Amazon’s at it again, this time taking on established market players with an exceptionally high-quality, easy-to-use video conferencing and chat service for individuals and businesses. Amazon Chime is the newest addition to the Amazon Web Services’ laundry list of scalable, reliable, low-cost cloud service solutions. Amazon Chime allows users to make VoIP calls, send video or IRC chat messages, and host or attend remote meetings. The audio and video is exceptionally high quality and Chime provides for seamless transition across all desktop and mobile devices, even during live meetings, allowing users to switch devices at a moment’s notice. Plans range in price from free up to $15 per month per user for the Pro plan, which provides the added functionality of screen sharing and personal meeting URLs for one hundred users.
By launching their Chime video conferencing service, Amazon is hoping to address current issues of poor audio/video quality, high cost and difficulty in usage among dissatisfied consumers in an already-crowded video conferencing market. In doing this, Amazon Chime has to compete against dominant market players like Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco WebEx, and GotoMeeting. However, since Amazon Chine is a fully-managed service running on the AWS cloud infrastructure, there is no need for users to invest in costly and complex hardware or software licenses for their video conferencing needs.
While Amazon Chime may offer users an easy-to-use, low-cost solution for video conferencing and chat, its going to be extremely difficult for it to gain wide-spread adoption among many small-medium businesses, as well as enterprise companies. The main reason being is that many of these companies are heavily invested in Microsoft ecosystem in which Skype is already incorporated into and have no desire, or need for, change. The larger the organization is the less likely technology managers are to simply migrate over to, or make the investment in, an entirely new and unproven video conferencing platform. Another issue to consider is the type of industry the organization is in. Depending on the nature of the industry a particular company is in, there may be regulations, rules or Service Level Agreements that prohibit the use of public cloud services and infrastructure. So when deciding which video conferencing platform to use, often times decision makers have to strike a balance between compliance, cost savings, security, and legacy infrastructure.
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