Topic of the month covered by WebRTC “activists”
WebRTC is a dynamic segment with new services, announcements and rapid advancements of the technology.
There are several websites you can follow to stay current with these activities. WebRTC technology is covered in depth by WebRTC Hacks while standard updates are provided by Dan Burnett and myself at TheNewDialTone. Weekly updates about the WebRTC news and activities can be found at WebRTC Weekly by Tsahi Levent-Levi and Chris Koehncke and other updates and opinions can be found on several blogs, some of which are mentioned below in this post.
In this post and those to follow, I want to tackle one topic each month and bring to you the opinion of a few of the WebRTC “activists”.
For this month the topic is: Which uses cases for WebRTC will dominate in 2015?
Most of the opinions presented below relate to B2C contact center type of use cases but there are different angles to this. Read below for details
Starting with my opinion on this topic.
Quantifying WebRTC usage by numbers is hard. Today, WebRTC is massively used in consumer OTT such as Hangouts and SnapChat. The most significant usage of WebRTC for consumer OTT in 2015 will come from WhatsApp assuming they start providing voice calling services.
On the B2B and B2C side, Amazon Mayday Button is a great example of a paradigm change in the Contact Center where conflict is between self service (don’t call us) approach, to enhanced engagement. We will see more of this in the financial and healthcare segments as well as team collaboration services such as Slack. What I’m really looking forward to see is what rabbit will Microsoft pull out of their hat with Skype for business as this has the potential to be the #1 use case for 2015.
Link: Alan Quayle
The flippant answer is Google, through Hangouts, Chromecast and all the other projects they have using or planning to use WebRTC in 2015. But the more interesting answer is within businesses. I point to this case study of a “WebRTC Powered Travel Agency” presented by Yvan Wibaux Co-Founder & CTO Evaneos and Luis Quina Borges Co-founder & CEO Apidaze at TADSummit. A nice quote from Yvan is, “the power of communications to revolutionize the travel business.” The dominant use case in 2015 from a business impact perspective will be businesses transforming their operations with WebRTC to reduce human latency and improve communications associated with specific business processes. http://youtu.be/ADHBwQEGHSY
The main use case we will see is the contact center. It is going through a technology transformation already, with concepts such as self service, omnichannel, big data and analytics changing what a contact center really is. WebRTC enables improving the contact center either on the agent side by virtualizing his system or on the customer side, by adding more flexibility and touch points.
Link: Disruptive Analysis
The key 2015 use-cases for WebRTC will be for enterprise B2C customer support, small workgroup collaboration/conferencing and consumer in-app video chat. B2C will involve WebRTC on the agent side (primarily on desktops specified by the IT function with suitable browsers), and to some degree among customers – although mostly via dedicated mobile apps, rather than “click-to-call” in a browser. Collaboration software will come in various sub-types, including screen-sharing and voice/video connectivity, targeting both general small teams, and specific verticals like software developers. Consumer embedded video-chat is evolving rapidly too, starting from social/messaging apps – both on desktop (eg Facebook) and mobile (eg SnapChat) – and likely extending to other areas such as gaming progressively.
Link: WebRTC Hacks
Making the Most of the Server-side Media Conundrum
WebRTC is a great peer-to-peer technology that allows WebRTC apps and services to be deployed cheaply and reliably. Unfortunately peer-to-peer does not always work. TURN servers are nearly always needed to help with NAT traversal for a meaningful number of users. Media servers are needed for multi-party conferencing, broadcasting, and many other use cases. These services use a lot of media – i.e. bandwidth – and bandwidth can quickly drive up your networking costs. So if you need to terminate media on your servers – at least some of the time – why not make the most of it to get some value back for your extra expense? Recording, meta data analysis, and optimized routing are all good examples of this.
I believe we will start seeing more “contextual use cases” from outside the Telecom’s industry. Here WebRTC will be used as a tool to deliver new RTC experiences where the value is not in the connectivity any more. It will be chosen because it will be considered as the best technology for this. From within the Telecom’s industry we will see more conservative use cases motivated by the knowledge about WebRTC and an urge to do “something” with it. Telecom’s will focus more on video, however, the use cases here will be rather generic and could have easily been done before. The industry will also continue to focus on classic “call” use cases (voice only, bound to E.164 telephone number, minute rating, etc.) as they start to open up their new IP core communications infrastructures.
Link: WebRTC Hacks
While service provider/operator folks have been trying to figure out what to do next with WebRTC following proof of concepts they conducted, during the second half of 2014 we have seen s lot of momentum on the enterprise/vertical markets. This is basically about eBanking, eLearning, eHealth and the popular kid in town is contact center access via WebRTC (in many cases also providing webrtc access to center agents). In 2015 we will see greater momentum in these verticals and service provider investments to serve their enterprise customers by deploying multitenant solutions for these segments.
Rules of engagement for Topic of the Month: No product/company promotion, a short 700-800 character statement.
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