Amazon Goes After Box, Dropbox And Huddle, Launches Zocalo For Secure Enterprise Storage

E-Commerce giant Amazon has made huge competitive inroads into the cloud services market with Amazon Web Services, and today it’s adding another feature that will put it into direct competition with the likes of Box and Dropbox: It’s launching Zocalo, a secure enterprise storage service. The company is launching Zocalo — Spanish for plaza or town square — in a limited preview from today.

Amazon describes the service as “a fully managed, secure enterprise storage and sharing service with strong administrative controls and feedback capabilities that improve user productivity” that lets users “store, share, and gather feedback on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, webpages, images, PDFs, or text files – from the device of their choice.” In other words, it competes directly with the likes of Box and Huddle in offering enterprises a place to store, access and collaborate on documents. The product includes native apps for iOS and Android.

Pricing is very aggressive. It’s $5 per user per month, which includes 200 GB of storage for each user. A company pays only for active user accounts, and that’s on top of a 30-day trial for up to 50 users.

There is a sweetener for the most loyal users of AWS. Amazon WorkSpaces customers, the company says, will get Zocalo for free — including 50 GB of storage per WorkSpaces user. For a discounted rate of $2 per WorkSpaces user per month, this can be upgraded to 200 GB of storage, the company says.

On top of all of this is a sliding scale of extra charges based on space used.

Although there are a number of services already out there that offer what Amazon will offer with Zocalo, Amazon is playing on the fact that we’re still in a largely untapped market, when you consider that a lot of enterprises are still using legacy on-premise solutions, and paying a pretty penny for them.

“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,” said Noah Eisner, GM, Amazon Zocalo at Amazon Web Services, in a statement. “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 their organizations. That’s what Amazon Zocalo was built to do.”

Here’s the list of offerings as detailed by Amazon in its announcement:

  • Easy sharing: Amazon Zocalo lets users share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, webpages, images, PDFs, or text files with others.
  • Access from any device: Users can access data stored in Amazon Zocalo and view and leave feedback anywhere, anytime, from the device of their choice, including laptops, iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets. Amazon Zocalo can sync files across devices to ensure files are available anywhere, anytime.
  • Simple feedback: Users can request and manage feedback from others, and contributors can highlight any word, sentence, paragraph, or area of a document or file and leave detailed feedback. Amazon Zocalo also notifies contributors and document owners about review activities and approaching deadlines via email.
  • Central file hub: Amazon Zocalo provides users with a central location for both the documents and files they are reviewing as well as those they own and are soliciting feedback on. With all these files in one location, reviewers have access to all of the related feedback in a single web view, making reading or contributing comments as simple as a few clicks.
  • Available with Amazon WorkSpaces: Amazon WorkSpaces, AWS’s virtual desktop in the cloud service, is integrated with Amazon Zocalo. All Amazon WorkSpaces customers get Amazon Zocalo for free (with up to 50 GB of storage).

Administrations can manage security and integration with a company’s corporate directory.


The news was announced by Amazon earlier today during its Summit event in New York, where the company also unveiled a new assault on offering services for mobile developers.

This is as much a consolidation as it is a larger offering. A product going by the name Cognito will let developers store and manage identities for users of their apps. Amazon is also consolidating and beefing up the kinds of analytics it’s offering to users, under the appropriate if uninspired name of Amazon Mobile Analytics.

And it’s including also the AWS Mobile SDK, which supports iOS, Android, and Fire OS, and is what a developer would use to access Cognito; the mobile analytics; and its Amazon SNS Mobile Push service (also announced in the past); among other things.