vali_111 - Fotolia

Level 3 offers Amazon Chime cloud collaboration tool as a service

Level 3 has launched Amazon's Chime cloud collaboration tool as a managed service. The move could help Amazon compete with Microsoft and Cisco in the team collaboration market.

Level 3 Communications has launched Amazon Chime as a managed service -- the latest sign that the cloud collaboration tool is capable of competing with Microsoft's Skype for Business and Cisco's WebEx.

Last week's introduction of the Level 3 service demonstrates progress in Amazon's goal of becoming an enterprise communications provider, said Ira Weinstein, an analyst at Wainhouse Research, based in Duxbury, Mass.

"If I was advising one of my large enterprise clients, I would tell them you now have a very reputable vendor's product in Chime, and you've got it wrapped in Level 3's production-friendly, managed environment," he said. "Second, Chime is more than sufficient for the typical enterprise, and when you wrap it in Level 3's managed services, it becomes better supported."

Level 3, a multinational telecommunications and internet service provider, hopes to tap into the large enterprise customer base of Amazon Web Services, the retailer's platform-as-a-service business, said Jon Arnold, an analyst at the Canadian firm J Arnold & Associates. In the second quarter, AWS generated $4.1 billion in net sales.

 "You can't ignore Amazon," Arnold said. "They're too big."

Other Amazon partners in Chime cloud collaboration tool

Amazon, however, is not big enough to succeed in the crowded UC and collaboration market on its own. Along with Level 3, Amazon has partnered with UC vendor Vonage, which offers Chime as a feature in all business communications plans.

Level 3 is targeting medium to large businesses with a pay-per-use model. The company is also willing to bundle its PSTN service with the cloud collaboration tool.

Chime is based on technology Amazon obtained last year through the acquisition of online meeting provider Biba.

Next Steps

How to assess cloud collaboration apps

Understanding Microsoft and Cisco's cloud communications

Comparing UC cloud products and providers

Dig Deeper on Team collaboration software