Real Time Communications Featured Article

WebRTC is Bigger Than You Think

November 24, 2014

There’s a generational gap that I sometimes encounter when sharing phone numbers. After a nice conversation, when it is time to exchange contact information, I’m often left to write down a phone number when the far easier method is having them dial themselves on my phone. This embrace of the self-dial is what businesses now should be doing with WebRTC.

For those who are not hip to the technology, WebRTC enables real-time communications without the need for special software, plugins or complicated settings. Voice, video and chat happen through a web browser just as a YouTube video “just works.”

This is a huge advancement over traditional videoconferencing solutions, which both are costly and prone to technological challenges. It even is a huge advancement over Skype, since anyone who has ever tried to have a video chat with their mom will agree that Skype is not as easy for them as, say, Facebook.

Currently WebRTC is a hotbed of innovation and buzz, as anyone who is attended the WebRTC Conference and Expo in San Jose last week will attest. Companies from Google and Intel to Vidyo and GENBAND were at the show and showing off how WebRTC can change the face of business.

Businesses can ignore WebRTC at their peril.

First of all, WebRTC can make collaboration within teams much easier. In a world where we’re increasingly moving away from working in the same office space, the ability to easily connect not just with voice but also with video is crucial. Video not only brings an extra human element that better connects people, but it also allows easy sharing of visual information.

It can stitch together partner relationships more fully, which is important in this age of increasingly far-flung supply chains and networks of partners. While employees within a company might be expected to all use the same video chat client, this is not the case with partners. But with WebRTC, this lack of uniformity does not need to hinder communication since WebRTC “just works.”

Then there is the consumer relationship. Increasingly, the customer experience is setting apart the winners from the losers. Video, even if only one-way, can add a further dimension to product support and building a connection with the customer.

Businesses can watch WebRTC from the sidelines. But they might just find themselves on the sidelines in the next few years if they wait too long.


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