Real time communication is accelerating business— from start-up through daily operations. There's a lot more integration between voice and other systems, be it CRM systems or "simple" website buttons to connect prospective buyers directly to sales agents. It has taken a while, but the cumulative weight of all the advantages to using WebRTC is adding up to push the use of voice-only solutions down to the bottom of the pile.
Cloud-based solutions leveraging WebRTC are offering numerous benefits over traditional PSTN-style phone and dedicated IP PBX solutions. Any type of phone service from basic, no-frills voice all the way up through high-end call center functionality can be turned on within minutes using a computer, a WebRTC-capable browser, and a broadband connection.
Many companies are choosing to bypass SIP trunking and futzing with IP PBX solutions and simply go with a cloud service because it's a no-hassle, no capital expense way to get voice and everything else a company needs.
And there's a lot to "everything else." Supporting mobility, typically through a dedicated app on a smartphone and/or tablet, is a necessity these days. Being able to take business calls from anywhere is also a necessity for service businesses, real estate agents, sales people, executives... the list goes on. Cloud services almost always have native mobile apps included in the price of admission - something that can't be said for PSTN dial tone.
The other side to mobility is remote agents and working at home. Companies want their employees to telecommute more and more and be able to add call center agents without having to bring people into the office. Adding more people and remote agents via the cloud takes minutes and there is no need to configure and hand out phones - just email a URL and some passwords and the remote workers are on the phone system in short order.
You can't really say "call center" today without WebRTC being somewhere in the discussion. WebRTC enables voice communication to be routed between traditional PSTN and cloud services, plus provides a "one drop shop" to place calling directly on a company's website.
With more people reaching for their phones to first look up a website before contacting a company, a single click button on a website can directly connect prospective customers to agents without the intermediate step of having to dial a phone number and walk through an IVR gatekeeper to reach the right person. This can all be taken care of with the help of a properly designed web site.
Cloud systems are also increasingly delivering voice seamlessly to integrate CRM systems, with Salesforce being the biggest name on the block these days. By lveraging APIs and caller ID info, any inbound phone call on a cloud service can easily and automatically be linked to a CRM and bring up relevant information on the caller. The information from the call can then be automatically logged into the CRM – and many cloud integrations even offer call recording and speech-to-text transcription to make take this a step further.
A hot trend in the call center, multichannel communication, mean people can communicate multiple ways – from voice, phone, chat, email, and even social media. WebRTC blends seamlessly into the multichannel world by adding voice and video into digital communications. And while the majority of WebRTC contact centers I've seen haven't gone heavy into adding video as a part of their multichannel mix, I do expect more to do so as they work out business process and bandwidth issues.
What's the key to all this? Real-time communication, facilitated by WebRTC, just works "better" in today's networked cloud world to provide quicker setup and addition of services, seamless integration with CRM systems, one-click voice (and moving to video), and much lower cost delivery of voice and video services. While I'm not quite ready to put the PSTN into the same category as fax for tech-past-its-time, but that day is more rapidly approaching.