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Amazon enter the collaboration industry

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Amazon enter the collaboration industry

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The enterprise social collaboration market has mushroomed in recent years, with estimates that it is already worth several billion dollars a year.  Whilst such a bounty has encouraged a wide range of entrants into the field, one that has stayed out, perhaps understandably, has been Amazon.

Whilst their Amazon Web Services (AWS) have put them into the enterprise computing space, and the Mechanical Turk software giving them an insight into social task management, they haven’t really delved into collaboration.  Until now anyway, for they announced recently that they will be adding collaboration capabilities to AWS.

The new functionality, called Zocalo, is being touted as a secure, managed venue for storing, sharing and amassing feedback on documents, presentations and the various other tools we use in our daily office lives.

“Customers have told us that they’re fed up with the cost, complexity, and performance of their existing old guard enterprise document and collaboration management tools,” Zocalo general manager Noah Eisner said in a release.

The move comes in response to an apparently growing clamour of AWS customers requesting such functionality.  Amazon “was increasingly being asked to provide an enterprise storage and sharing tool that was easy to use, allowed users to quickly collaborate with others, and met the strict security needs of their organizations,” Eisner added.

The service will be offered to users for a monthly fee of $5 per user, for which they will gain access to 200 gigabytes of storage space, which is a competitive price compared to the likes of Box and DropBox, both of whom offer lower amounts of storage space for that kind of price.

With the likes of Box and DropBox doing a lot of the groundwork in establishing cloud based storage and document collaboration as a viable activity, it would be harsh on them for Amazon to come along and steal their thunder, but there has to be a significant risk that this will occur.

Suffice to say, as the market has grown, so too has the competition, with the likes of EMC, Google and Microsoft also beginning to encroach into this line of work.  You can learn more about Zocalo via the video below, and they’re offering a free 30 day trial period for up to 50 users.  As can be expected from Amazon, they are likely to compete intensely on price, which with Box et al still struggling for profitability could put an uncomfortable squeeze on this burgeoning market.

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