Amazon is taking on a new industry, and this time it’s video-conferencing.
The tech giant on Tuesday launched Chime, a video-conferencing service that will compete with Skype for Business and WebEx.
“It’s pretty hard to find people who actually like the technology they use for meetings today. Most meeting applications or services are hard to use, deliver bad audio and video, require constant switching between multiple tools to do everything they want, and are way too expensive,” Amazon Web Services Vice President for Enterprise Applications Gene Farrell said in a statement.
“Amazon Chime delivers frustration-free meetings, allowing users to be productive from anywhere. And with no ongoing maintenance or management fees, Amazon Chime is a great choice for companies that are looking for a solution to meetings that their employees will love to use.”
Chime is provided by Amazon Web Services, the cloud-computing and storage division that makes up a big chunk of Amazon’s business. The online meeting tool lets users switch between Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices to use video-conferencing, screen-sharing, file-sharing and a chat feature.
Chime costs $2.50 per month per user for a plan with screen sharing and use of a corporate directory, and $15 per month per user for a full plan that offers video meetings for up to 100 people — the version most businesses will need. A basic plan that allows video calls for two people and chat features is free.
Meetings set up through Chime will call users, prompting them to either join or say they’re running late with one click. Each meeting has a virtual roster that shows who has joined and who is running late. Users can mute background noise and will be automatically reconnected if they get dropped from the meeting.
The service works both within companies and for meetings between different organizations.
Since Chime is provided by the security-focused Amazon Web Services, the video-conferencing tool encrypts all communications and doesn’t store chat history. Chime runs through the AWS cloud.
The firms Level 3 Communications and Vonage will both offer Chime to their business customers.
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