Amazon Email Service WorkMail — Another Trojan Horse

by | Jan 29, 2015 | Blog

Amazon Email Service

On-AMZN: Amazon announced a corporate email service WorkMail similiar in nature to Google’s Apps for Work email and Microsoft Office 365 managed email services.  This article and video from WSJ raises several good points, but does not ask an essential question — why is each company in this business?.   WSJ stresses the simplicity of managment, low change challenges with end users as they can continue to use the client email tools (such as MS Outlook) they are familiar with, the value of managing the infrastructure for clients, and the enhanced security Amazon can offer.  WSJ touches on the “trojan horse” providing corporate email services provides, but the trojan horse to what?

The strategic key question to ask is “why is each provider in the business”.  Microsoft’s end game is selling software.  Google’s end game is mining data for advertising purposes.  Amazon’s end game is leveraging the AWS infrasture and scale to provide the service, and to connect email with other value added services Amazon does or will offer “as a service” — for example, sensitive matters management, virtualized work places and IT cloud operations complete stacks.  From a customer standpoint, Amazon’s strategic goal best aligns it with customer values for a largely commodized service.  Over time, assuming Amazon provides a great service and innovation (which they will), will allow Amazon to win significant market share and use this as another value to levaging AWS in broad manners.

WSJ:  Amazon Starts Email Service for Companies — Move Aimed at Invading Market Dominated by Microsoft, Google

By Shira Ovide and Greg Bensiger

The company on Wednesday announced an email and electronic calendar service called WorkMail that is aimed at grabbing a slice of the corporate-email market largely controlled by Microsoft Corp. and to a lesser extent Google Inc.

One of the original digital workplace tools, email may seem musty, but it remains a must-have entry point for tech companies seeking sales to big organizations. Joining Google and Microsoft, International Business Machines Corp. last fall launched a new email service for workers. Startups such as Dropbox Inc. also offer email applications for businesses.

WorkMail lets corporate workers keep using Microsoft Outlook or other familiar email applications; Amazon is replacing the unseen technology, mostly from Microsoft, that powers corporate email in data centers. That may get companies over a big obstacle when switching employee email technology: Some workers have a tough time adapting to an unfamiliar email user interface.

On the security front, WorkMail runs through Amazon’s computer networks, which encrypts, or scrambles, messages so prying eyes can’t make sense of intercepted email. Customers will control the keys to unscramble the contents. In a feature especially appealing to regulated industries or privacy-concerned European companies, Amazon will ensure companies that their email is stored only in designated geographic regions.

Read the entire article at the WSJ HERE

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