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How WebRTC Benefits Unified Communications
February 23rd, 2017

How WebRTC Benefits Unified Communications

Virginia Fair

WebRTC, yet another set of letters to remember in addition to all the as-a-services. But do remember them, because it can fit into your UC infrastructure.

WebRTC, yet another set of letters to remember in addition to all the as-a-services. But do remember them, because this solution fusing VoIP and the web can fit into your UC infrastructure and play a role in your collaboration strategy. You can use WebRTC in place of dedicated software clients to enable true browser-based video, voice, and web conferencing capabilities.

What is WebRTC?

WebRTC is, just as its name implies, an open framework for the web that enables browser-accessed real-time communication. The free open project includes network, audio and video components accessed through a simple application program interface (API), allowing developers and programmers to implement their own web RTC in a video chat-style application.

It supplements UC by negating the need for a web client at the receiving and sending ends of any multi-party communication or collaboration. The fact that 700 companies, including Facebook, currently use the infrastructure is a testimony to its value and versatility.

“Fine,” you say. “But how can my company use WebRTC?” Well, for starters, it can save you money by enabling voice and video communications without the need for plug-ins or additional installations.

Benefits of WebRTC in UC architectures

Perhaps the biggest bonus that comes with WebRTC services is the ability to allow devices with different operating systems to share one communications platform. So if your company is one that relies on a variety of mobile devices, you no longer have to buy clients like Skype for Business to make the same communication possible via the browser that exists on all the involved devices.

Security concerns

With security concerns in mind, WebRTC has updated to operate only on https sites. So if you have any older clients in place you’ll want to update them. And, as with anything else in this age of constant hacking attempts, it’s advisable to institute your own policy for microphone and camera access in order to make sure the devices are accessible only during communications.

WebRTC and the future of collaboration

As the WebRTC ecosystem constantly evolves and couples with emerging messaging-based collaborations applications, it promises to be a major disrupter of the legacy telephony and UC market. Current browser-based collaboration functions include:

  • email applications
  • calendar apps
  • cloud-based messaging
  • video chats
  • myriad ways to bring remote participants into hosted video conferences
  • support for telemedicine

Some experts go so far as to predict that it may become part of what is known as Shadow IT, wherein employees bypass IT to deploy their own technology in the interest of business and collaboration strategies.

Service and your enterprise

After looking into if, how, and where this solution can become part of your collaboration strategy, the next step is to research the services that can supplement or even replace large parts of your UC infrastructure. And look deeper—Your existing UC platform may already have a hook into a WebRTC API. Consider any potential WebRTC service with an eye toward security, quality of service, browser support, and legacy support

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