By J.T. Ripton
WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications), is an open source set of API’s (Application Programming Interfaces) that allows companies to use their web browser for video conferencing, voice calling, and video chat. WebRTC’s peer to peer APIs do this directly within your web browser, eliminating the need to download applications or install plug-ins to run communication applications. Implementation of a WebRTC solution for conference meetings, video trainings sessions, and peer-to-peer data communications will save companies thousands of dollars in IT expenses that they really don’t need to pay. At the same time, WebRTC increases employee productivity by making collaboration easy via easy communication and information sharing.
WebRTC Communication Functionalities
Today, companies use one of three ways to videoconference: Skype, a package like GoToMeeting, or through a Unified Communication system. All three solutions can be costly, particularly those that require implementing and maintaining a hardware based Unified Communication System. On the other hand, Skype and GoToMeeting are external applications that rely on the maintenance of an outside company.
Unified Communication Systems are “a complex of apparatus providing a system for multi-modal communications, operating as a logically integrated whole,” and is implemented by some companies to eliminate the fragmentation caused by employing different communication applications like Skype and GoToMeeting. The implementation of a Unified Communication System requires that a company invest in software and hardware solutions that sometimes translate into high maintenance costs.
The average company will typically hire a systems integrator to deploy the solution and most customers will not deploy all the pre-packaged functionality due to cost and effort. Only a fraction of enterprises deploying UC will actually achieve an integration with a 3rd party application due to the learning curve and complexity of the integration layer.
Implementation of a WebRTC solution solves integration problems that come with using applications like Skype and GoToMeetings. Its API’s have been designed to enable internal Internet browser based applications that allows all of its mobile platforms, laptops, and smartphones to easily communicate with each other.
WebRTC Applications Increase Customer Satisfaction
WebRTC applications can be developed at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. Because of this, video conferencing applications, which are generally high maintenance, can be developed by a company to give its customers the ability to see a customer service representative through click to call, instead of just being restricted to typing in a box on a computer screen. This will increase customer satisfaction and allow for a better reputation. WebRTC not only makes customers just a click away from customer service, it also has the capability to create applications that allow customers to see new merchandise on their screens and see and talk to salespeople or customer service representatives “through their smartphones without consuming costly wireless minutes.” This functionality increases customer satisfaction which of course increases revenue and profits.
Employee Video Collaboration WebRTC applications enable remote workers to become a part of the central office. Custom video applications for smartphones can give workers the opportunity to communicate via video instead of just texting or making a comment on Facebook or Twitter. Remote workers, either globally or nationally, will actually be able to engage in meaningful collaboration and face to face human contact, which will increase productivity.
WebRTC Has Built In Security Capability
WebRTC API’s uses the Secure RTP (SRTP) standard as the basis for communication because “SRTP provides authentication, encryption, and ensures the integrity of the call.” With all of the security risks that exist today, companies must spend as much time and money as necessary to ensure that their data, both administrative and customer based, is secure. Resource Security and encryption are security features that are not optional in WebRTC applications they are embedded in the API’s.
It is estimated that $575 billion dollars will be spent worldwide by companies on data security. WebRTC applications can reduce those expenditures because they are a comparatively inexpensive way of developing applications to increase data security.
WebRTC is Low Cost
All the core WebRTC technologies from Google and others are free and open source (at webrtc.org), but if you want them pre-packaged and easier to use then you may want to pay a little for pre-built libraries and cloud services from a WebRTC infrastructure company. This is most appropriate when you need a guaranteed quality service, for example across global networks and mobile devices as provided as a service by Agora.IO (try their free app at beckon.cc).
It is estimated that by the end of 2019, more than 2 billion people and 6 billion devices will support WebRTC – allowing for it to take the place of all software and hardware required for communication today.
With WebRTC, businesses can now communicate via the internet browser without dialing a phone number, or requiring a middleman, such as Skype. There is also no longer a need to sign into an online meeting service.
The ability to video conference easily and cheaply increases communication between employees, managers, and vendors and their business partners. WebRTC video conferencing solutions alone can eliminate thousands of dollars that a Cisco Meeting Room conferencing call may cost. WebRTC applications gives any size business the ability to utilize the Internet to save and make money.