Level 3 provides on-ramp to Amazon Chime platform with pay-as-you-go model


Level 3 is helping businesses take advantage of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Chime platform, offering the collaboration-based unified communications (UC) service in a usage-based licensed software model.

Amazon Chime is a real-time unified communications service that was introduced earlier this year.

The service provider will market the service as "Amazon Chime delivered by Level 3." Level 3 will deliver and manage Amazon Chime and provide end-to-end customer support. 

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Customers will be able to consolidate multiple tools into one video, voice, chat and screensharing tool.

Christie Level 3
Anthony Christie

“Chime includes a full featured collaboration offer that is based in the Amazon cloud and this is in audio, video, slide sharing and chat,” said Anthony Christie, CMO for Level 3, in an interview with FierceTelecom. “This is supported from a premises standpoint on-site as well as all the networking requirements pre and post by Level 3 Communications.”

Initially available to Level 3 customers in North America and EMEA, Amazon Chime delivered by Level 3 will be expanded into other regions at a later date.

The focus of the Amazon Chime service will be on medium and large business customers, “because they require some level of management support for their collaboration,” Christie said. “For smaller enterprises, there are enough things that are out there that they can download from the internet and are not managed so that won’t be our initial focus.”

Simplified billing, adoption

Targeting medium and large businesses, Level 3's service allows customers to leverage a pay-as-you-go collaboration tool that does not require long-term commitments or capital investments in on-site premises equipment.

This model enables business customers to not pay for services they don’t use, helping them rein in costs.

“This is truly an enterprise pay-as-you-go model,” Christie said. “While this will be provisioned on a per seat basis, you’re only going to pay when you use the license.”

Unlike other provider solutions that require an upfront commitment for software licenses and hardware, Level 3’s service does not require capital to deploy on-site hardware equipment.

“There is no infrastructure associated with this,” Christie said. “These are clients that are downloaded on the device of your choice and this will be done via the Amazon cloud, with the exception of rooms.”

Customers that have an H.323 video room would need to implement the room on the service by an invite.

But the real value is that any business can provision the AWS Chime service over any device whether it be a desktop computer or smartphone.

“You have any enterprise out there today where you have people walking around with a Droid, iPhone, iPad, desktop, or a video room and this operates across all of those various platforms with a disruptive commercial model,” Christie said. “This model says that if an enterprise wants to go and provision licenses across their entire footprint, but only a portion of those get used only those portions that get used are getting charged.”

At the same time, Level 3 will also bundle other necessary elements such as PSTN connections and other related voice services, meaning a customer only has to deal with one service bill.

“There’s also Level 3 providing your PSTN, international 800 and any of your networking services associated with this those costs are in addition to the per-seat price, but they’re bundled together and there’s one bill given to the customer,” Christie said.

Easing updates

As a high-touch service, Chime delivered by Level 3 is being supported by the service provider’s collaboration team and enterprise sales force.

Customers that adopt this platform will also receive training, implementation and professional services.

Unlike other collaboration models that have a fixed platform, the Chime AWS service is an adaptable communications platform that’s tied into Level 3 global service level agreements.

“Many of the collaboration models that exist today very quickly become outdated because there’s a transaction in the customer’s environment and they’re on a Cisco platform and acquire a customer that’s using an Avaya platform, for example,” Christie said. “Those platforms don’t talk to one another.”

Christie added that “when something has the ability to be updated by the cloud, all of these updates are being pushed to all the clients that download them on a regular basis.”