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Jul 31

Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC): A new weapon for SaaS providers or a lethal injection for telecom providers?

Posted by Raj Sharma on Jul 31, 2014 9:29:26 AM

Technologies follow interesting twists and turns along the adoption curve. It often proves most of the experts wrong, if not relative to how it gets adopted, certainly relative to the timing of its adoption.

Web-Real-Time-Communications-(WebRTC)Take WebRTC for example. The telecom industry has been talking about the technology for a number of years and a number of vendors have illustrated interesting use cases that leverage its benefits. And yet today, the only places where we find its actual use are in residential applications like Google’s ChromeCast. With the introduction of the "Mayday" button on their high-end tablets, Amazon made some waves in the WebRTC andcontact center worlds, but it is unclear how many people actually use this capability to call Amazon. So even though it solves a number of business problems and helps carriers introduce new services that help them compete more effectively, the technology is still stuck in the demo phase as far as productive business applications are concerned. 

One would think that carriers would wholeheartedly adopt WebRTC and start offering infrastructure services for it such as Quality of Service, TURN and STUN services, and may be even full contact center capabilities. The question is will carriers be the early adopters this time around when they have not done this in the past. Will enterprises and business users wait for carriers or will they take matters in their own hands and start leveraging its capabilities? Or will a new breed of carriers emerge that not only owns the technology, but also offers services that leverages the technologies that it owns?

I believe WebRTC is creating the right environment and timing for a new kind of service provider to enter the market.  WebRTC is a web technology that enables instant communication through your web browser with no downloads required. It includes the fundamental building blocks for high-quality communications such as network, audio, and video components used in voice and video communications. It lowers the barriers to entry for any application provider to completely bypass the traditional carrier infrastructure. Specifically for SaaS providers, the opportunity is knocking on their doors to provide end to end applications and services without the burden of owning expensive infrastructure or relying on carriers who own this infrastructure. Without the dependency on telecom carriers, they can quickly accelerate the adoption of their applications and services, and this could only be bad news for telecom carriers who could see their revenues decline further. Perhaps this is why telecom carriers are so cold towards WebRTC.

Topics: contact center, call center software, technical support, technology, SaaS, WebRTC

Raj Sharma

Written by Raj Sharma