Voxbone Offers Global WebRTC
WebRTC is an exciting technology, promising to transform communication and “webify” the way we connect to each other, just as the worldwide web has changed so many aspects of our lives. However, as Ray Amara, past President of the Institute for the Future, said, "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." In the short term, WebRTC must integrate with the systems that are in place, including the PSTN and SIP networks. To this end, there have been a number of SIP-to-WebRTC products and announcements, but deployments are low and, generally, the complexity is still challenging.
Voxbone has introduced a response to the complexity challenge by directly integrating and hosting WebRTC into its global SIP, IP, and local number network. Voxbone has implemented a global IP backbone and SIP infrastructure and delivers local dial-in numbers over SIP trunks in over 50 countries worldwide. What’s most exciting is that Voxbone has recently added WebRTC as a new end user access method to the network. The implementation is elegant in its simplicity. If you want to use WebRTC with Voxbone, all you have to do is put a hyperlink on your web page with embedded URL indexes, which sends the user to a Voxbone server that does all the WebRTC work. Voxbone gets the media, and then builds a peer connection through the Voxbone IP backbone to a media server that does the transcoding and protocol matching, enabling the call to “magically” arrive on your SIP trunk as a SIP session. In other words, they deal with all of the complex backend issues and you get instant WebRTC into your existing SIP environment.
As Voxbone already has a large market presence in both the global conferencing and cloud contact center markets, this is an obvious advantage for their users. While this approach creates a cost for the WebRTC sessions, Voxbone delivers the sessions as part of the SIP trunks. Those SIP trunks can be time multiplexed across the globe and across access in over 50 countries, which means the utilization levels can be high and there are no per-minute charges; customers just pay for trunk capacity. In this way, WebRTC can be convenient, or more importantly, used to avoid even the local phone charges that exist in many areas. And as users in different geographies and time zones connect, they are using the same capacity without changing the cost.
From a contact center perspective, the WebRTC links can match to local phone numbers or other routing data so that when the calls arrive at the contact center they get the proper routing and skills-based routing treatment. This means that even though the Voxbone solution with a contact center is just SIP and does not require any new IVR or contact center programming, it could enhance the value of customer service. For example, the system can identify the customer’s preferred language by matching the WebRTC sessions to SIP sessions and the local numbers of the language region. This makes an easy integration to the contact center routing and management, but does not enable taking advantage of the large amount of contextual information available from the website.
From a conferencing perspective, WebRTC enhances the current Voxbone offer. The solution enables rapid integration of WebRTC with the local dial numbers across the 50 supported countries and the other 140+ countries where local numbers are not available yet in the Voxbone solution. For conference operators struggling with service options in underserved telephony areas, WebRTC is an ideal option, though this will require adequate IP services for RTC traffic, often not available in developing areas.
Finally, this type of offer removes a critical barrier to WebRTC deployments in the enterprise space. While WebRTC is actually a simple API that works well, there are critical system-level deployment requirements that must be implemented to have a business-level deployable solution. Companies like TokBox, Oracle, and CafeX are delivering WebRTC platforms, but they generally require some level of WebRTC integration. With WebRTC, a number of other components may be required for a complete service. Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN)/ Session Traversal Utilities for NAT(STUN)/ Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) capabilities are critical to extend services to users behind firewalls. The WebRTC to SIP transcoding media services are required for easy integration into existing SIP environments. Security services, especially as services penetrate the enterprise edge, are also critical. Voxbone has built all of those into is service offer. In the cloud delivered service, Voxbone has integrated the TURN/STUN/ICE services, the WebRTC to SIP transcoding, and security through carrier grade SBCs. In fact, as the WebRTC is delivered through a SIP trunk, the integration should be simple for most organizations. The quality of the overall service is enhanced as Voxbone will choose an IP path from the end user to the closest Voxbone POP, which exist in every continent and most of the 50 countries. The WebRTC IP traffic is carried on the real-time optimized Voxbone backbone and then delivered through the SIP trunk from a POP near the SIP trunk termination location. This eliminates many quality issues that could emerge in international IP peering on the open Internet.
All in all, this is great way for enterprises to get their feet wet with WebRTC without having to go all out for a deployment. As the cost per session is rolled into the trunk costs, the costs are purely based on the number of active users, so if users switch to WebRTC there is no incremental or ongoing cost difference. And if the usage goes up, the costs will only increase with actual use, which generally translates to other additional revenue or other positive business factors. Voxbone has deployed the solution to 10 beta customers. While the service will be limited by the current state of browser support in WebRTC (Chrome, Firefox and Opera support WebRTC, Internet Explorer and Safari do not), it will be interesting to watch as this service rolls out and how it impacts WebRTC usage and adoption.
This paper is sponsored by Voxbone.