Amazon.com Inc has announced Workmail- an email and scheduling service that will compete with Microsoft Corp and Google Inc. The email service will be launched in the second quarter and has been developed by the company's cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
According to reports, Workmail is compatible with existing client software like Outlook. For additional security, Amazon will encrypt messages on WorkMail, while companies who use the service will be able to control the keys needed to unscramble the encryption. Amazon will also provide a tool meant to ensure that emails are only stored in designated geographic regions in European countries, specially after the post Snowden revelations.
Analysts suggest that launching an email and scheduling service is likely the first step toward a broader suite of Amazon tools to gain corporate clients. For example, Google's Gmail offers many other services beyond email and calendars including file-sharing and video conferencing. Analysts suggest that Amazon could add as much as $10 billion to its revenue when it decides to add more services.
"Email is a Trojan Horse into the enterprise," Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said. He added that "email is a $1 billion opportunity for Amazon given the popularity of AWS and Amazon's willingness to sacrifice margins for volume".
Amazon will charge $4 per month for each inbox in Workmail for 50 GB mailbox, and workers can use it via Microsoft Outlook or other familiar email clients. With Workmail, Amazon will compete with Google with its Apps for Business, Microsoft Office, Evernote, Box.com, Dropbox, and Quip .