Real Time Communications Featured Article

WebRTC and Cloud RTC: Where Are We Headed?

August 28, 2015

It was just about a year ago that analysts were observing a disruption in the communications ecosystem. The idea was that this would create a market opportunity for Cloud Real-Time Communications (RTC) platforms. The expectation was that this new market to represent a $4.5 billion opportunity over the next couple of years.

Cloud RTC Platforms are cloud services that enable mobile and web developers to integrate communications into their applications with just a few lines of code. Through the use of REST APIs and SDKs Cloud RTC Platforms could enable developers to easily integrate voice, messaging and video calling into mobile and web applications supporting more contextual conversations.

Eleven months later, it would appear that demand for in-app communications and Cloud RTC platforms are growing at a quick rate. We are beginning to see projects move out of the beta stage into full production with vendors trying to aggressively positioning themselves for the future.

Cloud RTC tools potentially have the ability to change how people interact with each other in the near future. In the past experienced telecommunications developer were the only ones with the skills to build applications that included communications features. However, with technologies like WebRTC and Cloud RTC platforms, communications infrastructure is being exposed making communication interfaces much more flexible.

Innovators will be able to combine traditional forms of communications as a way to create new more collaborative and interactive experiences. Many developers are beginning to build communications stacks on top of operator networks, bypassing their service offerings.

As you might expect, when a new market, such as Cloud RTC begins to grow, you can be sure that competition to get a foot hold will be fierce. Those who have been working on beta projects over the past year are the ones who are looking to quickly establish a strong presence.

One recent survey found that 56 percent of mobile developers said that they are either already working on or have a very strong interest in integrating communications into their applications.

Developers in verticals such as travel, real-estate and facility maintenance are already implementing communications into their apps. The next markets that may see significant growth soon could be the education and healthcare segments.

While we have seen a lot of the hype surrounding WebRTC turn into solid facts, keep in mind that this is still an evolving standard that is in the process of maturing. Does that mean that developers will know how to use and integrate it into their apps? Technically, the answer is yes, but in the broader picture of how, where and why to integrate it may still be elusive.

It is true that some developers have spent the past year working on app integration, are we looking at a scenario where the technology may be ahead of the developers’ imagination? The way the apps are going to be used needs to be considered and discovering the right formula that will ensure success is still in the future. There are many vertical markets that can benefit from the Cloud RTC platform and it is beginning to see steady and rapid adoption. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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