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Phil Edholm
Phil Edholm is the President and Founder of PKE Consulting, which consults to end users and vendors in the communications...
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Phil Edholm | October 22, 2012 |

 
   

WebRTC and BYOD: An Opportunity for CEBP by Big Software Vendors?

WebRTC and BYOD: An Opportunity for CEBP by Big Software Vendors? Real-time communications and CEBP will move from the phone and traditional telecom vendors, into purpose-specific real-time communications added to many applications.

Real-time communications and CEBP will move from the phone and traditional telecom vendors, into purpose-specific real-time communications added to many applications.

Over the past 10 years, the UC industry has talked about the two facets of UC: the collaboration aspect for Knowledge Workers, and the business process integration (known as CEBP, Communications Enabled Business Processes) for the rest of the company. While products such as Lync, Jabber, and Flare are focused on the former, we have not seen the take-up in CEBP.

In fact, many have said CEBP is the bigger opportunity than collaboration, making companies' processes more efficient through the introduction of just-in-time communications. An interesting question is whether WebRTC and BYOD will change the game by making users more comfortable with using other devices than the phone for business communications.

WebRTC is starting to get a lot of press and interest. Essentially, with WebRTC, your browser becomes your communications client, with the visual experience defined from a server through the HTML/HTML5 browser function and the real-time transmission and receipt of media streams through the WebRTC media engine built into the browser. With WebRTC, two users with their browsers connected to the same server can have a real-time voice or video session established, with the server controlling the actual communications. And this can be done with about 40 lines of JavaScript programming.

As we get used to having each communications event defined by the web server that we are connected to (and just like web sites, each reflects the unique nature of the site and the actual event), being comfortable with communications as an "add-on" to the web will change our view.

With WebRTC and BYOD, users are going to get increasingly more comfortable with doing their communications WITHOUT the desk phone. So now adding real-time into Oracle, SAP, or McKesson (Health Care) apps using web browsers becomes something that may be accepted. While the UC vendors see CEBP as a great opportunity, if the software vendors can integrate using WebRTC, BYOD and devices other than the phone, they have a natural position to make it really work.

And this gets easier with some of the new audio devices. For example, I use a Plantronics Savi 740 headset that enables connections to my phone, my PC with USB, my tablet and mobile phone with Bluetooth. I can answer a connection request that arrives on any of these in the same way. As I use this device, my "awareness" of which device or channel/media a communications is coming in on has decreased. Similarly, users can have a single interface to all of their channels and stop thinking of the phone as the only way to interact.

I think we are on the edge of a major shift in real-time communications and CEBP. It is going to move from the phone and the traditional telecom vendors and expand into purpose-specific real-time communications added to many applications and solutions. What do you think? Do you think Oracle or SAP will be managing many of your user interactions in 2014 without integration to your phone system?





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