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IDC Says Best-of-Breed Apps Dominate Suites in User Spending

International Data Corp. (IDC, Framingham, Mass., www.idc.com) published a report predicting that the business application market is well on it’s way to being the first packaged software market to exceed $100 billion in worldwide license revenues.

The report, "Leading Suite and ‘Best-of-Breed’ Suppliers As Competitors and Partners," forecasts that the market will reach that level in 2002, expanding from $50 billion in 1997.

The IDC report, based on the firms global software database of over 1,000 software companies, also finds revenue for best-of-breed applications software was almost three times that for business-application suites in 1997, even though suites generally are where companies spend marketing dollars. As defined by IDC, suites are solutions that include at least accounting, materials-management and industry-specific modules, and that could automate an entire enterprise.

"Suites are clearly a rapidly growing category of business application marketing," says Dennis Bryon, research manager, IDC’s applications and information access group. "But the largest demand as measured by license and maintenance revenue continues to be for standalone applications that do one thing and do it well. The dominance of so-called best-of-breed applications over suites in terms of worldwide license revenues is the impetus behind the many research and marketing partnerships of suite suppliers. The suite-versus-standalone view in this report helps make sense of what looks like a $50 billion monolithic market but that is actually multiple market categories, driven by many different marketing tactics and techniques." -- Thomas Sullivan Staff Reporter/Reviews Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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