(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. has held talks with several business-application makers about forming a “Rebel Alliance” to challenge Microsoft Corp.’s commanding position in workplace productivity tools, Insider reported on Thursday.
The idea would have Amazon Web Services partner with the companies to offer a bundle of business applications sold for a single price, Insider reported, citing anonymous people familiar with the plan. Amazon has held talks with Dropbox Inc., Salesforce.com Inc.’s Slack, and Smartsheet Inc., among others, Insider said. The publication reported that discussions on the alliance stretch back more than a year, though it’s unclear whether they continue.
Amazon Web Services is the leading seller of infrastructure building blocks, like on-demand file storage, networking services, and processing power, that other companies use to make applications. But it has struggled in its efforts to sell business applications of its own, a lucrative market led by Microsoft, whose Microsoft 365 suite bundles Office productivity apps, email and the Microsoft Teams communications tool, among other products.
Amazon, Dropbox and Salesforce didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment. Smartsheet declined to comment.