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6 Common Sense WebRTC Recommendations Worth a Read

September 23, 2015

The great thing about being part of a robust community like WebRTC has been the willingness, dare I say zeal, of various community members to share insights on everything from technical challenges to be overcome to how WebRTC can change for the better how organizations can do better business. In that light, I was delighted to read an item on AT&T’s developer community by guest poster Brent Kelly, President and Principal Analyst at KelCor, Inc. with the title, “6 Actionable WebRTC Recommenda?tions To Help Innovate and Disrupt How You Communicat?e.”  To paraphrase a line from the movie Jerry McGuire, he had me with the headline and the entire post is worth a read.

I will cut to the chase in a moment. As Kelly does an excellent job on the frontend describing what WebRTC is, how it can work with mobile devices and what developers should to get started.  In fact, a nice resource on the latter he cites is the AT&T Enhanced WebRTC API. As Kelly explains, this is the first WebRTC API developed by a service provider and it does in fact provide a number of capabilities not available with native WebRTC function calls.  

Details on the capabilities are explained but they include: A Directory to Connect with Other Users: Gateway Service to Enable Calls; Enabling Traditional Mid-call Controls; and Single Number Reach Service. All are interesting additions to basic WebRTC functionality. The fact that they are coming from a service provider is indicative of how dramatically the initial mindset about WebRTC was that it was a service provider killer, a myth that has been totally debunked as service providers like AT&T, Orange, Telstra and NTT to name a few have given WebRTC a warm embrace. Plus, as frequent readers of this space are aware, WebRTC is catching on significantly with contact centers in a variety of verticals as the need for full throttle omnichannel interactions becomes a business necessity.

Image via Shutterstock

Now for those 6 “actionable” areas where Kelly says C-levels (CIOs, CMS and Chief Customer Officers) need to be evaluating how WebRTC can help them up their games.  Most are self-evident but they bear repetition:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the technology.
  2. Include WebRTC in the customer journey mapping of commerce sites.
  3. Get to know the WebRTC landscape.
  4. Understand the WebRTC roadmap for your contact center.
  5. Consider how WebRTC can allow you to more easily connect with partners and suppliers in your value chain.
  6. Deploy WebRTC for high-touch, high-value scenarios.

We all know that any new technology as, Gartner Group constantly likes to remind us, goes through a “hype curve” where promise tends not to live up to expectations regarding both time and capabilities. WebRTC when it came out just a few years ago was hailed by advocates as the next big revolution in communications while critics scoffed.  The realities have been that despite a few speed bumps and a few companies (can you say Apple?) who have yet to join the parade, while WebRTC may not be revolutionary it does hold the potential for being extremely transformative. The burgeoning ecosystem, particularly the traction with developers and now with service providers, is why.

It is more than likely in the not too distant future where open source solutions in an API-driven world are the norm, that we will all be taking WebRTC for granted as just another foundational piece of what I have called the evolving utility (as in like a service utility as well as being useful) “Infostructure.”  That in fact would be a nice measure of WebRTC success.  However, before we get there Kelly’s common sense approach makes sense.  Knowledge is power, and getting to know not just what WebRTC is and can do but can do for your organization in terms of enhancing how people and processes work is something that not just developers need to put near the top of their to-do lists. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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