"As the Original Web Was to Information, so WebRTC Will be to Communications"
Imagine a future where a billion and a half devices are voice- and video-enabled through the web browser. Seeing is believing at the WebRTC Conference-Within-a-Conference at Enterprise Connect.
In 1993, I was working for Schlumberger in its automated testing equipment division in San Jose when I saw my first web page. This division made the chip testers that Intel used to test its Pentium family of microprocessors. At the time, there was a person in the marketing department that was fooling around with something he called the World Wide Web. He showed us how he could represent some of the print-based marketing collateral his team had created in something called a web page. He said that the Web was going to revolutionize how people interact with information. His words proved to be prophetic.
Fast forward 20 years. We are on the cusp of what may be an equally transformative change in how people interact with communications. The web made information inexpensive and ubiquitous; WebRTC has the potential to do the same with voice, video, and collaboration. The provocative title above is actually a quote from an industry visionary and friend of mine, Phil Edholm.
Is there really anything to all the hype and speculation about WebRTC? When Fred Knight and Eric Krapf approached me last fall and invited me to co-chair the WebRTC conference-within-a-conference at Enterprise Connect (with Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research), my first thought was, "What is there to say? WebRTC has so many issues and hairballs on it that it is far from being ready for real world use."
Well, since then, I have interviewed a number of people directly involved with WebRTC, and I have seen some of the innovative ways WebRTC can be used. WebRTC may just be a game changer!
Another industry colleague, Alistair Rennie at IBM, once said, "Innovation is the intersection of invention and opportunity." Just as HTML and the World Wide Web provided a fertile environment for both invention and opportunity, so too WebRTC provides an environment for innovation. It is not difficult to imagine a world where every website is voice- and /or video-enabled, and we are just beginning to envision a world of new form factors for communications devices based on off-the-shelf chips and browser software. We can now start to glimpse a world of P2P (people-to-people) engagement made possible with real-time communications at everyone's fingertips that is supplanting the notion of B2B and B2C in almost all markets.
If your organization is not yet considering WebRTC in some fashion, it probably should be. Your enterprise should at least become aware of WebRTC and then draw your own conclusions as to its applicability.
One opportunity to do so is at the daylong WebRTC conference-within-a-conference at Enterprise Connect on March 18. We have gone to great lengths to provide a balanced program that includes industry heavyweights like Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and Avaya. We have also invited some of the new innovators, like Ten Hands, Plivo, Thrupoint, and Twilio who will show their WebRTC-based products and services in seven-minute, speed dating-type, increments. We have arranged panel discussions on the future of video conferencing as well as the critical topic of customer engagement with WebRTC.
For more information about the WebRTC event, check out the link on the Enterprise Connect website at http://enterpriseconnect.com/orlando/conference/webrtc-in-the-enterprise.php.