The Tragedy of WebRTC is UC and IMS

The Tragedy of WebRTC is UC and IMS

By Tsahi Levent-Levi June 25, 2014 2 Comments
Tsahi Levent-Levi PNG
The Tragedy of WebRTC is UC and IMS by Tsahi Levent-Levi

I came to a realization lately: the tragedy of WebRTC is Unified Communications and IMS.

No, it isn't the fact that they make the case for NOT needing WebRTC. It is because the people who are aware of WebRTC today are those who are most hurt by it.

It hit me when I saw Eric Krapf's notion of the 40/60 WebRTC split:

"Ultimately, the 60/40 split on this question makes perfect sense; actually, the fact that 40% of respondents expect to see a peer-to-peer model seems to me like a big win for WebRTC."

I think it is more of an 80/20 split:

80% of the people who are marginally aware of WebRTC have a 20% potential of making any difference.

WebRTC is about the fusion of Web with RTC. It is where the web swallows up communications as an industry and remodels it to fit the way the web happens to be architected. NOT vice versa. It is about rethinking the way we view VoIP and telecom. It is not about adding yet-another-access-point-to-an-existing-service.

The general population isn't aware of WebRTC. Just check LinkedIn and see how many profiles have WebRTC in them. We are still huddled in our small VoIP bubble – be it UC or IMS – where we look at WebRTC, downplaying its affects; or using it for obvious use cases.

What is missing in WebRTC is wider recognition (and understanding) of the technology by web developers those who are clueless about real time, RTP, codecs and other curse words we use.

The tragedy of WebRTC? That we all say it is overhyped when the problem we have is that WebRTC is still an obscure technology to most people who stand to gain from knowing how to develop with it.

The worst thing that happened to WebRTC? The fact that we telecom guys have embraced it so closely.


2 Responses to "The Tragedy of WebRTC is UC and IMS" - Add Yours

Fabrizio Capone 6/27/2014 1:21:52 AM

I totally agree with you! WebRTC is a disruptive technology in the Telecom Market and I don't expect any great and innovative adoption from the incumbent Telecom enterprises. As always in the disruptive vendor story we need to wait for a totally new player...
Mark Daley 6/27/2014 8:43:59 AM

Hi Tsahi, thanks for your interesting article. After initially agreeing with all of your comments I started to think about what if the telco world had not embraced WebRTC to the extent is has so far? I keep thinking that actually WebRTC might not be as far along at this point?

I think that traditional telco space companies like NetDev and others have actually been very enthusiastic if not creative in taking up the WebRTC opportunity. It’s fair to say that the very nature of our business has meant that we have focused on what you might call the obvious low hanging fruit opportunities; but along the way, companies like ours have been kicking the tyres in the real world. It could be also fair to say that our need or desire to integrate or interface into the old world serves everyone in a positive manner in the future.

Although a planned WebRTC developers event during London Tech Week didn’t go ahead this month, its likely it will next year and the organisers and many of the presenters will likely originate from somewhere in the Telco world; yet will be addressing and educating a web developer audience.

And I am guessing that it won’t take too much longer for the education industry, whether that’s traditional education, next gen General Assembly types or online social collusion to begin to make a positive impact regarding developer awareness. At this stage we would hope to see the more creative apps and ideas emerge.

So to me its seems that from some angles, it could be said that the telco world is while not necessarily giving velocity to WebRTC, it may not be hindering.

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