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Slack moves video and voice calls to AWS

Slack will run its native voice and video calling capabilities on Amazon Web Services’ Chime platform, part of a “multi-year partnership” for collaboration product development.

AWS is already Slack’s “preferred” cloud infrastructure provider, and the two companies have a common rival in Microsoft, competing with its Azure and Teams products, respectively.

An announcement on Thursday, alongside Slack’s first quarter financial results, explained that Slack will use Amazon’s Chime software development kit as the basis for Slack Calls, which includes audio, video and screen sharing features. Chime was launched by AWS in 2017, but hasn’t grabbed attention in the same way as communication tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams in subsequent years.

By migrating Calls to AWS, Slack will remove the need to run its own unified communications infrastructure.   

“In the near term, there won’t be any visual changes to the end-user experience,” Slack said in a blog post. “Long term, the move will allow us to add new features, such as mobile video, so users can continue to rely on Slack for secure enterprise communication.”

The deal has clear advantages for both vendors, said Raul Castanon, senior analyst at 451 Research / S&P Global Market Intelligence. “For AWS, the partnership validates its platform-based approach; for Slack, it expands even more its capabilities for scaling and equally important, to provide enterprise-grade security features,” he said.

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