In a previous post we already pointed out that there’s no lack of choice in the field of cloud file sharing products. And there’s even more competition on the way for Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and the likes: Amazon is claiming its share of the market with Zocalo.
Step by step, Amazon is moving from its cloud infrastructure offering (AWS) to full-blown SaaS offerings. Amazon WorkSpaces was a first step in that direction. Now Amazon Zocalo is a second clear sign of Amazon’s SaaS strategy.
File sharing for enterprise collaboration
Amazon Zocalo promises a fairly complete file sharing feature set for enterprise collaboration:
- an impressive 200GB storage capacity included per user (with the option to purchase more),
- file previews for most common formats,
- version management,
- automatic syncing capabilities for multiple devices,
- a feedback/comment feature, also linked to specific text fragments,
- and, obviously, easy sharing inside and outside the company boundaries.
What is still lacking, though, is online file editing, a feature supported by for example Syncplicity and Box. And there’s also still unclarity around the availability of a Zocalo API.
File sharing for enterprises
From the enterprise perspective, the CIO and IT team will probably be happy about the following features:
- integration with your corporate Active Directory for authentication/authorization
- full audit capability for administrators
- administrative capabilities for keeping control over which users can share outside the organization
What makes Zocalo special
Two things that make Amazon Zocalo stand out from the crowd are its price and its 'data center picking’ option.
With a price tag of 5$/user/month (including 200GB storage), Amazon Zocalo plays in the same league as Google Drive, Apple iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive. As pointed out in a recent ZDNet article, this price competition might be a big issue for challengers like Dropbox and Box. They turn out to be around 5 times as expensive. Given Amazon’s well-known model of a high volume/low margin business, pressure on prices will probably only increase.
For European organisations, the data center picking option might be quite interesting from a legal point of view. Zocalo will be made available from the AWS West European region (Ireland). This means that Amazon will guarantee that your documents will stay within the EU boundaries, provided you selected 'eu-west' as your region. That is a real differentiator in the cloud file sharing market, which is almost 100% hosted in the US only.