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Masergy Backs WebRTC, Improves Web Calling

Masergy is demonstrating a new capability of its cloud UC infrastructure, the ability to use WebRTC in conjunction with a simple drag-and-drop wizard-driven process to define what is shown on a webpage when the user clicks on a call using the Web button. The tool allows the user to create a set of options or choices for communications.

To explain further, this makes it easy to create a click-for-communications application that opens a drop down box with multiple choices (sales, service, etc.). It is essentially similar to the functions of an ACD/auto-attendant that can present a set of choices. Each choice is mapped to one or more phone numbers through the Masergy SIP network. This enables the choices to represent a single phone number or a group of numbers often referred to as a hunt group. Or the numbers can be mapped to the route numbers in a contact center to reach a specific focus group of agents. For example, clicking on the "Sales" button can call one or more numbers or route to the contact center group for sales interactions.

For the end customers using the implementation, talking to anyone in the company from the webpage is now as simple as clicking on the drop down menu, selecting the right option, and enabling the mic in the browser. While the initial implementation is focused to audio, the capabilities of WebRTC technology allow it to be extended to video in the future.

The ability to map a name to an individual DID is another capability that Dean Manzoori, VP of Product Management, UCaaS, at Masergy, described to me. This essentially creates an open Web-based calling for any employee. This capability is easily enabled through integrating the solution with back end directories such as Active Directory and LDAP, Manzoori said. When combined with features of contact management apps like Microsoft Office to retain/store a personal URL, it is easy to see how URL-based calling can quickly become a reality.

Masergy worked with Genband Kandy for the WebRTC integration component of the solution, adding in new developments that allow for creating wizards and other management capabilities. The solution is priced as an on-demand service, with implementation at no initial cost and charges based on usage. According to Masergy, typical charges for delivering a voice call through the system are 60 to 80% cheaper than typical PSTN access charges for 1-800 or DID services.

This solution is another step forward in the movement to transition communications from the circuit switched world of PSTN and traditional SIP-based connectivity to an open Web-based paradigm. While a number of companies have demonstrated and delivered WebRTC as a mechanism for meetings, this solution focuses on how to openly represent the company through URLs, in real time, on Web services. For organizations looking to provide easier real-time integrations for the 70 to 90% of customer interactions starting on the Web, having a simple choice structure will make the process easier for users. Potentially extending this to all employees through a directory look-up could further reduce costs. This may be especially valuable for companies that need to include access from other locations where toll free dialing is a challenge or very costly.

As I discussed previously on No Jitter, there are four "quadrants" of enterprise communications services: organization representation, organization meeting, employee representation, and employee meeting. With Masergy's new capability, Web-based communications and collaboration is rapidly moving toward being able to provide significant and differentiated values over traditional telephony number-based services in all four quadrants.