This last month, we wrapped up the first round of six WebRTC and Cloud Communications Developer Workshops with a final push through both Paris and Lisbon. After our whirlwind schedule of stops in November that took us to New Jersey, Chicago, Santa Clara, and Dallas, heading over to Europe a few weeks ago gave us some new perspective on what developers are working on and their priorities. Thanks to the hard work that our instructors dedicated to the educational materials, our numerous guests learned how to build applications with Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) mark-up languages, APIs, and WebRTC. But what did we learn?
We learned that most of the interest in CPaaS and WebRTC comes from the web developer community. It was clear that web developers were most eager to add real-time communications capabilities to new web applications. Across a wide-range of industries, the web developers saw opportunities to integrate SMS, voice, and video to business processes. Some as simple as SMS for user authentication, while other applications were looking to enhance patient care with real-time multi-party video consultations.
Traditional telecom developers made a strong appearance at the workshops, but it seemed they were dealing with different issues – often migrating tried-and-true applications off aging or obsolete technologies. In this situation, their goal was to re-implement a money-making application and move it to the cloud as soon as possible. Other developers participated to “sharpen their swords,” possibly preparing themselves for future career changes.
We were reminded by some of the participants that there are some pretty sizable industries that cannot deploy their customer-facing applications in the public cloud. Banking and healthcare were two examples where they could not let their customer information or security details outside their own protected networks. Usually dictated by compliance to government regulation, securing customer and patient information is a must-have for these industries. Fortunately, we were able to show them how the joint platform using Telestax Restcomm and Dialogic PowerMedia XMS can be deployed on premise or in the cloud, giving the business the opportunity to use a deployment model that fits their security and privacy needs.
We learned that the complex business of building low-latency and echo-free conference calls is not widely understood. There were long side conversations sharing how media streams are brought together, mixed and disseminated in multi-party conference calls. Terms like latency, long-tail echo-cancellation, tone-clamping and automatic gain control are often foreign to web developers. While web sites can run Java script and push out pages in a second or two, real-time voice and video performance is usually measured in milliseconds.
We found out that there is a lot more interest out there too. From learning about using more video capabilities to bringing the workshop to new cities, there is more to come.
And most importantly, we also learned how the common desire to build applications also builds friends. We met some of the most interesting people and enjoyed a common bond across cultures and languages. Each and every participant shared a goal of making communications more effective, businesses more efficient and bringing people together. All of which are wonderful goals as we enter our holiday season.
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