Amazon has recently announced a new addition to their web services platform: corporate email and calendaring. The software will be called WorkMail and aims to offer another alternative (along with Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps) to your old on-premise Exchange server handling company email. Let’s have a closer look at just what Amazon’s new product offers and at how you can potentially use this new software to your business’s advantage.
Now let’s examine the Amazon WorkMail offering itself. Compared to Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, WorkMail is quite limited. Whereas Google and Microsoft offer all-in-one platform solutions which include document collaboration and integrated chat, WorkMail is (for now) simply email and calendar hosting. Though this may be an indication that Amazon is interested in eventually challenging the market leaders in this space the initial WorkMail offering is barebones and can’t really be compared as a full business solution. Amazon offers only limited cloud storage to its corporate clients while Microsoft and Google offer unlimited space. Another important note is that Workmail does not provide the kind of sophisticated archiving and compliance software support that come standard with Office 365 and Google Apps.
If your company email is still being handled by an on-premise server – a switch to the kind of cloud-based email has many clear benefits. For instance, you’ll get better security for your data assets automatically. WorkMail is built to interface directly with Outlook (and other email clients) so the transition from the end-user perspective should be relatively smooth. Behind the scenes, you’ll cease having to deal with complex on-site server infrastructure and see fewer technical issues with streamlined 3rd party support services. Your files will be auto-backed up at secure data centers around the world so you’ll basically never have to worry about data loss.
Finally let’s examine WorkMail as a platform for collaboration. Amazon has not featured-matched Google or Microsoft in any significant way, although it’s possible they intend to do so in the future. For now WorkMail is simply not designed for employee collaboration. There is no document editing software and no built-in web conferencing – distinguishing features of both Google Apps and Office 365. If Amazon is intending to build an all-in-one solution to rival the giants of Google and Microsoft, the collaboration issue will have to be addressed first.
Amazon launched WorkMail in early 2015 for corporate clients looking for an alternate to their existing Exchange server that sees very few (if any) changes at the end-user level. As Amazon diversifies its web services business they may be moving towards direct competition with Office 365 and Google Apps but for now at least WorkMail is an email and calendar only solution. The trend is as clear as the benefits are myriad – industries are all moving to cloud-based computing solutions for more security and easier access to company data. A switch to the cloud can result in an immediate boost in productivity – if you can take proper advantage of the change and of the technology.
Want to hear more about the benefits of cloud-computing? Check out our “Top 15 Benefits of the Cloud” article or get in touch with us anytime for a free consultation on what will work best for your business!