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Is WorkMail From Amazon The Next Gmail Or Outlook For Business?

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|Jan 29|magazine10 min read

Gmail’s hold on emailing services for business might be losing some strength in the coming months. Amazon Web Services, an Amazon.com company, announced today a new email and calendaring service available in the AWS Cloud—WorkMail.

Users will be able to send and receive email, manage contacts, share calendars and book resources through the same email applications already on the market and on many peoples’ computers (think Microsoft Outlook or your web browser).

Amazon’s all-in-one WorkMail offers solutions to several problems businesses face when it comes to electronic communication, including expensive hardware to host email on-premises, complex software licensing, ongoing maintenance work, security, and the inability for integration with existing corporate directories. And one of the best perks? Businesses will only pay for the mailboxes they create.

“Customers have repeatedly asked us for a business email and calendaring service that is more cost-effective and simpler to manage than their on-premises solution, more secure than the cloud-based offerings available today, and that is backed by the same best-in-class infrastructure platform on which they’re reliably running so many of their current (and future) workloads,” said Peter De Santis, Vice President, AWS Compute Services. “We built Amazon WorkMail to address these requests and to help businesses achieve agility and cost savings by letting AWS manage the non-differentiated heavy lifting involved in corporate email and calendaring.”

See what Amazon has to say about WebMail’s capabilities and benefits.

Reduced complexity and cost. With Amazon WorkMail, there is no need to buy servers, manage complicated software and the associated licenses, or deal with upgrades, patches, and back-up systems. Customers simply pay for the mailboxes they create.

Security and privacy controls. Unlike other cloud-based email services, Amazon WorkMail allows customers to retain full control over the location of their data by choosing the AWS Region where their data is stored. All data in transit is encrypted using industry-standard SSL, and Amazon WorkMail is integrated with the AWS Key Management Service so that customers control their own encryption keys. Amazon WorkMail enforces security policies that businesses specify for users’ mobile devices via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Businesses can require device encryption, require that devices lock, specify requirements for device password strength, and wipe devices remotely using the AWS Management Console.

Corporate directory integration. Administrators can integrate Amazon WorkMail with their existing Microsoft Active Directory so that users can access their mailboxes with their existing corporate credentials. Amazon WorkMail includes a migration tool that administrators can use to migrate mailboxes from on-premises email servers to Amazon WorkMail. After migration, users’ Microsoft Outlook and mobile email clients can automatically connect to Amazon WorkMail using Microsoft Outlook’s Autodiscover feature.

Microsoft Active Directory compatibility. Microsoft Outlook users sign into Amazon WorkMail through their Microsoft Outlook email client using their existing corporate credentials. 

Access from any device. For desktop users, Amazon WorkMail works with Microsoft Outlook or can be accessed through a feature-rich Web client on the most popular browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Additionally, Amazon WorkMail works with any mobile device that supports the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol, including iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Fire Phone, Android, and Windows Phone.

Integration with Amazon WorkDocs (formerly Amazon Zocalo). Users of the Amazon WorkMail Web client can share and collaborate on documents using Amazon WorkDocs from within Amazon WorkMail.

WebMail is currently available for a 30-day preview term, which you can sign up for online. Monthly costs run around $4 after the free preview.