The power of video everywhere with the Amazon Chime SDK
Over the course of the last six months, video has gone from a technology previously used in only a small number of meetings to a mission-critical application required for most business interactions. Whether it’s a telehealth consult with your doctor or a remote classroom, most organizations and individuals see the value of video across industry, use case, and end-user persona.
For knowledge workers collaborating in a managed IT environment, video through a dedicated meeting experience will likely continue to make sense. However, what about all the other scenarios that occur in business-to-business or business-to-consumer interactions? Do you want to download a separate meeting application just to talk to your doctor, take a tour of an open house, or join an exercise class?
Zeus Kerravala from ZK Research doesn’t think so. “People don’t want more applications. What they want is more functionality built into the applications and services they already use. Post-pandemic, video-enabled business processes will be critical for most industries. Using embedded video, like the Amazon Chime SDK, in vertically specific applications can increase security, improve usability, and achieve greater efficiency. We’ve seen this efficiency already in distance learning and telemedicine, and the possible use cases just continue to grow,” said Kerravala.
Why video everywhere
At Amazon Web Services, we believe that video should be a feature of every application, not just reserved for bespoke communication and collaboration software. We created the Amazon Chime SDK so that product owners and developers can take advantage of democratized audio and video. Builders can use the Amazon Chime SDK global scale and media network, utilize their application’s current authentication mechanisms, and maintain insight into usage with analytics. End users are then able to communicate without switching context, installing any additional products, or managing separate logons.
At Enterprise Connect 2020, we announced that global healthcare company Cerner used the Amazon Chime SDK to enable health systems to rapidly deploy and scale telehealth solutions to meet the needs of their communities. Other healthcare organizations have followed suit.
HabitNu is a diabetes prevention program that helps people with type-2 diabetes improve their health and reduce the symptoms of their condition. “The vast majority of diabetes prevention programs are delivered as in-person classes by trained lifestyle coaches. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, all in-person programs faced a choice: end their classes, or deliver them digitally,” said Gregg Cooke, Founder of HabitNu.
“For us, the problem was that our current teleconferencing vendor could barely scale to meet our current demand, much less meet the projected demand from so many new customers. We decided to switch to the Amazon Chime SDK to build our own, new solution before the expected deluge of new customers overwhelmed our old solution. It was immediately clear we made the right choice: we implemented the features offered by the old solution in about a week and spent the rest of the month implementing features we had always wanted. With the Amazon Chime SDK, we deliver a much more enjoyable experience to our users, which results in greater engagement and better outcomes. Our coaches also love the new interface and have increased their use of video conferences four-fold.”
At AWS, we believe that video adds a richer layer of nuance and personal touch to every interaction, and we believe it should be available for everyone.
The “video everywhere” benefit to builders
Building a communication infrastructure is not easy. When organizations have customers around the globe, you must plan for communications that can transverse all network conditions, while still offering an excellent end-user experience. In addition, communications can happen from a laptop, a smartphone, or just a regular mobile phone. You have to plan for communications from any device. The Amazon Chime SDK takes the guesswork out of adding communications for product owners and developers. Developers can take advantage of the Amazon Chime global network and investment in fault-tolerant media codecs with no infrastructure investment. In addition, the Amazon Chime SDK can scale up and down with no additional work, and is available across desktop and mobile.
When you force a customer or end-user into a separate meeting application, you also have to design a separate authentication mechanism. Rather than relying on federated users, the Amazon Chime SDK sits behind the same security posture used in your application. You don’t have to worry about maintaining that separate federation infrastructure. Because of this, there’s also less risk of uninvited guests showing up in your video call (aka “Zoom-bombing”). When using the Amazon Chime SDK, video meeting organizers are able to tightly control participation and tie it to the business workflow where video is required.
Next is downloading and installing the application itself. There is no guarantee that the device used by the end-user is supported by the meetings provider or that the end-user has proper permissions to install software on their machine. For organizations, using separate meeting applications also means providing additional technical support. When video is a feature, there are no additional downloads required.
Finally, product owners and developers require insights into product telemetry to best manage their end-user experience. When you use the Amazon Chime SDK, you don’t have to force interactions into a separate application that you don’t maintain. You maintain the ability to manage and measure how your product is used.
The “video everywhere” benefit to end-users
Customers, students, and end-users increasingly expect video to be a part of any virtual interaction. The Amazon Chime SDK is supported natively across systems as part of an organization’s existing application, so there is no additional software for end-users to download. Amazon Chime SDK provides a deep level of control, meaning that video experience is transparent to users as just another feature of the application. They can start a video call at any point. But there is also an additional layer of control, allowing you to determine whose video and audio is shown to whom. This is useful, for example, for classroom scenarios where you may want to show video for a few teachers (or their assistants) but hide video for students.
And finally, when there is a separate meeting application that has to be initiated by the end-user, context is lost. There is a loss of productivity in flipping between applications. The Amazon Chime SDK saves time by being available to the end-user right within the application. Meetings don’t need to be scheduled through a separate calendar experience (like Outlook or Gmail.) You can even have breakout rooms, like a waiting room, separate from a live streaming event.
Video helps us stay connected in a virtual world, have more natural interactions, and is here to stay. Rather than requiring end-users to download and use a separate experience, easily embed audio and video into your application using the Amazon Chime SDK. Pricing for the Amazon Chime SDK is not based on the number of users you deploy. You only pay for what you use within the context of your application.
Learn more about how your organization can use the Amazon Chime SDK to add video everywhere today at https://aws.amazon.com/chime/chime-sdk/