Real Time Communications Featured Article

UC, RTC, and Broadband: A Virtuous Cycle

June 02, 2015

A combination of cloud-based unified communications (UC), the addition of real-time communications (RTC) and the increasing accessibility to broadband is poised to reshape the landscape of enterprise communications.  IT teams will be able to leverage a fresh new world that is being built on click-to-communicate instead of stop-to-dial, with broadband the underlying glue to bring everything together.

Businesses of all sizes have been swiftly moving away from hardware-based PBX systems into the cloud and more versatile UC solutions. The numbers and investments don't lie; vendors have been compelled to build and/or buy cloud-services due to the rapid growth of cloud offerings over dedicated systems.  Businesses are tired of high priced, capital intensive hardware for communications services and now want operational expense-based, per seat pricing from cloud providers, and the ability to "menu up" sophisticated service features as needed for employees. The net result for enterprises is being able to focus resources on other issues, rather than locking into PBX solutions with time, money, and manpower. 

Upon the foundation of cloud-UC services, delivered via broadband, comes real time communications. Adding voice and video communication via WebRTC and services such as GENBAND's Kandy platform become trivial.  A vendor, systems integrator, service provider and/or enterprise can use a WebRTC Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) literally for free to experiment and build prototype solutions in minutes and hours, simply plugging in voice and video services via open API calls in standard HTML 5 web pages. 

via Shutterstock

And they can do so leveraging their existing investments – applications servers, PBX, and very importantly – endpoints including desktop phones. This makes for a “graceful transition” compared to a “rip and replace” approach.

Already IBM, SAP, Samsung and a number of other brand names have tapped into the power of Kandy to integrate RTC into their core enterprise offerings. Voice and video are now accessible in within the core office, field service centers, and call centers via a simple click to communicate person-to-person and multi-person conferencing. New applications are being rolled out every day, many of them specific to healthcare, education, retail, logistics, banking, customer service, CRM and more.

The promise of click-to-communicate has always been, if you'll forgive the pun, a day away before WebRTC came onto the scene.   Remember “push-to-talk?” Now it’s touch to collaborate including using video and screen sharing.

WebRTC has made click-to-communicate easier than code-heavy traditional “CTI” solutions, with voice, video, and standardized data exchange all embedded within the browser and at extremely low-cost to access by leveraging HTML. Previous solutions required weeks to install, proprietary add-ins or other software to download, and months to integrate into systems, along with the tab for dedicated hardware and software to support a solution.

WebRTC, along with a few other sea changes, may ultimately kill the phrase "unified."  The IT world won't have to speak of "unified communications" since we will all simply "communicate" with whatever mode we need at the place and time of our choosing.   Developers and businesses can focus on the process of communicating, because the basic tools for voice and video are already available and accessible via web page and open API.

*Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article series where I’ll discuss some of the exciting industry applications already being offered. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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