Amazon Web Services will soon be offering email services to AWS users. The service will be called Amazon WorkMail, and it will act as both a calendar and email solution.
WorkMail isn’t meant to be a Gmail or Outlook option for everyday email users, it’s meant to be a work tool that Amazon has built to directly compete with Microsoft Exchange.
How it Will Work
WorkMail users will be able to combine the new Amazon service with Outlook. Other features include shared calendars, inboxes, and an address book that’s company-wide. Clearly, this is a work tool aimed at enterprise. The biggest challenge that Amazon will face is proving to business owners that the company will offer a completely secure email solution. Then again, Amazon may not have such a hard time proving this if you take a look at its cloud services.
Amazon pretty much corners the enterprise cloud market. Many companies already trust Amazon with information stored in the cloud, so further trusting the company with email security isn’t such a huge stretch. Further, Amazon is allowing companies to choose the geographic location where data will be stored, and the email service will also be encrypted with private keys.
The Advantage to Choosing a Location
There are two distinct advantages to allowing a company to choose the geographic location where data will be stored. The first is that data can be accessed faster based on various locations, but the big advantage is that companies can choose a location that’s hard for governments to access. Both of these things will have instant appeal for companies already using Amazon cloud services - the addition of email will be a smooth and easy transition for most.
Amazon is also keeping the costs down on WorkMail. The email service will cost $4 per inbox, which will be easily affordable for most companies. This rate is also comparable to what Google and Microsoft already offer to enterprise customers. While it may seem odd to some that Amazon is branching out in the email direction, it makes perfect sense for both the company and for enterprises that already rely and trust Amazon’s cloud services.
Amazon’s WorkMail will be available for enterprise use during the second quarter of this year. This later launch date gives Amazon ample time to show potential users what the service can do, and also to build stronger trust in the new email service. Some might be wondering why Amazon doesn’t build a consumer email service as well as the new enterprise option, though the company has not commented on this popular query.
Presumably, though, Amazon can make a lot more money selling to enterprises than to consumers (consumer email would have to be free much like what Google offers).
Amazon is expected to detail more information about WorkMail in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for those announcements if WorkMail interests you. This is a big step for Amazon, but it also appears to be one in the right direction.