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1/11/2016
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Amazon WorkMail Is Now In General Availability

Amazon's WorkMail, a potential competitor to Google's Gmail and Microsoft Outlook, is now in general availability, and it's integrated with the company's encryption key management technology.

8 Microsoft Office Alternatives
8 Microsoft Office Alternatives
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Earlier this month, Amazon Web Services brought its WorkMail business application out of its preview phase and into general availability. WorkMail is both an email and a calendar service that is available at the rate of $4 a month per user, with 50GB of email storage.

Forbes technology writer Ben Kepes noted its introduction a year ago, and cited a comment from Thomas Dohler, head of the AWS WorkMail team, that email is "the receptacle where much critical business information is stored and controlled. As such it is intrinsically tied into files and data" that Amazon wants to see stored in the cloud.

Kepes also noted: "WorkMail is obviously targeted at enterprise users -- it features corporate functionality like shared calendars and mailboxes, a global address book and resource booking."

WorkMail can be accessed through a Microsoft Outlook client and will work alongside Outlook. It's also a potential competitor and replacement for Outlook and Microsoft's Exchange Server for large email groups. AWS is offering a migration tool for moving mailboxes from Microsoft Exchange to WorkMail as part of its general availability announcement.

(Image: JurgaR/iStockphoto)

(Image: JurgaR/iStockphoto)

It first acknowledged it had such a tool Aug. 17 in this customer discussion forum.

The GA version includes integration with Amazon Key Management Service for encrypting data at rest.

"We continued to add features to Amazon WorkMail during the preview, with a focus on security, ease of use, and migration," wrote Jeff Barr, AWS chief evangelist, in a Jan. 4 blog announcing general availability in the AWS regions US West (Oregon), US East (Northern Virginia), and Europe (Dublin).

WorkMail has been determined to meet the ISO 27001, ISO 27017, and ISO 27018 security and privacy certifications. Amazon will guarantee that data stored in a customer-selected region will not leave that region.

[Read more about Amazon WorkMail.]

WorkMail also can be set up and integrated with an existing on-premises Active Directory system through AWS Simple AD. Barr claimed WorkMail "can be up and running with a modest number of clicks, generally in 10 minutes or less," provided the customer is already a user of Simple AD.

More information on how WorkMail works is available in this FAQ.

More pricing information is available through the AWS website. Customers may run a 30-day trial free for up to 25 users.

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Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive ... View Full Bio

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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
1/12/2016 | 3:03:02 PM
Amazon WorkMail also collaborates, works with WorkDocs file sharing
Generally-available Amazon WorkMail will integrate with the former Amazon file-sharing service Zocalo, now dubbed Amazon WorkDocs. I don't think Gmail and Google Docs customers will switch, but Amazon's growing base of cloud customers who aren't using those or Microsoft online services might be willing to give these two a test drive. 
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