Tech Brief: Amazon Red-Lights Go; Facebook Green-Lights Snap Attack

Amazon doesn’t get a free pass and does not proceed to Go in this Monopoly edition of the Samadhi Brief…

Contributing Authors: Fred McClimans, John Freeman, Zach Mitchell

Amazon green-lights customer service offering, gets a red light on Amazon Go; Barclays bullish

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) released Amazon Connect, a cloud-based contact center for customer service. It features pay-as-you-go pricing, as is customary for AWS offerings, and is compatible with major SaaS-vendor products including Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Twilio (NYSE:TWLO), Freshdesk, and Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN).

Amazon Go, Amazon’s cashier- and checkout-less convenience store, has been delayed. A beta version of the stores has been available to company employees since December, and the first live store was scheduled to be opened before March end. According to Recode, AMZN’s sensors are currently having trouble handling crowds larger than 20 shoppers and are struggling to keep track of items that get rearranged on store shelves.

Barclays initiated coverage of Amazon with an Overweight rating and a $1,120 price target. Amazon closed Tuesday’s trading session at $856.00.

Bottom line: Amazon continues to leverage its existing tech infrastructure to grow and intrude into new, adjacent markets. Its Connect offering, allowing contact center and customer support functions to more closely integrate, is a solid example, and one we believe will help lead to significant margin expansion ahead for AWS.

While we’re not nearly as interested in Amazon’s e-commerce side, we’re looking forward to seeing Amazon continue innovating and adding convenience to consumers’ lives. With the Amazon Go initiative, we’re more focused on the “tech showcase” aspect – and future partnership potential – than on expansion into brick-and-mortar retail operations.

Facebook green-lights its assault against Snap

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has added Snapchat (NYSE:SNAP)-like camera effects and ephemeral stories to Facebook.com news feeds, dealing…

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