent per user per day will increase from 37 in 2005 to 94 IMs in 2009. And the increase will come primarily from business use. By 2009, the percentage of consumer-only IMers will drop to 4 percent from 70 percent in 2005, according to Radicati.

From a financial standpoint, IDC forecasts the enterprise IM market to grow from $315 million in 2005 to $736 million in 2009 -- including IM security, management, and compliance products.

  • 1