Team communication and collaboration is evolving beyond PSTN, SIP, and enterprise conference software. Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) is gaining momentum as a better alternative, creating new opportunities in an open source, sky-is-the-limit development environment.
With WebRTC, users have access to direct, real-time browser-to-browser communication without the need for on-premise software. Even better, WebRTC solutions can manage network inconsistencies between mobile, tablet, browsers, and any other endpoint. At callstats.io, we frequently use team collaboration tools based on WebRTC to enable our remote workers.
Today, WebRTC has almost completely replaced Flash for real-time communications in dozens of business sectors, according to Forbes. WebRTC is enabling real-time communications for many areas, including enterprise-level team collaboration tools.
How is WebRTC Used for Team Collaboration Tools?
When used to develop team collaboration and communication tools, WebRTC resolves such pain points as the management of unwieldy software and difficulties aligning both macro and team-based environments. Instead, employees and business leaders can simply use voice and video in any web browser, on any device.
With more than three billion dollars invested in WebRTC technologies in 2018, WebRTC is beginning to realize widespread, cross-industry adoption.
Developers may use WebRTC to meet environment-specific needs, which will likely accelerate its adoption for team collaboration tools. Developers have already created HIPPA-compliant video communications for healthcare using WebRTC. Given its inherent security, it is easy to imagine this spreading to other areas with sensitive documents as well.
What’s Happening Now in Enterprise-level Team Collaboration
According to Oracle, “WebRTC helps ‘democratize’ voice and video, by simplifying implementation, reducing technology licensing costs, and stimulating a broad ecosystem of enabling vendors and open-source elements.”
WebRTC’s foundation in browsers allows enterprises to bridge gaps between organizations that otherwise use different communications solutions. Enterprises can extend video conferencing to more employees, partners, and clients, with internet-capable devices they already own.
In 2018, WebRTC has been breaking ground in B2C environments as retailers seek to enhance their connections with consumers. Some have democratized their e-commerce websites and customer support centers as part of a unified communications approach to customer interactions.
Now, macro communications are graduating from telepresence technologies that typically fill entire rooms, says VC Daily. As the market begins to consolidate on the high end, Microsoft, Cisco, and Google will challenge dedicated team collaboration tools like Slack.
The Gartner Perspective on Enterprise-level Team Collaboration
Gartner believes WebRTC will account for 15 percent of enterprise video and voice by 2019. This represents a more than 14 percent increase since 2016, when WebRTC’s presence in this space was less than 1 percent. By 2020, 30 percent of meetings will be supplemented by advanced analytics as well.
Gartner predicts that 60 percent of web conferencing will come from providers — not software — by 2021. This couples with a decline in infrastructure spending at a compound rate of 11 percent, indicative of enterprises’ broader transition to SaaS, plugin-free solutions.
Main Concerns with WebRTC and Team Collaboration
Some see technical pitfalls surrounding WebRTC as barriers to widespread adoption in the enterprise market. For example, WebRTC leaves aspects of connection establishment and upkeep to developers, where other browser APIs do not.
Others note problems with interoperability. This can arise due to its lack of signaling protocol, causing difficulty between different WebRTC applications. This puts greater responsibility on developers, because they must bridge interoperability gaps between other WebRTC solutions.
Third parties are recognizing these problems and resolving them with their own standards for interoperability. These organizations allow WebRTC developers to create federated solutions, enabling their desired interfaces to communicate with entirely different ones.
Where WebRTC and Team Collaboration are Headed
Soon, WebRTC will integrate with end-technologies to enhance performance and streamline connections. As an open source, easy-to-integrate, dynamic technology, there are no limits to what WebRTC developers can produce. The business environment will transform as tech giants become increasingly involved in the space, and customers across verticals will benefit from their ongoing innovations.
This post is a continuation on our series on real-time communications and WebRTC verticals. To see previous posts in this series, please check out our first post WebRTC Verticals Series - A Sweeping Introduction.