Tsahi Levent -Levi
Tsahi Levent-Levi is an independent analyst and consultant for WebRTC.Tsahi has over 15 years of experience in the telecommunications, VoIP,and...
Read Full Bio >>

Tsahi Levent -Levi | November 12, 2014 |


WebRTC Worrywarts: Let's Get to Work Already!

WebRTC Worrywarts: Let's Get to Work Already! WebRTC might be young, but it offers developers plenty of power.

WebRTC might be young, but it offers developers plenty of power.

We're becoming ever lazier.

I'm not that old -- even though I do have a few white hairs on my head (and bristles on my face). As a kid, I had to walk to the TV to change the volume. Today I ask my daughter to pass me the remote from the other side of the table.

As a teenager, I wrote my own line code in assembly. I had to deal with X and Y coordinates. Smoothing the edges of the line took a day. Today? What's assembly? We're JavaScripting our lives away.

WebRTC is all about reduction of barriers. Developers jump-start use cases that made no business sense before but are now simple to achieve. And yet we want more.

In a recent interview here on No Jitter, SIP evangelist Andrew Prokop had this to say about WebRTC: "If you write an application for one browser, it might not work on another browser, and that's really, to me, unacceptable. It needs to be the same code on all browsers."

I think this statement is wrong in so many ways. Here's the truth for you.

1. Browsers aren't interoperable, and neither is SIP
Really. They aren't. Interoperability is a nice enough word, but it fails miserably each time.

You want to get browsers to interoperate with your visuals and forms? Use jQuery, defined by the jQuery Foundation on its Web page as "a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library [that] makes things ... much simpler with an easy-to-use API that works across a multitude of browsers."

Hmm. So we need jQuery to get APIs to work across a multitude of browsers.

I'll tell you a secret. If you ever want to launch a Web page, make sure to tell the company converting your design to HTML exactly for which browsers you want it to work. You'll pay by the number of browsers, but your content won't look as good on browsers you don't mention.

Interoperability is hard to achieve, and with fast-moving technologies it never really happens.

I had my share of this with H.323 and SIP. They also break each and every time you try to do something that isn't the most basic of use cases. This is why the session border controller (SBC) market is so lucrative -- SBCs provide interoperability across SIP implementations.

WebRTC in browsers is no different. WebRTC gets better with each iteration. And it does that a lot faster than other communication technologies with which I have experience.

2. Don't like it? Don't use it
This one is easy. If it doesn't work for you, then please move on.

Use Flash, or write your own plugin for your media engine... but let's sit down together later to check how much time and energy you've exerted on that effort instead of trying to use WebRTC.

You see, there is no real alternative to using WebRTC these days.

3. We're living on the cutting edge
People talk about WebRTC's instability. Such talk reminds me of a blog Trello co-founder Joel Spolsky wrote in 2012 about the technologies used in Trello:

    "We use cutting edge technology. Often, this means we get cut fingers. Our developers bleed all over MongoDB, WebSockets, CoffeeScript and Node. ... Besides, we're creating a product that we'll be working on for the next ten years. Technology that's merely 'state of the art' today is going to be old and creaky in five years. We tried to go a little bit beyond 'state of the art.' It's a calculated risk."

Now that Microsoft announced support for Object RTC, or ORTC, I believe there's little doubt that WebRTC is the state-of-the-art technology today.

If we are to develop and adopt a technology for the next 10 years, should we use WebRTC or should we go back to the old ways I grew up with as a kid?

Might as well go back and write code in assembly.

Why Is It Important?
Communications is a tough technology to master. I've been at it for the last 15 years.

WebRTC has reduced the barrier of entry so much that we are now lazy and complacent. We want WebRTC to solve all of our problems and worries -- all the things that bugged us for many years -- magically. And if it fails to solve a tiny bit of our problems? Then it's no good for anyone.

It's time to stop whining and get to work. Let's close the gaps and solve the challenges ahead of us.

WebRTC is a young technology and it's already capable of so much. Never have we had so much power in our hands as developers.


April 25, 2018

Yesterdays simple phone call to a contact center or business location is rapidly becoming todays interactive session, spanning multiple channels and devices. If you need to know how Omnichannel can

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
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 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.