Amazon Web Services Jan. 25 launched a bulk e-mail service for businesses and developers, providing a messaging option for the cloud-computing provider's arsenal of Web-based services.
AWS intends Amazon SES (Amazon Simple Email Service) as an alternative to the thorny work of building a custom messaging platform or licensing an e-mail service from a third party.
The company will host Amazon SES on its servers and integrate it with its existing cloud-computing services. For example, customers of Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Cloud Computing) will be able to send e-mail from applications built and hosted on EC2.
Adam Selipsky, vice president of AWS, said sending large quantities of e-mail from Amazon EC2 addresses a popular request customers have had.
At first blush, Amazon SES would seem to be a rival solution to Web-based e-mail systems such as Google's Gmail, IBM's LotusLive Notes or Microsoft's Office 365.
However, business-knowledge workers use those services to provide personal communication between them and their colleagues.
Amazon's focus is on the bulk e-mail customer who wants to send massive quantities of marketing and transactional messages to promote goods and services. This is a market in which SendGrid, Postmark and Constant Contact aggressively compete.
AWS already counts among its customers managed-services provider NeuStar, content development provider 42 Entertainment, and EyeJot, a video mail platform.
Amazon SES will save these customers from managing e-mail servers and configuring the network to handle the message load.
The service will also provide content-filtering to scan a business' outgoing e-mail messages in accordance with Internet service provider requirements. The company posted more details on this on its blog here.
Amazon SES costs 10 cents per thousand e-mail messages sent, though Amazon's EC2 or users of Elastic Beanstalk, the new platform effort for Java developers, can send 2,000 e-mail messages for free each day.
Amazon will report quarterly earnings on Jan. 27. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said that while Wall Street expects Amazon to report revenues of $13 billion and earnings per share of 88 cents for the December quarter, he is forecasting EPS of 90 cents per share for the company.