Real time communications (RTC) and WebRTC are delivering the basics for better online experiences, adding voice and video to the stock web experience with just a few simple lines of code. This is only a (good) start, since businesses want measurable outcomes, users want ease of use and everyone wants tighter integration of all the pieces, rather than having to pull one function at a time from separate services or apps. A true Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is the next step in offering what everyone wants.
Nearly anyone can offer voice and video through WebRTC. It's easy to see from the number of apps and API-based RTC services available today. A communications platform service goes above and beyond, providing messaging, presence, screen sharing, videoconferencing, and more. WebRTC can provide the basics, but you need a CPaaS to provide all of the pieces as well as an integrated framework to provide structure for developers so they can rapidly build customized applications.
Consider the current rage in team-based collaboration tools, ranging from Slack to Dropbox's introduction of Paper, a collaboration tool. The "collaborteam" apps start with unified communication (UC) features of chat, presence, voice, video and document sharing in a threaded, topics-based fashion, with everything archived. Team members start work on sharable documents, use chat and voice to comment. When group discussion and/or consensus is needed, a team meeting can be held online to review projects and discuss what needs to be done, with screen sharing and videoconferencing providing real-time sharing and interaction to speed up the process.
Call centers represent an "all of the above" approach for both customers and agents. Customers want the ability to choose the medium they are most comfortable with to start a conversation, be it text or voice. They also want the ability to do more than simply describe a problem, but to use images -- both still and video -- to actually show a problem, enabling the call center agent to see what is happening and be able to resolve the problem much more quickly. Screen sharing, as demonstrated by Amazon's help service, is also a necessary feature for tech call centers to help walk customers through features and debug problems.
If you are interested in learning more about going above and beyond simple voice and video additions to web services , GENBAND's Vice President of Cloud Service Solutions and Ecosystem Dr. Natasha Tamaskar will be discussing how WebRTC and real time communications can deliver a more immersive experience at Cloud Expo's WebRTC Summit track this week in Santa Clara, CA.