Amazon Chimes in on Unified Communications Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), entered the unified communications market with Amazon Chime. This new service aims to alleviate common frustrations with online video conference, chat sessions and voice calls, as well as content sharing. The company stated that the service is fully managed from AWS and addresses the issue of complex infrastructure and software deployment. It also eliminates the need for security concerns. It is also easier to start an online conference, for instance. AWS stated that meetings start on time and are easy to join. “Meetings are called you, and you can join or notify others that you are running late with just a single click or tap. A visual roster displays who is present at the meeting and who is late. It also allows anyone to muffle background noise. Amazon Chime automatically reconnects if you are dropped. High definition video and crystal clear audio keep you focused on the conversation. Jeff Barr, an AWS spokesperson, stated that the new offering works on both PC and Mac desktops as well as on iOS and Android mobile devices. It can also hand users off during a communication session. Barr also mentioned other benefits, such as the ability to call participants and have them respond to Barr about a meeting.

  • Meeting roster: Amazon Chime is a visual list of attendees, late-comers and people who have skipped out altogether. It also has mute controls that are easily accessible in case someone is typing or their dog barks.
  • Easy sharing: Collaboration is Amazon Chime’s core competency. Participants in meetings can share their screens at will, without needing permission. Participants can create a shared history in Amazon Chime’s chat rooms. This history is encrypted and stored in encrypted fashion.
  • Clear calls: Amazon Chime provides high-quality, noise-cancelled audio as well as clear, HD video. It works with all devices and most conference room systems.

Users can download Chime to use the service. After 30 days, the service can be used for free. Users can then choose to either upgrade or continue with the basic plan. The following information is available about the three plans:

  • Amazon Chime Basic allows for 1:1 voice and video calls and allows you to use chat and rooms on all your devices. It does not include advanced features like screen sharing, remote desktop control and the ability schedule and host meetings.
  • Amazon Chime Plus allows you to share your screen during meetings and integrates with your company directory. It costs $2.50 per month for each user.
  • Amazon Chime Pro provides all the features needed to host and record online meetings. It also allows you to create personalized URLs for meetings for up 100 people. It costs $15 per month.

It is available now for download and will be made available later through Level 3 Communications or Vonage.