In 2016 Amazon quietly acquired a small conferencing startup, Biba. This past week we saw the Seattle giant launch Chime, a new video and audio conferencing app based upon that purchase, and it has been one of the hottest movers on ProductHunt since its debut.
With services like Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, JoinMe, Skype4Business, UberConference, BlueJeans, Vidyo and Appear.In to name a few that are all working in the cloud, one has to wonder why Amazon is moving into to collaboration space when it’s already so competitive?
The answer may not be so obvious, but a good starting point is that at the core of Chime is Amazon Web Services. Next is the fact that Amazon operates a global network of their own which is why books downloaded to Kindle, and responses to commands spoken to the Echo, happen so rapidly. When you look at the sum of the parts it's the harbinger of things to come as Amazon heads towards being a bigger provider of Telco services.
The Amazon Network is rocket fast and global. It rides on its own pipe inside the Internet. Then there are AWS’s robust services offerings, with an already proven WebRTC use case in Mayday, Amazon’s Customer Service web app. That leads me to look at AWS as the communications provider platform of the future.
With AWS, and the tools they offer off of their Linux core OS, developers can easily take an entire telecom stack and run them on AWS. This means Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) can shine, as the whole stack from the session border controller, media gateway, application server and Softswitch, as well as the apps that run across them, can all be sitting on the AWS cloud. With that approach, communications customers could quickly spin up additional capacity, or reduce it as needed, paying really for what they use, eliminating the need to buy, or build, any other infrastructure of their own.
Given how much of today’s business already rides on AWS, the idea of being a telecom provider isn’t that far fetched, especially as the programming and engineering tools become easier to use. And, when you recognize that Twilio is already running on AWS with their services stack the idea of Amazon being a turnkey provider isn’t that big of a stretch.