Public cloud giant Amazon Web Services launched its response to Office 365 and Google Apps for Work on Wednesday. Amazon WorkMail is a business email and calendaring service hosted in the AWS cloud that starts at $4 per email inbox.
According to AWS, WorkMail doesn’t require users to buy specific hardware or license email server software, and allows users to pay monthly, only for the mailboxes they create.
“Customers have repeatedly asked us for a business email and calendaring service that is more cost-effective and simpler to manage than their on-premises solution, more secure than the cloud-based offerings available today, and that is backed by the same best-in-class infrastructure platform on which they’re reliably running so many of their current (and future) workloads,” AWS Compute Services VP Peter De Santis said. “We built Amazon WorkMail to address these requests and to help businesses achieve agility and cost savings by letting AWS manage the non-differentiated heavy lifting involved in corporate email and calendaring.”
Amazon WorkMail can be used in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook and native iOS and Android email applications, and integrates with existing corporate directories.
WorkMail can also be used with WorkSpaces, Amazon’s virtual desktop service, and Zocalo, a cloud storage service, much like Dropbox.
With a stronghold on the enterprise market, AWS offering a secure email and calendaring service isn’t a stretch, and it could be successful if it is able to convert existing clients to its email service and continue to promote its enterprise-grade security. Users can even choose which AWS Region their data is hosted in, a big incentive for corporate users concerned about the privacy of their email data, particularly in the wake of Microsoft’s email warrant case in Dublin and Google quietly handing over WikiLeaks staff emails to the FBI. AWS WorkMail also integrates the AWS Key Management Service so customers can control their own encryption keys.
Service providers who have conventionally offered customers value-added services like hosted email to differentiate their service from companies like Google and AWS may have to take a look at their offerings. Between Google launching a domain registration service and AWS now offering a corporate email solution, the companies are positioning themselves as more of a one-stop-shop than ever before.