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Amazon Eyeing 'Rebel Alliance' With Dropbox, Slack To Challenge Microsoft: Insider

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Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) is in discussion with other companies regarding a "Rebel Alliance" to challenge Microsoft Corp's (NASDAQ: MSFT) work-productivity application market dominance, Insider reports.

What Happened: Amazon aims to partner with software makers to offer a bundle of business apps for a single price. Corporate customers would buy the package with other features like single sign-on and unified billing through the Amazon Web Services cloud platform.

Amazon discussed the bundle with Dropbox Inc (NASDAQ: DBX), Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE: WORK), and Smartsheet Inc (NYSE: SMAR), among others.

Discussions have been taking place for over a year, though AWS head Andy Jassy is set to become Amazon CEO next week. Jassy has not signed off and sought a stronger pitch several times, according to Insider.

A bundle would help companies that prefer to buy a variety of business apps. A company could buy Slack for internal messaging and Dropbox for cloud storage instead of purchasing everything from a single vendor like Microsoft.

It would also create an alternative to the Microsoft 365 suite of products, which leads the market with services ranging from word processing, spreadsheets, team messaging and videoconferencing. However, it can be painful for smaller companies to pay for and manage individual apps.

Why It Matters: Amazon aims to expand AWS beyond its fundamental cloud-infrastructure business into the work-productivity app space.

AWS launched a series of products that directly compete with Dropbox, Tableau, and Slack, among others, with limited success.

Last week, AWS bought the business-messaging service, Wickr after it considered a bid for the encrypted messaging app Signal and had seen increased demand for security from government customers.

AWS remained concerned over Microsoft's Azure's catching up in cloud computing, becoming an even bigger competitor by bundling with the already dominant Office suite of products. Every AWS meeting reportedly focused on Microsoft's growing prowess.

AWS infrastructure accounts for a lot of the popular business apps. Therefore, increased use of those apps translates to higher revenue for Amazon.

Price action: AMZN shares traded lower by 0.64% at $3,418.29 on the last check Thursday.

Photo by Tony Webster via Flickr

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