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WebRTC Rocks! – part 2

In our last post, we introduced WebRTC and indicated that we have been actively working on its integration – hence our demo.

We also suggested you tuned in for more information about WebRTC and how it might be embraced by the telecoms industry. Well as the Bard (nearly) wrote, “Read on Macduff!”

There’s no doubt that WebRTC is attracting considerable attention and that it is a significant disruptive technology. It is indeed a compelling technology trend that has changed our notion of how subscribers and enterprises will communicate. With WebRTC, the promise is that they will be able to communicate using any browser capable, connected device – from PCs to laptops and smartphones to tablets.

In essence, WebRTC is a means of enabling real-time communication (RTC) from within the browser. Browsers with native WebRTC support will be able to connect with each other, enabling users to initiate voice and video sessions, and even to exchange files and share screens. In addition, users will be able to establish multi-party sessions i.e., conferencing.

The telecoms challenge opportunity

It’s the idea that there’s no need for a separate communication solution if you can simply use the browser that’s fuelling the notion of WebRTC spelling trouble for businesses in the telecoms space. However, in practice, it’s not quite as simple as that.

In the majority of use cases, there will be a need for media processing and interconnectivity, with associated software applications and signalling gateways. It is those needs that will provide the opportunities for companies offering telephony resources.

In terms of the service providers and others offering, for example, contact centre solutions, there will be a need for telephony resources that will come from capitalising on the benefits of WebRTC, either to enhance their current offerings or to develop new, customer-centric applications.

Opportunities

Undoubtedly, WebRTC creates opportunities for extending communication channels.

Contact centre operations

Communication channels are the lifeblood of all contact centre operations – or more appositely, the business unit that the call centre is supporting. The idea of ‘click to call’ isn’t new, but imagine adding such functionality directly into the web browser. Surely, that would enhance the user interaction with the contact centre.

Enabling a potential customer, who is browsing or searching for product information on a website, to dynamically initiate a real-time call with an agent has got to be good for business. At that moment in time, simply clicking through from within the web page has got to be better for both business and consumer. Being able to actively engage an agent and get some key information ‘on the spot’ is likely to gain customers, whereas the alternative is their being gained elsewhere.

The virtual contact centre operation

An exciting aspect of WebRTC is that contact centre agents taking WebRTC calls could be stationed remotely e.g., logged in at home through a web portal. With such an approach, they’d be able to answer calls via their browsers, whilst simultaneously linked to the enterprise’s CRM system. In that ‘virtual contact centre’ situation, the device they’d use need not be a specialist phone or terminal – all they’d need is a device with a WebRTC compliant browser and a broadband connection. Of course, agents are used to microphones and headsets, so there’s no new OA&M situation with which to deal.

Communication channels

The agent device could be anything from a desktop PC to a laptop or tablet (smartphones are possible) with a compatible browser. In terms of communication channels, WebRTC becomes just another method of reaching the agent – conventional phones, SIP phones, mobile/cell phones, chat and instant messaging, email, fax, WebRTC… the more opportunities to communicate, the merrier the business manager will be. Add in the potential for lowering contact centre CAPEX and his/her financial director will also (begin) smiling.

Watch out for our next post, in which we’ll discuss how the telephony resources that have been referred to can be deployed to best advantage with WebRTC.

In the meantime, take another look at our demo: