Hello Pro AV & IT Managers,
Last week we talked about Slack adding video conferencing and Zoom adding live streaming. It’s interesting to watch each company adding features outside their core product as if they are worried about a turbulent 2017 in an already overcrowded market. February 13th, 2017, Amazon just announced their latest product, Chime. It’s a full-featured video conferencing and chat application ready for immediate deployment. Amazon will take on Cisco and Microsoft in a market Gartner estimates to be $12 Billion last year and expected to climb to $22 billion by 2020.
About Amazon Chime
Amazon Chime has a huge value-add for network administrators already familiar with AWS (Amazon Web Services), Amazon’s widely successful cloud computer division. The video conferencing service will benefit from what amazon says is “a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.” (Amazon AWS Announcement). In true Amazon style, Chime is available for a free 30 day trial with no credit card required. The pricing model looks surprisingly like Zoom Video Communications freemium model which has been extremely successful thus far.
Amazon Chimes Competitive Advantage
As you may know, most web-based video conferencing services are currently powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) with the exception of perhaps Skype for Business and Cisco Spark. By offering their own video communications platform Amazon is cutting out the middle man and making it clear by their pricing model (below) that they want to be the low-cost provider.
Amazon Chime vs Zoom Pricing
Let’s compare the Amazon Chime’s pricing with Zoom, because they are strikely similar. As you can see both services are a offering a free 1-to-1 video conferencing option. Amazon is offering an interesting $2.50 service level which competes more with the Skype for Business entry level pricing. Then finally Amazon tops out at $15/month for a service very close to what Zoom is offering for $20/month.
First Impressions on Amazon Chime
The interface is clean and intuitive. The quality was incredible and client download size was small (a personal favorite feature for new software products). It looks like Amazon waited to announce the product until the software could perform super simple video meetings flawlessly. It seems like a mix between GoToMeeting and Skype for Business is the best way possible. I appreciate the persistent menus bar at the top of the software which will help new user adoption. All the must have basics have been included and Amazon Chime looks like a hit right from the start!
Where can we expect Amazon to go from here?
Amazon has the ability to spread their service very quickly to current AWS customers which seem’s like the immediate plan. Because the own the world’s largest cloud based server system scalability and funding is not going to be an issue. Amazon could also scale the service to businesses and consumers already use the Prime service as well. Can you hear a “Cha-Ching” after the words “Chime” and “Prime” are said in the same sentence? Amazon Prime now has 54 million users, spending on average $1,100 per year.
I am rooting for Amazon on a BIG win here. It’s hard to predict the future but I am suggesting that our team becomes an early adopter of the platform. It will be interesting to see how quickly Chime will start adding new features on this platform. Will Amazon come up with unique integrations such as voice commands from Alexa? Perhaps an integration with the new second generation AWS IoT Buttons? The possibilities are limitless and Amazon is known as a company that can deliver at the right price point.
Check out a live demo of Amazon Chime This Friday!
Introduction to Amazon Chime
Hello everybody, Paul Richards here Chief streaming officer for Huddle cam HD and if you’ve been watching our YouTube channel you’ll know we’ve been bringing you updates from the video conferencing and unified communications market earlier this week, we talked about zoom webinar, adding live streaming to their platform, we also talked about slack – traditionally a messaging application for unified communications now adding video meetings, well it seems like both companies are preparing for a turbulent 2017 where we are going to have a very, very crowded market in the unified communication space. The next new player is actually Amazon. Amazon has a new product called chime. It’s actually a product for the AWS (Amazon Web Services Suite) where they are going to be offering some extremely competitive video conferencing products that we are going to go into right now.
So I’m going to actually give you a live demo here, you can see I have this recorded, we are going to give you an overview of chime and I’m also going to do some comparisons with some of the industry later, so as you can see here there is a very easy Join meeting, instant meeting and message buttons in Amazon chime here. One of the things I really like about it is the application feel it’s got that really easy to navigate top-bar where you have your files where you can really manage everything right here from messaging to starting a call, opening a chat room, setting up a new contact, a new chat room and even a group message and of course joining a meeting and everything has the shortcuts there if you become a power user. The other thing I really like about it besides having the personalized link is really the stability of it and the light-weightiness of this application it’s extremely easy to use and you can see here they’ve really just made access to all the buttons extremely easy. You’ve got your home button there, the ability to do a quick message, you can do callings, you can actually do all of your VOIP phone calling directly through this application. You can have rooms for chatting and then of course launching a quick meeting which we will do in a moment but before we do so, I wanted to show you the Amazon chime pricing.
Pricing & Comparison
I really think that they are going after zoom video conferencing. Zoom is being an extremely impressive player in the market, they have a Fermium model which amazon is almost exactly copying here where they have a 1:1 video conferencing free version of the software and then amazon even takes it a step further and has a $2.50 version of the software which adds some additional features which is kind of in the Skype for business realm when it comes to per license cost, and then their pro-license which allows up to 100 users is only $15/month, so amazon really has only pay for what you use type of lay-out where you can deploy this on your own Amazon web services or if you have no IT skills at all, you can very quickly and easily get started for free no credit card needed, so I really see Amazon becoming a leader in this market. You can see here that they are less expensive than zoom on the whole which is hard to do, zoom is being the leader in low cost video conferencing with high quality features for professional users for a long time. When I go ahead and launch the call, there is a quick check to see if have my audio and video set up and then it launches a completely new windows called the “Paul Richards Instant meeting” you can set up different names for your meetings and personalize everything and you can see here it’s just very intuitive, very simple, you can give this to anyone and they will be able to get going right away. You can see here, we are going to go ahead and pull this application up and start a video call and I’m video calling with Tess, our marketing manager here just to give it a try and see how it looks. Let’s take this to the desktop capture here you can see the video does a very nice little split screen there and when you start sharing your screens and getting into the more detailed …you know look at this platform, it really performs well and I’ve been extremely happy with what I’ve seen and it really gives me hope for the video conferencing industry to start becoming more simple, more affordable and above all else just better access to all people, for all people in the industry. We’ve looked at the pricing, were looking at the features here. Again you can see, we can do a screen share there if you decide to screen share, I’m screen sharing just a standard windows application there, you can see the persistence screen share bar there for a moment. Let me go back to that because that is again very similar to what you see from zoom video conferencing just basically less expensive and from a company that is extremely large, extremely well known worldwide globally here so when you go into the screen share mode you can see that there is this persistence bar at the top very similar to what I would say zoom really pioneered, there were one of the first people who decided to put this persistence bar during a screen share and you can see that there is a really easy ability to stop a screen share simply by clicking the top button there. Check with your video and audio and it really just kind of hides itself away if you don’t need it. Let me just show a couple of extra features here. I want to quickly show as well how easy amazon has been for just setting up. You can literally go to their website right here and you can see here that the pricing is right there on the front page, they have the Basic, the Plus and the pro. There is a free download, it’s really that simple you can join a meeting direct in fact the Amazon chime website looks like zoom video conferencing website too so I think they are definitely taking a page out of the zoom video conferencing playbook with this kind of freemium model for video conferencing and I also think that they are really on the right path and we can see some really great integration in the future possibly with voice control from Alexa, we might see some button control with the new second generation IOTAWS (The Amazon Web service) buttons.
So we just wanted to keep you guys informed, this Friday we are talking about slack and the new video meetings that they have incorporated into their amazing product that we absolutely love. We wanted to bring you this quick demo of Amazon AWS chime. We really think that chime and prime, Amazon prime user are going to somehow merge in 2017 that’s a prediction that we are making now. Thank you so much for watching don’t forget to like our video and subscribe for all the latest information in the video conferencing industry. Thanks for watching.
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Until Next Time,
Motely Fool – Amazon Prime Users – https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/01/26/how-many-prime-members-does-amazon-have-and-why-it.aspx
AWS IoT Buttons – https://aws.amazon.com/iotbutton/