Despite a growing list of failed products from Amazon recently–the Fire phone and in-house diapers, notably–one thing it does better than nearly any other company is cloud services. That’s why its newly announced enterprise email service, WorkMail, should be considered a serious threat to Microsoft and its Exchange email service.
Amazon’s WorkMail will offer shared calendars, mailboxes, and a global address book to start, but one of the main features might be its integration with Zocalo–Amazon’s business-aimed competitor to Box or Dropbox that lets users move around large files.
Zocalo is a deeply integrated part of WorkMail and seen by Amazon as an end point for users to access their files directly. The email service will also help tie in other cloud services Amazon offers like Workspaces, which is the company’s desktop, as a service model.
Beyond Microsoft’s Exchange, the other large email provider is Google, which offers apps specifically geared toward businesses and their users. The problem facing Google is that it isn’t Microsoft and doesn’t have Outlook–which so many enterprise users rely on.
Amazon is trying to anticipate that by letting WorkMail seamlessly connect to Outlook users on their work machines. Amazon’s focus would be everything else behind the scenes. Prices are also competitive at $4 per month per mailbox,with 50 GB of storage.
This isn’t a new trend. Lots of consumer-facing companies are attempting to bring their products and services to corporate users. One of the most recent was Facebook with its announcement that it was working on a version of the website for people to use during work.