The Amazon Punch: Zocalo!

The SMB and enterprise-level cloud collaboration scene was subject to the same old faces for a long time, with many start-ups either getting bought off or disappearing into the mists of time. That is, until Amazon unleashed Zocalo, a cloud collaboration tool created to make sharing, commenting and uploading documents — both easy and simple.

Amazon’s punch to the cloud collaboration industry’s gut, Zocalo, is designed to give staples such as Box Notes, Google Docs and Office 365 a very serious run for everything they are worth. Obviously, Zocalo has the muscle and more to spare, being a brainchild of the team that makes AWS such an important part of what we call the “cloud”.

And some serious props are due to the team behind AWS’s latest venture, as they did an almost A-Z job of making sure every function, facet and platform works flawlessly in the new collaboration tool. Which honestly, no one saw coming.

Why Didn’t Anyone See Zocalo Coming?

It’s a pretty legit question, why didn’t anyone think Amazon would want to take a slice of the cloud sharing and documentation pie? Think about:

  • Google = Google Docs
  • Microsoft = Office 365
  • Box = Box Notes.
  • Amazon = Zocalo

Amazon own AWS…so isn’t it only natural AWS should also follow the pattern of their predecessors? A contributing factor to Zocalo’s unexpected emergence was most likely the parent company itself, as AWS has shown no major want or desire to join the collaboration market in the past.

Amazon’s focus of late has been almost exclusively targeted at providing support via AWS, making new hardware and um…drones? The fact is, no one saw Zocalo coming, becasue AWS didn’t give anyone a chance to see it coming. A pretty simple strategy, and in hindsight of course, a smart one too.

Is Zocalo a Risky Venture?

While some experts consider Zocalo a risky venture, I personally look it as the latest major traveler treading along a very worn path. AWS could support the company forever if it wanted, it’s not like they have to pay rent for the server space! And of course, people will take notice of anything put out by Amazon, plus considering how well the system is set-up — it’s a solid recipe for success that Zocalo is made from.

The recipe consists of fair pricing, solid support across most major platforms (including Amazon’s own suite of hardware products), a decent 30-trial period capped at 50 people and that simple to use interface. Documentation, the FAQ and customer support are ready, well laid out and easy to use.

All that’s needed is a bit of time to see how fresh this well seeded flower grows, and how the competition reacts to their block’s newest kid. Google, Microsoft, Box and Dropbox are all waiting, with bated breath, to see Zocalo’s rise. We can expect some great pricing wars, feature clashes and storage battles in the very likely event that Zocalo proves to be the success Amazon and AWS think it will be.

In the meanwhile, while we work on a proper review of Zocalo, feel free to leave your comments and impression of AWS’s latest gamble in the comments section below.

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