WebRTC1Projects for in-app communications and Cloud RTC platforms are coming out of beta and driving demand at an accelerated pace.

This was the conclusion of a market survey report drawn up by Smith’s Point Analytics which looks at the market opportunity, competitive forces, and user requirements for platforms that enable developers to easily integrate communications into their apps.

This market is expected to grow to more than $4.3 billion by 2019 as developer awareness, and the opportunity for more contextual communications, increase the importance of WebRTC and Cloud RTC platforms.

Both WebRTC and Cloud RTC platforms provide SDKs and APIs to mobile and web developers which remove a lot of the complexity of telecoms technology which, in turn, simplifies access to messaging, voice and video services.

Free and open

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications (RTC) such communications capabilities via simple JavaScript APIs. It includes the fundamental building blocks for high-quality communications such as network, audio, and video components used in voice and video chat applications. The WebRTC initiative is a project set-up by Google with support from both Mozilla and Opera, which gives it substantial reach across the web market.

But as the market grows, so does the competition and a “land grab” mentality seems to be emerging with infrastructure players, start-ups and even call centre software vendors, looking to enter the market. The report concludes that competitors will have to differentiate on reach and quality of service or the richness of the client experience to draw business.

Here, SmartIPX is at an advantage as the company focuses on an all-IP digital experience offering best-of-breed technologies within an IPX environment. We have been keeping our eye on WebRTC development for quite a while now and our two-part technical briefing earlier this year looked in great detail at the developing technology for unified communications.

The WebRTC and CloudRTC Platforms: Communications as a Feature report also concluded that competition and demand was driving platform vendors to quickly build out their offerings to provide a variety of services and features which enabled developers with a mixture of skill levels and requirements to benefit from Cloud RTC.

While competition continues to drive this demand, the market is broad enough that there will be a lot of opportunity across both vertical applications and horizontal services, creating a robust ecosystem.

Social networking, customer services and collaborative apps are generating the most demand for WebRTC and Cloud RTC at the present time. Social networking apps are integrating multiple forms of real-time communications and many big name brands are integrating click-to-call features into their apps and websites.

Bringing WebRTC to market

Cloud RTC vedors are also bringing to market more collaborative features such as file sharing and co-browsing, all of which is enabled by the WebRTC technology. The ability of Cloud RTC platforms to easily enable app developers to integrate two factor authentication into their aps, and streamline the on-boarding of new accounts, will also contribute to significant demand in the short term.

Long term the industry is looking at increased opportunities for HD voice and video, video conferencing and analytics. But while growth is encouraging, there are still barriers. The WebRTC standard is still being evolved and the industry needs to reach a consensus on signalling and there is a lack of innovative development.

How to leverage communications

Some developers are still having trouble envisioning how to leverage communications in new ways within their apps and, in some cases, the technology may be ahead of the imaginations of those who are creating apps – which have traditionally been for the simple phone call.

The opportunities for in-app communications is immense, however, and there seems to be no single killer app emerging to drive rapid awareness and cultural shifts. Incremental innovation is continuing to provide steady but rapid adoption of Cloud RTC platforms.

Our team have been carrying out development research work using WebRTC for quite some time now and we think the key to this technology is working out how we balance its intrinsic flexibility and potential impact across all communications mediums with the impact it will have on the interconnect /carrier space.

Other factors to consider are how WebRTC will integrate into existing business processes, the cost of equipment upgrades to support it, and various security/compliance issues that arise from its use. There is a great deal of hype around what enterprises can expect from WebRTC functionality, and just as many misconceptions.

We believe that it will help drive demand for a new class of agile communications service providers that are taking advantage of technologies such as WebRTC, HTML5 and the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to build customisable unified communications applications within a service aware network environment as convenience leads to demand for consistency.

If you have any questions or concerns about this new standard and how it could benefit your business, please do get in touch. We’d be delighted to chat with you about our thoughts on WebRTC and the many other digital standards and protocols driving telecoms forward into 2016.

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