Amazon Chime Video Conferencing Platform Targets Skype And WebEx With Aggressive Pricing

And with Amazon Chime, video works great across all user devices and many conference room video systems with no upgrades required.

Amazon Web Services continues to win the affections of enterprise cloud customers with the launch of a unified communications service called Amazon Chime. It's described as "a new unified communications service that makes meetings easier and more efficient than ever before", and it looks an very bad lot like a direct competitor with Skype.

The new service, called Chime, lets users host video meetings and share content on computer and mobile-phone screens.

What arguably doesn't get as much attention - perhaps because AWS is often simply perceived as a "cloud computing provider" - is the extent to which Amazon has become a major seller of cloud apps, including ones delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription model.

Amazon is known for having its fingers dipped in many pies, and this time they're taking on the world with a video conferencing tool called Chime. Rather than task collaborators with calling in an entering a PIN, Amazon Chime calls all participants when a meeting starts.

"It's pretty hard to find people who actually like the technology they use for meetings today", said Gene Farrell, Vice President, Enterprise Applications at AWS in a press release.

Amazon Chime is now available for download, with a free basic edition that includes just the calls and messages.

Chime will, Amazon claims, eliminate common frustrations found in video-chat meetings.

While Amazon is just making Chime public, the company has been testing the app for a while. If you're running late, you can automatically notify everyone else registered in the meeting as part of a digital "roster", which also displays the latest users to join a video call - and who cannot make it.

CIOs can integrate Chime into existing IT directories, and the service provides administrators with the tools to manage profiles and set access permissions across an organisation.

Reception has been positive among private beta testers, including Brooks Brothers, which has historically used a number of meetings, call, and chat apps, said Phillip Miller, IT director for the retailer, in a prepared statement. The company, which was founded in 1818, has rolled out Chime to 90 percent of its corporate staff.

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