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AWS Intros its Own Dropbox Competitor, Amazon Zocalo

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Amazon Web Services introduced its managed cloud version of a document storage, sharing, syncing, and collaboration tool to give users yet another online option for sharing and managing their documents. The product, named Zocalo, has many of the standard features expected from an online document storage and management service along with the size and staying power to wait out the competition.

The question will invariably come around to whether or not this newcomer to the market will have the features to beat out the more entrenched competitors. Comparisons will naturally be made to Dropbox, Box, iCloud (for Apple), Google Drive, OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) and others. However, being diversified has significant business advantages when introducing a new product into a crowded market. Read: Dropbox vs. Box: What's The Right Choice for the Enterprise?

Like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, AWS is not some mere startup that needs to make a big splash in order to keep the new product alive while it continues to add features and build its customer base. In fact, Amazon has created an automatic customer base by providing Zocalo at no charge to AWS customers who currently use AWS Workspaces (virtual desktop service). 

AWS may even, if Zocalo features are on par with its competitors, cause some of its rivals to rethink pricing and storage limits in order to retain customers. To be successful in the corporate world, the document storage and collaboration that Zocalo is offering must be easy to use but still keep all of the complexity, security, and problems out of sight of the users. In business, loss of information during negotiations can cost companies time, money, and reputations so more than anything else, Zocalo is going to have to prove that it is stable and reliable.

"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. AWS 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 (users') organizations. That's what Amazon Zocalo was built to do," said Noah Eisner, General Manager, Amazon Zocalo.

The features Amazon Zocalo brings to the market seem to be pretty standard and include:

  • The ability to share documents and files with others from a central location;
  • File access from a variety of mobile devices;
  • Users can provide simple feedback that includes being able to highlight areas of the document;
  • Basic task management by email that will notify document reviewers and owners of review activities and upcoming deadlines. 

For corporate administrators, Zocalo can integrate with an organization's Active Directory allowing admins to track what users share and set policies to control the users' sharing behavior. Additionally, all data stored in Zocalo is encrypted both in transit and at rest.

Amazon Zocalo is priced at $5 per month per user and includes 200 GB of storage. If a user is already running on Amazon Workspaces then Zocalo is integrated into that service and is available at no extra charge with up to 50 GB of storage. For an additional $2 per user per month, the Amazon Workspaces user can increase storage up to 200 GB.

Like many of AWS cloud offerings, there is a limited preview that prospective customers can access. For more on that visit Amazon Zocalo at aws.amazon.com/zocalo.

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