Amazon ready to take on Skype & WebEx with new UC app, Chime

|February 14, 2017 0

USA: Amazon Web Services today announced Amazon Chime, a new unified communications service that makes meetings easier and more efficient than ever before.

Most meetings solutions are only good at one thing (e.g. voice calls, video conferencing, screen sharing, or instant messaging), so users often have to toggle between several different tools.

“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,” said Gene Farrell, Vice President, Enterprise Applications, AWS. “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.”

With this launch, Amazon seems to be ready to take on Microsoft’s Skype for Business, Cisco’s WebEx and Citrix’s GoToMeeting.

Skype for Business is bundled with Microsoft’s Office 365 online productivity suite and starts at $5 per user per month for a basic package of apps and the full bundle costs $12.50 per user per month.

WebEx pricing starts at $24 a month for 8 participants, while GoToMeeting costs $19 a month for 10 participants, and $49 per month for 100 users.

Amazon Chime comes at one-third the cost of traditional solutions, claims the company. Pricing starts from $2.50 per user, per month.

With Amazon Chime, customers can start high-quality video and audio meetings with one-click, allowing customers to host or join a meeting, chat, and share content and screens with a seamless, synchronized experience across desktops, iOS, and Android devices.

Amazon Chime calls all participants when a meeting starts so joining a meeting is as easy as clicking a button in the app, no PIN required.

When there’s noise on calls (think about how often somebody has to say things like “could you please stop typing so close to the speaker”) or somebody joins or drops mid-call, there’s no longer mystery who it is as Amazon Chime shows a visual roster of all attendees. And, any attendee has the power to put an end to background noise by muting any noisy line.

It keeps meetings and chats synchronized across devices, so users can join meetings from anywhere via Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows apps (and seamlessly switch from mobile to desktop, or app to app whenever needed).

It can be integrated with existing corporate directories, and provides IT administrators the ability to manage identities and control access across an organization.

The solution requires no upfront investments, complicated deployment, or ongoing maintenance – customers can simply download the application and get started using the service in minutes.

Amazon Chime is now available in three versions:

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.

Amazon Chime will be available through Level 3 and Vonage in  the second quarter of 2017.

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