Corporate offices are spoilt for choice when it comes to video conferencing, but Amazon Chime is yet another solution hoping to take business away from the likes of Cisco, Polycom and Skype for Business.
Simplicity has been the name of the game for video conferencing solutions over the last few years, and Amazon Chime promises exactly that. The company says that its all-encompassing solution for video and audio conferencing can be launched with just a single click from almost any device – including desktops, iOS and Android.
Amazon Chime is being launched by AWS, meaning it’s specifically targeted at corporate clients, rather than consumers. As such there are a number of features that enterprise companies expect that form part of the offering. This includes the ability to synchronise communication between different devices, and powerful IT management abilities, with tools for controlling access across an organisation, as well as user role management.
“It’s pretty hard to find people who actually like the technology they use for meetings today. Most meeting applications or services are hard to use, deliver bad audio and video, require constant switching between multiple tools to do everything they want, and are way too expensive,” notes Gene Farrell, vice president, Enterprise Applications, AWS.
“Amazon Chime delivers frustration-free meetings, allowing users to be productive from anywhere. And with no ongoing maintenance or management fees, Amazon Chime is a great choice for companies that are looking for a solution to meetings that their employees will love to use.”
Amazon Chime uses noise-cancelling wideband audio to deliver high-quality audio and HD video. What’s more is that with Amazon Chime, video works across all user devices and many conference room video systems with no upgrades required.
Unlike other meeting room solutions, which require users to enter a PIN in order to gain access, Amazon Chime works slightly differently. When a meeting is set to take place, it calls users automatically and allows them to join just by pressing the ‘join call’ button.
Amazon Chime will soon be available through APN partners Level 3 and Vonage. With availability scheduled for the second quarter of 2017, Level 3 will add Amazon Chime to its suite of unified communications and collaboration solutions. Also scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2017, Vonage will provide Amazon Chime Pro Edition to its business customers at no additional cost, delivering a richer conferencing, video, and collaboration experience integrated with Vonage’s full range of unified communications solutions.
One unique selling point of Amazon Chime above all of its competitors is the pricing. Amazon says its price has been set at one-third the cost of some traditional solutions. In fact, there will be three variations of the service available.
Amazon Chime Basic Edition is free and lets users attend meetings, call another person using voice or video, and use Amazon Chime’s messaging and chat capabilities. Amazon Chime Plus Edition adds user management, such as the ability to manage an entire e-mail domain, disable accounts, or configure Active Directory, as well as 1GB per user of message retention – all for $2.50 per user, per month. Amazon Chime Pro Edition adds the ability to host meetings with screen sharing and video for up to 100 users and also includes support for mobile, laptop, and in-room video along with unlimited VoIP support – all for $15 per user, per month.