AWS Taking On Microsoft, Google with Productivity Suite

Amazon Web Services dominates the market for cloud server and storage services and has made inroads in other enterprise technologies like databases. Now it wants to become a more potent competitor in productivity apps, where Microsoft and Google are well established.

AWS is working on upgrades to its WorkMail email-calendar app and its WorkDocs file storage-collaboration app to make them more attractive to corporate customers, according to two people who do business with the company. AWS has also told some large corporate customers it’s considering bundling these apps with its recently launched Chime video conferencing apps into a new productivity app suite that will compete with Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365, according to a person who’s been briefed on the cloud unit’s plans.

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AWS charges $4 per user monthly for WorkMail or $6 for both WorkMail and WorkDocs. Microsoft’s cloud email service, Exchange Online, starts at $48 per user annually, and its OneDrive For Business storage service starts at $60 per user annually. Google doesn’t offer a stand-alone version of Gmail for businesses.

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In one way, AWS is doing things backwards. Companies often take their first steps into cloud computing with email productivity apps and then expand their scope.