Home North AmericaNorth America II 2014 Advancements in WebRTC space spur competition, innovation, new business models and services

Advancements in WebRTC space spur competition, innovation, new business models and services

by Administrator
Krishna Yarlagadda Issue: North America II 2014
Article no.: 8
Topic: Advancements in WebRTC space spur competition, innovation, new business models and services
Author: Krishna Yarlagadda
Title: President
Organisation: Imagination Technologies Inc
PDF size: 269KB

About author

Krishna Yarlagadda, President, Imagination Technologies Inc.

Krishna has over 20 years experience in Microprocessor, DSP and system architecture/design and was CEO of Hellosoft before it was acquired by Imagination Technologies in 2010. Krishna worked/was involved in several successful companies including Sun, ZSP, vEngines, SiliconSpice, Intoto, Chiplogic, and eSilicon in Silicon Valley. Krishna has been recognized as a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Article abstract

WebRTC is not only revolutionizing the telecom market; it also promises ample opportunities for innovators, who will begin combining traditional forms of communications to create new collaborative and interactive experiences. The explosive growth of WebRTC opens up more opportunities for developers by allowing them to easily integrate voice, messaging and video calling into mobile and web applications. In the past, only experienced telecommunications developers had the skills to build applications that included communications features.

Full Article

Consumers’ insatiable appetite for advanced, real-time communications has launched WebRTC into ‘prime time,’ giving it the possibility of becoming the ultimate collaboration channel for the masses.
From ecommerce juggernauts such as Amazon to social networking sites like Google+, WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is making a global impact on the way we all communicate, and is even creating new business models in this “can’t-get-enough” communications age.
Today, companies are using WebRTC – which basically embeds real-time voice, text and video communications into a web browser – in applications such as customer support, education and healthcare. We have seen a growing interest among organizations in using WebRTC – both native and browser-based – for applications such as social networking, enterprise BYOD and other applications based on peer-to-peer communications.
In fact, according to a recent report by research firm Disruptive Analysis, 1.6 billion devices will support WebRTC by the end of 2014, growing to 4.7 billion by the end of 2017. The firm sees adoption of WebRTC growing particularly in mobile devices, due to cloud-enabled apps, WebRTC platform providers, and iOS/Android support fuelling developer interest.
As the WebRTC ecosystem grows, businesses will be able to host both internal and external meetings using a web browser or a native client. Many companies – especially those with call centers – will want to simplify customer engagement with WebRTC and work the protocol into their existing workflow. Even financial and healthcare organizations are showing interest in using WebRTC due to the technology’s encryption capabilities.
So expect a wide array of companies that may even begin writing their own WebRTC applications to take advantage of the functionality and cost savings, as WebRTC becomes more universal and developers become more familiar with the standard.
With minimal backend infrastructure upgrades to existing infrastructure, WebRTC is free game, and competition in this market will become fierce as technology and software vendors continue to bring new products to the market.
One thing that WebRTC does well is facilitate improved customer service. This open-source protocol allows businesses to enhance their sites with what the industry labels “click-to-call” capabilities for their customers. This means companies will no longer have to invest in as many trunks or 800-number services with calls coming in from the Internet. And, consumers can immediately talk to a real person via video chat. A good example is Amazon – the company’s Mayday button uses WebRTC to provide customer support via real-time video conferencing. When a user pushes the button, a dialog box opens up, which includes a live video image of a support technician. Customers can see who is helping them, but the technician cannot see them. The technician can hear the customers, make drawings on their device screens and even check a device’s status remotely. This type of enhanced customer service using WebRTC will become the norm in the near future.
WebRTC is not only revolutionizing the telecom market; it also promises ample opportunities for innovators, who will begin combining traditional forms of communications to create new collaborative and interactive experiences. The explosive growth of WebRTC opens up more opportunities for developers by allowing them to easily integrate voice, messaging and video calling into mobile and web applications. In the past, only experienced telecommunications developers had the skills to build applications that included communications features.
WebRTC is now changing the game by making communication interfaces more flexible and user friendly. This is leading to the development of a flexible and scalable business model, one that allows businesses to offer WebRTC services via SaaS or as a fee-based structure. Take, for example, Avaya, which is offering two new Collaboration Pod models that allow cloud service providers to offer Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) to end customers. These types of flexible and callable services allow companies to take advantage of advanced communications capabilities but may not have the resources or desire to manage the operation.
As large players such as Avaya, AT&T, Ericsson and Google vie for the growing WebRTC market share, competition will certainly heat up, and quick. WebRTC has also spawned several start-ups, such as Tropo, Tenhands and Utribo.
We’re now seeing more and more acquisitions – earlier this year, for example, Snapchat acquired live video software company Addlive. And in late 2013, Yahoo! acquired PeerCDN, a content delivery start up whose technology is based on WebRTC. These acquisitions will become more common as larger payers expand their WebRTC offerings.
Before WebRTC, real-time voice/video conferencing algorithms were limited to only few proprietary native and enterprise applications and phone applications, and web applications had two independent identities. With WebRTC, developers now have abundant tools and APIs, as well as easy access to complex real-time voice/video algorithms. The technology also allows real-time communications on numerous platforms with different operating systems, sizes, and functions, and on browsers with no plug ins, saving time and money for companies. As developers configure new ways to use WebRTC, we will see more multimedia applications for video chat, file/screen sharing and other two-way communications.
More and more companies will also embrace WebRTC as they realize that these advances will boost productivity. For example, WebRTC allows employees to multi task, such as participating in a video conference while, at the same time, sharing an important file, in real time, from their office or while on the go.
Since WebRTC is becoming available on mobile browsers, different forms of communications will soon become more accessible. Just imagine what WebRTC will do for the already explosive social networking space. The social networking world has already begun to adopt this technology, including enhanced voice and video chat. Since WebRTC fosters peer-to-peer communications, it is a perfect fit for social networking. One example is Mozilla, which integrated its social API with WebRTC in an effort to seamlessly connect social media and video chatting. Meanwhile, Google+ is leveraging WebRTC to create a much smoother, seamless experience in both the web browser and in the Google Hangout mobile app. It will be exciting to watch the further development of apps and capabilities that WebRTC will foster in the social networking space.
With opportunities come challenges, such as bringing WebRTC into mobile devices – bandwidth, latency, power, echo cancellation, memory and multi-platform support are just a few of those hurdles. There is an ongoing effort to improve/address these issues. There are also some existing solutions that improve the performance, functionality and overall user experience of WebRTC with improved acoustic echo cancellation and noise cancellation performance for speaker phone functionality across different platforms.
Separately, there are industry efforts to combine WebRTC and V.VoIP technologies, leveraging the optimizations for battery consumption, audio and video interfaces, and the infrastructure already in place for V.VoIP deployments. At Imagination, we are seeing a lot of interest from companies that are looking for a solution that is interoperable with the growing ecosystem of WebRTC applications while continuing to leverage the performance that they are already getting from their current V.VoIP solutions today.
As more businesses unlock the potential of WebRTC, the need for reliable, scalable and premium services will escalate. As with the evolution of the telecom industry, the WebRTC train is moving fast, and those who don’t embrace this transformational technology now will most certainly be left behind.

 

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