SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dave Stein
SHARE



Dave Stein | June 24, 2013 |

 
   

WebRTC: Who Really Cares?

WebRTC: Who Really Cares? A panacea? More like an incremental improvement.

A panacea? More like an incremental improvement.

One cannot attend an enterprise communications conference, meeting, webinar, presentation, etc. these days without being inundated with WebRTC. What's the big to-do? Well, according to some of my industry colleagues, WebRTC is no less than the answer to all that plagues this industry (In other words, WebRTC = 42).

Our friends at Wikipedia define WebRTC as Web Real-Time Communication, an API definition being drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to enable browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat and P2P file sharing without plug-ins. It is the last word (plug-ins) that seems to have everyone in a titter.

Who hasn't experienced the joy of incompatible Java releases, "your browser version is not supported" or failed plug-in downloads that you need for a crucial web conference? So although I am a cynic, I do see some value in eliminating plug-ins. Personal user productivity will certainly increase if we don't have to go through that nonsense. It should certainly help software developers. But a panacea? More like an incremental improvement.

So on to the meatier topics. We all know that the WebRTC standard is not supported by all of the industry giants and those different versions of WebRTC will likely appear in different browsers. The solution...(drum roll please)...plug-ins! Over the past few months, I have spoken to several WebRTC developers as well as UC&C vendors and this is a fairly unanimous prognostication. So one of the main reasons for doing WebRTC is somewhat questionable. (I expect to get a lot of messages on this point).

I won't address the issues of peer-to-peer communications in the Enterprise in this space, but do humbly suggest that the marketers cut and paste the SIP peer-to-peer literature of the last decade to save on time and expense. I also suggest that the functions performed by Session Border Controllers (SBCs) are going to be key to actual enterprise implementations.

But it gets better! Remember last year when Facebook re-tooled their development away from HTML5 to native platforms due to what most thought was quality of the user experience? Although this was based around mobile platforms, I think some of these same issues may apply here.

And now to what I see as the biggest issue not even being talked about: What about WebRTC for mobile devices? Anyone? My recent conversations with developers indicate that many are thinking about this for 2014/2015. Why not now? Because the mobile devices just don't have the horsepower to deliver that quality user experience.

So let's recap:

* Will run on some browsers as intended, plug-ins required for others (kinda like today, huh?)
* Will have different versions/capabilities and will likely require session mediation (much like SIP today)
* Has no support for mobile devices

So, as that little old lady so famously asked on the Wendy's commercial many years ago, "Where's the Beef?"

Dave Stein is principal at Stein Technology Group, an independent consultancy based in Orange County, CA.





COMMENTS



August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.