“Wait - let me download that plugin.”
“I am waiting for the Webex client to install, I should be in the meeting in about 5 minutes, or maybe an hour.”
“Oh wait, I don’t have the right version of flash installed. What the hell is flash?”
“I think Skype just crashed….”
“I have to install a SIP what? I don’t want to install anything else”
“Of course my computer is plugged in, oh you are saying I need a plugin”
“Screw this, I’ll send an email.”
These are the typical statements the average user makes when trying to communicate on the web today. It’s just too complicated. This is why we need WebRTC; it’s why businesses and consumers will run, not walk, to WebRTC. If this is done right, that same average user should not know the term WebRTC, but rather they should only know that their ability to communicate just became simple. (This is my plea for marketing departments to not blindly copy the engineers, hopefully we learned from DSL)
What’s great about WebRTC is that it brings voice and video to the Web natively. Many have thrown around cloud communications for some time. The truth is cloud communications will truly exist for the first time with WebRTC. You can’t say you are in the cloud while still anchored to the ground. WebRTC cuts those ties. And as a result, the possibilities of communications are limitless because it is now in the hands of Web developers who will do for communications what they have been doing with information. Thanks Al Gore…
Costs will come down as a result of WebRTC, which is unavoidable and scary to the establishment. But that is not the story of WebRTC. The story of WebRTC will be innovation. It will change the way businesses communicate. It will democratize communications and change the way people in third world countries communicate; it may even give some the ability to connect to the world for the first time, ensuring that their voices are heard. Imagine, in the next major social protest when the government blocks traditional voice and SIP calls. It will be WebRTC that enables the protester to be heard and seen by the world, in real time.
While many have talked about the death of the PSTN, it isn’t dead yet. I am not going to say that WebRTC will put the nail in the coffin, but it does deliver a serious body blow.
While throwing its fists about WebRTC also smacks SIP around. An amazing technology that has led to a great deal of innovation now has to share the stage with something simpler and more powerful. Some like to say SIP is dead now as well. This notion was bantered about at the recent WebRTC Expo. I am not ready to go there just yet but I do believe that WebRTC will finish what SIP started.
I did see a number of people from companies that are stalwarts of SIP (I don’t care to name names) at the WebRTC Conference and Expo in November and they did have a bit of a concerned look on their face (one could even say a deer in headlights expression). It was all fun and games when they were driving the revolution of SIP against legacy TDM networks. I hope they understand that turnabout is fair play, especially in the world of technology.
Are there issues for WebRTC? You bet. While all the major players are at the table, some disagree about the best way to advance the standard. Some, like Microsoft, are proposing alternative technical models. Apple is following closely but with cards held tightly to their chest. There are numerous security and privacy concerns. The patent trolls are gearing up to do what they do best. I believe these issues will work themselves out. These issues have no choice but to work themselves out; the WebRTC train has loudly left the station and there’s no turning back
It’s very safe to say that Plivo has some exciting plans for WebRTC in 2013, stay tuned!!
Thanks MOM!! I am sure you are the only one that made it this far…