Amazon has today announced a new product targeting the throne of Skype for Business, Cisco’s WebEx, and even Google’s Hangouts to some extent.
Amazon Chime is a unified messaging service that supports video and audio conference calls, 1-to-1 video and audio calls, text chat, file sharing, and screen sharing.
While the service is available right now devices running Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, it’s not available on every platform the folks at an enterprise could be using.
Amazon has tied up Chime with its AWS offerings, although Chime has a free version available for smaller teams.
Amazon’s pricing doesn’t quite make sense as far as the competition is concerned. The service is offered in three tiers: Basic, Plus, and Pro.
Basic is free and offers most of the features that the other editions do. The two notable exceptions are screen sharing and video conferences – rather reasonable, for the price of free.
Plus will cost $2.50 per user per month and offers some essential management features. The ability to manage entire e-mail domain, disable accounts, configure Active Directory, and all that jazz. Additionally, Plus also comes with 1 GB of storage per user dedicated to messaging history retention.
Pro jumps to a whopping $15 per user per month and is targeted towards the larger enterprise clienteles. It lets users hold video conferences with up to a 100 people and allows for things like screen sharing, and the ability to join these conferences via a regular phone line.
The complete pricing details are available here. Microsoft has a similar offering, providing users with 50 GB of mailbox storage, the complete Office suite for Windows and Mac and mobile devices, 1 TB of OneDrive storage, and the Skype for Business Suite.
That’s pretty much the equivalent of Amazon Chime Pro, except Microsoft is offering all that for $12 per user per month.
Amazon’s strategy here doesn’t quite make sense – it’s new service is more expensive yet offers fewer features. Furthermore, Microsoft already has a long list of clients, while Amazon has to convince said clients to switch. The latter is a tougher task.
Thankfully, Amazon is offering potential clients a trial of Chime Pro for up to 30 days. That should be enough to judge whether service is worth that price tag. Maybe it is, after all.