Who Cares About UC Anyway?

I don’t.

ruins

[If you are new around here, then you should know I've been writing about WebRTC lately. You can skim through the WebRTC post series or just read what WebRTC is all about.]

A while ago, I jumped into a conversation on Twitter – interrupting it.

Ken Camp versus Aswath Rao on the usefulness (or uselessness) or WebRTC. What got on my nerve is a comment in there somewhere: “WebRTC is a solution in search of a problem”.

And my response to it?

VoIP companies are a solution looking to a problem in WebRTC.

You see, WebRTC has an insidious proposition if you are a UC/VoIP vendor. It takes a lot of the smarts and core assets that you have and makes them irrelevant. Overnight.

Years ago I’ve been asked repeatedly by prospects wanting to license VoIP technology to offer web based solutions. No plugins was one of the selection criteria. Low cost was another. Deployable to millions of users was needed, so the pricing model wasn’t suitable either. Good thing no one else could provide such a solution when we couldn’t. but that has all changed now.

Web based solutions? WebRTC

No plugins? WebRTC

Low cost? WebRTC

Deployable to millions? WebRTC

We can now argue if and where it fits exactly and the limitations it has, but 2 years ago? It was impossible to even think of a solution. Now? We talk limitations.

So UC vendors laugh and joke about companies with “weird” business ideas such as an experts market. They say that Wello-like services exist over Skype as well. They complain about missing signaling. And they fail to miss the bigger picture.

They fail to see 150 companies (!) already adopting WebRTC – small and big ones.

They fail to see their own kind adopting WebRTC (GENBAND, Vidtel, BroadSoft, …).

They fail to see that the market have changed. They have become from cutting edge to incumbents and dinosaurs.

In a world where AT&T, Telefonica and Orange all play with WebRTC and launch WebRTC related services/experiments – how can UC vendors ignore it?

I think the world has changed. It not UC that is important any longer – not in the traditional sense of it – it is WebRTC related paradigms that are important.

Who cares about UC anymore?

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I actually do care about UC. And it is why I am rather worried from the ostrich position that so many in the “traditional” UC market are hiding behind.

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Comments

  1. I couldn’t care less about UC either, what I do want to see is a federated identity probably probably based on email address. Everything else can just be built on top of that.

  2. I couldn’t care less about UC either, what I do want to see is a federated identity probably probably based on email address. Everything else can just be built on top of that.

  3. That would be my first choice too, but I’m hoping for a standard to emerge like SMTP or XMPP or heck ENUM.

    Do I believe it will ever happen. I don’t know. ENUM didn’t seem to get of the ground, Google doesn’t seem to want to support XMPP anymore.

    But I’m pretty sure WebRTC would be a good fit.

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