Ecommerce and cloud giant Amazon has released Amazon WorkMail – a “secure, managed business email and calendar service”. The cloud-based solution is designed to enable users to access email, contacts, calendars and manage workrooms through its own browser-based interface or through Microsoft’s Outlook collaboration solution. Additionally, mobile users can access Amazon WorkMail email through Android and iOS apps. Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire Phone also support Amazon WorkMail, as do Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10. A 30-day trial of the new service is available for up to 25 users completely free of charge.
A preview of Amazon WorkMail was released in January, 2015 but it is now generally available in the AWS regions of Northern Virginia, Oregon and Ireland. A key feature of the new solution is that it allows users to integrate their corporate directories with the solution. Its design also allows users to encrypt data and decide where their data should be stored. Despite being cloud-based, once a user sets up a service in one of the available regions, it will remain in that region. Another interesting and useful feature is a migration tool that allows users to migrate to Amazon WorkMail from other platforms. However, at the moment the solution requires rigorous mapping.
It is open to debate why Amazon, which has headquarters in Seattle, Washington, would enter an arena that is already dominated by the likes of Google and Microsoft. The solution costs $4 per month per user for 50 GB of mailbox storage. “I first wrote about Amazon WorkMail last year when we made it available in preview form,” explained Jeff Barr Chief Evangelist for the Amazon Web Services on the company’s website. “At the time, I noted that Amazon WorkMail is a managed calendaring and email solution that runs in the Cloud and works with your existing desktop and mobile clients. In my initial post (Amazon WorkMail – Managed Email and Calendaring in the AWS Cloud) I discussed Workmail’s security features and controls. These include location control, encryption of stored data, message scanning for spam & virus protection, and policies and actions for controlling mobile devices“.
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