Amazon Chime – First Look

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, AWS 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.

See the Amazon Chime About Video here: https://youtu.be/Bj2I1prPVZM

Learn more from Amazon AWS Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazonWebServices

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 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.

Conclusion

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!

Other Channels Mentions:

Zoom Video Communications: https://www.youtube.com/user/ZoomMeetings

Slack: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY3YECgeBcLCzIrFLP4gblw

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Comments

Michael Sams says:

Good update! I will be curious of your prediction for Chime and Prime merging.

Steven Nitura says:

EXCITING STUFF. PRESENTLY I USE HANGOUT. I CAN’T WAIT TO TEST CHIME. SO BOTH USERS HAVE TO HAVE CHIME????

Chatsworth1979 says:

Nicely made vid, thanks.

Scott says:

SO easy to use I spent 10 minutes with my daughter on the phone trying to do a video call. I am a Senior Software Engineer and she is an 11 year Android expert. I have a Samsung Note 5, she has a ZTE Max Pro. We both installed the Chime App. We both set and confirmed our Amazon account. I started a meeting. I invited her to the meeting. We started talking. Ok… now where is that video button…. hmmm…. ummmmm…. remember…. frustration….. free………………….. where is…………………………………………………… the…………………………………………………………………. dad what are we doing……………………………………………………………………… dad can we do this tomorrow…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

HANG UP.

[insert any nasty curse word] Chime!

Where is your How-To on the app? I can see our happy guy here has a video button, yes that is the desktop software. What about the App? OH you say, it doesnt have video on the App. Does it?

WHO KNOWS! Thank you for waisting my time, and my daughters time. Just today I was trying to convince my boss that we should use AWS for all our development and testing… confidence in Amazon? Decreased by 10%.

Does my message look like this was a frustration free experience????

Lawrence Snow says:

Chime has everything going for it as the go-to app in this area – Except and it’s a big one for us – it doesn’t record attendee video, instead, it shows a black screen with audio. So for us, Chime is out. We’ll keep Zoom. http://answers-6e2af16ce614.chime.aws/articles/132/recording-a-chime-meeting.html

Hans Gutjahr says:

The share screen quality is horrible. It’s worse than Join.me’s. Their browser version is horrible. It doesn’t offer anything besides Screensharing (with the same bad quality as the client) . Not even Audio. Currently User management, etc. doesn’t work. Also the registration through AWS is really confusing, basically all you do is give them all your personal data. Dialing in with the phone doesn’t work at all. The UX/UI is bad. Especially inside an actual meeting, no one knows what rights he has. You can literally mute the presenter. Not excited at all for this product.

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