Maturity was the trending word of the Paris WebRTC conference that ended last week.
Maturity of demos
Maturity of solutions offered by vendors
Maturity of how people grasp WebRTC
In the audience survey I did for our traditional closing panel, the audience indicated a reasonable balance they believe a service provider should maintain between investments in services that connect WebRTC with their IMS network vs. standalone Internet type of services.
The audience had a pretty clear consensus that the major roadblocks for having WebRTC more ubiquitous are mainly around API and browser interoperability and backwards compatibility. ORTC’s impact on this is also a wildcard to many.
From the survey we learned that more than 50% of the companies already have their product out in the market for 2 years or more. Elias Perez Carrera, CEO of Quobis, commented on this that while it may be right for vendors and OTT service providers, many of the traditional service providers are still in exploration phase with WebRTC.
A sneak peek to the presentations
The first half-day of the event was dedicated to training. Since most of the audience is already dealing with WebRTC for some time there was no point in getting into the basics of WebRTC. Instead we looked at a few more advanced topics:
- A technical panel I managed about WebRTC on mobile where several engineers shared their experience and decision process for selecting their technical approach to this challenge (yes, it is still a challenge). Panel included: Antonis Tsakiridis, TELESTAX; Antón Román Portabales,QUOBIS; Daniel Wagner, MATRIX; Stefan Ålund, ERICSSON
- Anton Roman Portabales from Quobis gave training on ORTC
- Steven Goodwin built a WebRTC app on stage
- Dan Burnett gave an update about latest advancements of the standards
To kick off the conference I gave a presentation about latest trends of WebRTC and state of the market going through things that happened in 2015. You can find my presentation on SlideShare.
Following this, Dean Bubley gave his presentation, WebRTC by the numbers.
As mentioned in the opening, maturity was the main motif of the discussions at the event, this was correct both in many of the presentations and the demos.
A few other presentations to mention.
Gilles Duboue from Alcatel Lucent’s presentation was all about telecom APIs and contextual communication built around their Rapport platform. In their booth they showed me their demo that plugs into Salesforce. Since their API platform works with the Alcatel Lucent IMS core, they can capture a call to a fixed or mobile number (can be to a contact center for example) and fork it to ring both on the original destination number and their Salesforce web application that is part of the agent’s Salesforce window. The other way around, initiating a call from Salesforce, is of course also possible as well as handover between the different call destinations.
Federico Descalzo from Italtel talked about a solution they have built through internal innovation that combines communication and IoT to service the needs for doctor consultation. The service is already being used and they are now looking to further scale it.
Matej Žvan from BrowseTel discussed the BrowseTel solution that supports the shift of retails to online business. BrowseTel presented their unprecedented support for a wide variety of channels from traditional communication means to social media. In their demo BrowseTel showed how their solution supports a complete customer engagement process from web to contextual real-time communication along with a video session for showing the details and serial number of the product customer is seeking support for. BrowseTel received the Audience Award for their demo.
Antonis Tsakiridis from Telestax who participated in the mobile roundtable of the day 1 training also presented on day 3 his experience building open source SDKs for mobile devices. As I mentioned on the panel, the WebRTC mobile challenge is not yet solved but there were advancements over the last year that make life of developers easier. The important thing is to select the right strategy for development and given the options and pros and cons it is not a one size fits all case.
Scott Graham from IBM gave a remote presentation using Hangouts. Many in the audience were surprised to see the good quality of the call given “not so great” internet connection. Scott’s presentation was also touching the mobile challenge. He discussed how IBM used the Cordova framework for their WebRTC SDKs and why this option was chosen.
Philippe Vayssac from Groupama talked about Granvillage and how it came to life. Through internal entrepreneurship and by partnering with several other companies they created a social network for local businesses and their customers. Among other features, Granvillage allows customers to call the business directly from the businesses’ website. Groupama received Best of Show award for their demo.
Simon Hossell from Pipe presented the new version of the Pipe service, which is an upgrade to the previous one that worked within Facebook. With Pipe, a user can throw a file to another user’s pipe and have it sent to him peer to peer instead of common store and forward modes.
Gethin Liddell from CafeX presented several case studies about integration of contextual real-time communications with digital services. Specifically in banking services Gethin showed data from Mobile Banking & Payments Summit held in 2015 that digital is the starting point for most of the banking activities across all ages. CafeX received the Innovation Award for their demo.
Marcin Sielski from Motorola Solutions talked about how WebRTC can enhance public safety. His presentation talked about Web and communication integration using WebRTC giving first responders more information about the scene before they get there and giving control rooms a view to the scene through wearable cameras.
Usage of WebRTC is becoming mature. The conference presentations and demos presented clear value and use cases.
Consensus of panelists on closing panel about maturity of solutions presented in the conference was one of the important conclusions of the conference.