Amazon Web Services Introduces Amazon Chime
Amazon Web Services, Inc. is making its move on the Unified Communications (UC) market, with Amazon Chime. This new UC service provides video and audio meetings, chat, and sharing on desktops, iOS, and Android devices, in an attempt to compete with services like Skype for Business, GoToMeeting, and WebEx.
Amazon Chime boasts high quality video, voice, chat, and screen sharing that can be launched with one click. Customers can host and join meetings, and receive calls when the meeting starts, rather than requiring them to log in with a PIN. When someone joins, the meeting immediately updates the roster with their name and information, so it’s clear who’s available.
A visual roster of all attendees helps determine who’s speaking or making any distracting noises, and attendees can mute any distracting lines. Of course, the sound itself is delivered through noise-cancelling wideband audio.
From meetings, anyone can share their screens or move to different applications without interrupting the meeting. Chime chat rooms let people store chat history and files, so they can return to the meetings at a later time and pick up right where they left off.
There are three versions of Amazon Chime available: Basic Edition, Plus Edition, and Pro Edition. Basic Edition offers meetings, calls, and messaging for free, while Plus Edition adds user management and 1GB per user of message retention at $2.50 per user per month. The Pro Edition costs $15 per user each month, but adds the ability to host meetings with screen sharing and video for up to 100 users, along with support for mobile, laptop, and in-room video, with unlimited VoIP support.
Amazon Chime will be available through Level 3 and Vonage, scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.
According to Blair Pleasant, co-founder of UCStrategies, “Last year AWS acquired Biba, which develops and operates video messaging apps, and many people assumed that the company would introduce a solution leveraging these capabilities, so it didn’t come as a shock when AWS announced Chime. Many of us have been waiting for Amazon to make a move in the business communications arena, and the competitive landscape has just grown to include a new key player. There are many, many similar applications on the market, so it will be interesting to see how AWS differentiates itself.” She added, “It’s interesting that UCaaS provider Vonage will be offering Chime Pro Edition to its business customers at no additional cost. This will help Vonage better compete with other UCaaS vendors offering similar capabilities.”