In a world full of conference and video conferencing apps largely dominated by Zoom, Go To Meeting, WebEx and UberConference, Amazon has entered the fray with Chime, an AWS powered service. While you can page through the features and pricing that ranges from free to $15.00 a month for the most part Amazon has copied all the features you would expect from the leaders, with the underlying promise that the reliability will be rock solid as it runs entirely on AWS.
For now the service has many of the features of the competition, including room device access much like Zoom and BlueJeans feels much like a “Me Too, Me Also” service, with the only differentiators being a feature that lets anyone mute anyone on a call, and the Amazon name. Now, if they find a way to connect to Fire devices, blend in a really nice PTZ camera and connect to the Amazon Echo, that would be something that makes the service “me different.
PC Magazine and others contend this is also a play against Skype For Business calling chime a “powerful swing.” I’m not so sure as currently there’s no PSTN in or out like Skype, but there is the ability to call into a conference call.
The bigger question to me surrounds Amazon going into competition against companies that run their apps business on AWS, as this the second move by Amazon to actually become an apps supplying company. Previously they rolled out an email, contacts and calendar platform called WorkMail that has not exactly set the world on Fire (um no pun intended) and are likely working on some type of Slack competitor.