Tags: Amazon | Work | E-Mail | Google

Amazon Offers Work E-Mail Service to Compete Against Google

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 06:06 PM

Amazon.com Inc. is starting an e-mail and calendar service for professionals dubbed WorkMail, pushing deeper into a corporate technology market dominated by Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc.

WorkMail would compete against Microsoft’s Outlook and Google’s Apps for Work to become a daily point of contact between Amazon and customers. It builds on the technical capabilities the Seattle-based company has developed through its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing division, through which Amazon also offers a file-storage service named Zocalo and databases like Amazon Aurora.

The worldwide market for cloud-based e-mail services was worth $6.3 billion in annual sales in 2014, and will increase to an estimated $16.9 billion by 2018, according to a report by The Radicati Group Inc., a market-research firm.

“Customers have repeatedly asked us for a business e-mail and calendaring service,” Amazon vice president Peter De Santis said in a statement.

Amazon tomorrow reports earnings for its busiest quarter. Analysts estimate profit except certain items of $450.3 million, or 97 cents a share, on sales of $29.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company has lost almost one- fourth of its value over the past year after big spending on warehouse and data center expansions and new electronic devices such as the Fire smartphone resulted in steep losses.

Expanding Quickly

Amazon’s cloud business is a small, fast-growing part of its revenue. The division in which AWS sales are recognized brought in $1.34 billion in the third quarter, up about 40 percent from a year earlier.

AWS and associated products may one day generate more revenue than its $74.5 billion e-retail business, Andy Jassy, an Amazon senior vice president, said in November.

E-mail and calendar solutions for workplaces tie into that growth plan.

Surveys of corporate software decision-makers conducted by Forrester Research since 2011 indicate interest in subscription services that include e-mail and calendars grew to 73 percent in 2014 from 56 percent in 2011, said T.J. Keitt, a Forrester Research analyst.

While Microsoft and Google have carved out big positions in the cloud e-mail space, “there’s still a big portion of the marketplace that is wary of those vendors for a number of reasons, including security,” Keitt said. “There’s a lot of momentum for a company like Amazon to grab on to.”

Free Trial

Amazon is offering a free 30-day trial for WorkMail for as many as 25 users. Businesses can then subscribe to the service for $4 a user per month, with 50 gigabytes of storage, according to spokeswoman Leah Bibbo. A bundled option that includes 200 gigabytes of file storage through Zocalo would cost $6 a user per month, she said.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has been spending on new initiatives to tie people more closely to Amazon. The company often releases new gadgets or services to see what will stick and attract customers. In November, Amazon quietly introduced the Echo interactive speaker. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to produce feature-length films to be shown in theaters and then available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service.

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Amazon.com Inc. is starting an e-mail and calendar service for professionals dubbed WorkMail, pushing deeper into a corporate technology market dominated by Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc.
Amazon, Work, E-Mail, Google
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 06:06 PM
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