I thought I’d share a few observations from the WebRTC Conference and Expo in Miami last week. I attended many sessions, participated in one as a panelist, and represented Dialogic at our booth.
Observation #1: WebRTC is maturing into a generally accepted communication channel
Many people from operators and large enterprises stopped by the booth to ask how WebRTC might fit into their existing environment. We had very interesting discussions on this topic. Over recent years, WebRTC is seen as a cool new technology that might be adopted one day in the future. Now the majority are asking how WebRTC might fit into their contact center, or as a new service/product offering they are envisioning. As further proof of the maturity of WebRTC, most of the demos at the show were of deployable applications that are ready today. Demos such as Safer Mobility built on Dialogic or Katana from Liveninja demonstrated cool safety and customer service applications respectively.
Observation #2: Network operators are still trying to figure out how WebRTC fits into their offering as a network
I had great conversations with a number of operators at the show. While they are deeply interested in WebRTC, I didn’t speak to any who had deployed it yet. The majority of operators I spoke with have the technology in their labs and are working to insure that WebRTC will coexist in their networks. While other operators were still trying to determine just the right use case. Additionally, I attended the session of one of my colleagues from Dialogic regarding: WebRTC in an IMS World. Operators reported that they are working to develop plans for IMS deployments.
Observation #3: WebRTC is a technology that must be seen in context on the problem it’s helping to solve
I was on a panel in which we discussed the profitability of video-based WebRTC applications. Almost all agreed that there is money to be made with video applications, but we had a lively discussion on who would be making the money. My view was that the video monetization question cannot be answered without putting the solution in context; that is, how will video help solve a problem? At these tech-oriented conferences, it’s easy to be too focused on the technology at the expense of the bigger picture. All the panelists saw video as a key and growing ingredient in customer facing applications such as kiosks, customer services, education or finance applications.
Observation #4: Mobile WebRTC applications are coming fast
Throughout the conference, mobile applications based on WebRTC were extensively discussed. No surprise there. But it was cool to see new and interesting applications of WebRTC in mobile environments. You could see the focus on mobile applications in providers such as ooVoo and SaferMobility, or in operators building out IMS infrastructure for mobile subscribers.
Were you there? What do you think? Let me know.