Amazon said to launch enterprise email service

WorkMail will focus on ease of use and security and will compete against offerings from Microsoft and Google

Amazon will launch an enterprise email and calendar service that competes against products from Microsoft and Google, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Called WorkMail, the product will focus on security and ease of use, because Amazon claims many companies view enterprise email applications as expensive and difficult to use.

"Customers are not happy with their current email solution," Adam Selipsky, an Amazon Web Services official, told the Journal. "A lot of customers feel those solutions are expensive and complex."

Details were scant on the technology behind WorkMail and Amazon didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. WorkMail will work with existing email client applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, and provide the back end email and calendaring functionality, according to the Journal. It will compete primarily against Microsoft's Exchange Online, which is part of the Office 365 cloud suite for businesses, and against Google Apps for Work's Gmail component.

WorkMail's security features may appeal to companies that are concerned about electronic snooping and intellectual property theft. Amazon will reportedly encrypt WorkMail messages as they travel across the online retailer's computer network and will let companies choose Amazon data centers in specific geographic regions for storing their messages. Companies will hold the encryption keys.

WorkMail, which Amazon will announce on Wednesday, will cost US$4 per inbox.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'

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