James Ralph

Business Development Manager

Thoughts

Using Amazon Web Services Applications to run your Business

When Amazon Web Services (AWS) is mentioned, you likely think of cloud based services such as autoscaling websites, multi-regional support and other more well known things.  However there are a whole range of Amazon Web Services applications that you may not have come across.  Those services relating to business productivity.

Amazon Web Services feature a tremendous number of applications for business, ranging from common-or-garden productivity style apps through to niche pieces of software that help you develop, implement and manage a variety of innovative workplace solutions.

The beauty of AWS is that it allows you to tailor a package specifically to your organisation’s requirements, ensuring that you aren’t paying for superfluous apps that you will never use and ensuring that you receive focused suggestions and support to help you get the most from Amazon Web Services.

On a basic employee level AWS features a suite of applications that can rival or best those provided by other organisations.

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AWS Applications for Communication

Amazon WorkMail is one such example, it is a fully featured, completely secure managed e-mail solution with in-built calendar functionality. It functions on both desktop and mobile, and it is also fully compatible with other common client applications such as Microsoft Outlook as well as iOS Mail and Android Mail.

This ensures maximum compatibility with your existing infrastructure should you decide to shift to Amazon WorkMail.

Amazon Chime is another useful application included in AWS, it is an integrated collaboration, chat and meeting app that is incredibly intuitive to use. It can make hosting or joining online meetings incredibly simple, with full support for video conferencing, voice only and many other options that allow you to keep in touch with people around the world with ease.

Both WorkMail and Chime are integrated with Amazon Alexa, a keystone of AWS and something of a flagship for Amazon. Alexa is described as your office’s “digital intelligent assistant”, something that rings entirely true when you begin to realise how useful Alexa can be for helping with a variety of tasks such as booking conference rooms, scheduling meetings, taking notes and much more.

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Customer Service Applications

If you have many customers or clients and require a better way to manage their information to ensure that you are meeting good standards of confidentiality and complying with GDPR then Amazon Connect and Amazon Pinpoint may be ideal AWS apps for your organisation to utilise.

Connect is based around a contact centre database; it is entirely cloud based ensuring it can be accessed from anywhere, by anyone whom you grant permissions to. It is based on the same customer service technology that Amazon themselves use to manage their own global enterprises and it is ideal for non-technically minded individuals as it makes the process of adding, amending and accessing customer records exceptionally easy.

Pinpoint compliments Connect by integrating with your customer records to allow focused messaging to be sent out via e-mail, SMS, and push notifications.

You can use Amazon Pinpoint to send out of everything from customer service notifications to targeted promotional campaigns, and it provides a full suite of functions to allow you to manage all of the engagement information that is stored about your messages

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Budgeting and Cost Management

Every organisation can benefit from a suite of applications for budgeting and cost management, luckily Amazon provide precisely this with Cost Explorer, Budgets, and Cost and Usage Report.

These three AWS apps integrate fully with most other Amazon apps and provide a powerful way to track various financial expenditures.

Cost Explorer is designed around a very easy to utilise interface that tracks your AWS usage and allows you to properly visualise and grasp how much you are spending and what you are spending it on. It will allow you to quickly get started by using some default templates that you can then customises to your requirements, and it will forecast future costs and usage based on previously harvested information.

AWS Budgets goes hand in hand with Cost Explorer, Budgets allows you to set a custom budget profile for different departments in your company that will alert you when your costs look like they are set to exceed your budget. Budgets can track your finances at a monthly, quarterly or yearly level ensuring that you never overspend on your AWS packages.

The Cost and Usage Report app ties all of your AWS financial projections into one single location, it will display detailed information about each different AWS category on a per app, and even a per hour basis allowing you to generate detailed reports about your Amazon Web Services spends.

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AWS Office Solutions

Of course, no organisation can complete its objectives without a detailed suite of basic applications for things such as word processing and creating spreadsheets, fortunately AWS can provide all of these.

WorkDocs is the flagship of this AWS sub-package, it is a cloud-based app that comes with 1TB of default storage capacity that can be easily upgraded allowing users to store any kind of file. Rights can be set, and space allocated on a per-user basis giving administrators unparalleled and easy control, and there is no space and document limit.

Documents can be edited either in Amazon WorkDocs Companion itself or in compatible apps such as Microsoft Office.

WorkDocs Companion is compatible with all popular file formats such as .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf and .txt, and files can be edited directly on the cloud, so you do not need to download a file, edit it, and re-save a new copy. Amazon WorkDocs also allows for document collaboration; multiple people can access and edit the same documents and can communicate across the documents using commenting, highlighting and user requests.

WorkSpaces works hand-in-hand with WorkDocs, it allows you to utilise a “digital workspace” to further maximise your productivity and collaborative enterprises.

AppStream is another vital app that enables you to globally stream applications to any computer and many mobile devices without needing local copies of any software installed. AppStream is quick, responsive, and boasts minimal lag as long as your internet connection is stable, and your apps and data are secure with each piece of information being silently and seamlessly encrypted before transmission.

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While most people are more familiar with some cloud based services from other providers, it is safe to say that you could run your entire business on nothing more than AWS should you choose to do so.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can migrate your business applications to Amazon Web Services then why not drop us a line and speak to one of our AWS experts?