Yesterday Amazon Web Services announced a new offering called Zocalo, an enterprise-focused cloud-based file syncing and collaboration service. Zocalo will be $5 per month, per user, for 200 GB of storage. There were a lot of articles talking about how this might be trouble for companies like Box and Dropbox, but I'd like to have the conversation here to talk about the one thing that you might have missed:
AWS WorkSpaces users (Amazon's DaaS product) get 50 GB of Zocalo included for free with their WorkSpaces subscription, with an option to upgrade to 200 GB for just $2 per user per month. (I assume Zocalo will replace Amazon WorkSpaces Sync.)
Interesting timing with that article I wrote the other day about DaaS Incrementalism, where if you move to a public DaaS provider then you have to also figure out how to move all your "other" services there, including file sharing.
Zocalo (or any "enterprise sync & share," as they now seem to be called), could alleviate that as the on-premises and traditional desktop and laptop users could also use it for their files—meaning you wouldn't have to build your own file servers or replication solutions.
The other interesting thing about Zocalo is that it has a fairly robust comment and feedback engine that lets you comment on entire files or specific sections of files. This might be interesting because it means you can do some "work-type" things without needing full Office or Windows desktops. (We all know that DaaS isn't a great solution for mobile devices, so Zocalo might mean we can do more mobile work via native apps instead of via remote Windows desktops.)
All that said, I was talking to Jack earlier today about how cheap Zocalo was and his reaction was something like, "Meh, Box is only 5 bucks a month too. Really they're all pretty cheap nowadays."
I guess what's most interesting is that enterprise sync & share isn't really about the file sharing anymore. In other words, the file sharing is the baseline functionality that all these products have, and they're all trying to differentiate themselves with advanced features like security, DRM, collaboration, mobile access, etc.
So where's that leave us for Zocalo? Yeah, it's cool that Amazon is doing this. Yeah, it's cool that it's free (well, a version with less storage is free) for DaaS users. Does this just raise the bar for all DaaS providers? Like we should expect them all to include enterprise sync & share with their offerings? Or should we still separate our DaaS purchases from our enterprise sync purchases? (Much like people still buy EMM products separately from their desktop virtualization products even though VMware and Citrix both offer EMM too?)
What do you think?