Will Amazon ReInvent UCaaS?

by Dave Michels

This Tuesday is the next big conference to watch: Amazon’s AWS Re:Invent. I am not attending personally, but maybe next year.aws

Re:Invent is when AWS leadership talks about the future of its business and what is coming next for the AWS Partner Network (APN). Strong indications are it’s UCaaS and video.

  • Aug/2014 Amazon acquired Twitch, a livestreaming service for gaming.
  • Sep/2015 Amazon acquired Elemental Technologies which makes high-speed video encoding and transcoding software to enable multiscreen content delivery across different devices.
  • Summer/2015 Amazon acquired Biba. Biba had developed an early workstream messaging solution with WebRTC enabled video. The messaging was weak, but the video was strong. Biba had exhibited at several Enterprise Connect conferences and was featured in several of my articles and research reports. Many of the employees are still at Amazon. Biba’s patents in video conferencing and audio streaming went with the deal, and TechCrunch noticed that Biba has updated its Android and IoS Apps (Biba was shut down after the acquisition).
  • BroadSoft has recently announced that its latest release of BroadWorks is now supported on AWS. “AWS” came up several times at Connections, but never (intentionally) as a customer.
  • Top cloud competitors Microsoft and Google offer business communications services including video conferencing. Amazon has lagged in commercial communications services, but clearly has the know-how. It’s Mayday service launched in 2013 raised the bar with one-way video-enabled customer service.
  • Several UCaaS providers are already using AWS for core or overflow infrastructure, though many do not discuss this publicly.

Disruptive would be an understatement if Amazon were to enter wholesale or retail UCaaS or VCaaS.