With so much competition in the WebRTC API Platform space, there are still ways to differentiate.
I have been working closely with several clients these past few weeks on selecting an API platform vendor for their WebRTC service. It is an interesting experience and a challenging one: Vendors differ a bit from each other but don’t know how to explain to their potential customers what is it that makes them the most suitable for the task.
You see, they are all the most secure, the most reliable, the most scalable. Essentially, they are all the most.
That said, there are changes. The most recent ones being:
- Temasys with their new free plugin for Internet Explorer and Safari
- OpenClove releasing their FreeMAD platform
- Priologic prepping to release an Internet Explorer plugin as open source (more on this one later this week)
So now that these API vendors are priming themselves up for acquisition, they are all in the lookout to grow their customer base.
Here are 7 tactics they can employ towards that goal (these can also bring differentiation and stickiness with it):
1. Close gaps
WebRTC is by no means a complete solution – WebRTC has its gaps.
The API vendors by nature are focusing on this one – closing the gaps.
The problem with this approach is that while this is mandatory, it offers little in the way of differentiation.
2. Cover more geographies
What I noticed, is that different API vendors cover different territories. Most are covered by AWS data center locations or have 3-4 other data centers around the globe that they use.
The problem here, is that a lot of the use cases I am seeing involve emerging markets or places like Africa – places where none of the API platform vendors today have any footprint.
A vendor that can make geographic spread his advantage over the others will win a lot of customers who have nowhere else to go besides building their own infrastructure.
3. Focus on media quality
WebRTC offers great media quality. The best available today (you can use the comments section below to disagree).
That said, I did meet with a few of AddLive’s customers who said they have selected AddLive because of their superior media quality.
Media is tough. Doing it well as an API platform isn’t mandatory, but it does has its value. If you look at what vendors are doing, then here are a few stories from the past year in this area:
Taking media quality to the extreme is always an option, and can be achieved in many ways. Here are a few thoughts that come to mind:
- Use dedicated servers instead of virtual ones for the media path
- Pay for a stable backbone internet connection
- Improve the initial selected bandwidth based on past calls from same client/IP/whatever
- Collect, monitor and act in real time to RTCP statistics
- Optimize the mobile SDKs for media quality
4. Focus on interconnection
Some use cases require connectivity to SIP or PSTN. Many of the vendors off that either partially or quite extensively.
You can focus on that as your main driver – take a page out of Voxbone’s book: they now offer WebRTC connectivity. While not an API platform, this is a useful capability for some.
Next up? Messaging capabilities – be it SMS, MMS, push notifications for mobile devices, the proprietary messaging in the platform itself or WebRTC’s data channel – these call all be supported and interconnected. Such a solution makes a lot of sense to multi channel contact centers and marketing campaigns.
5. Add media processing capabilities
I’ve got a full whitepaper on media processing.
There is a lot to be desired in this area from vendors. Most today do multipoint and maybe a bit of recording. It is far from enough if you ask me…
6. Add value elsewhere
Here’s the thing – why stop at WebRTC? Or communications? Think of a WebRTC platform as a BaaS platform instead.
Adding storage capabilities (or connectivity to external cloud storage), file sending, social integration – all these can fit nicely to a use case that happen to have WebRTC as well.
The more these platforms evolve, the less they will look like WebRTC ones.
7. Embed analytics
Communications have missed this great trend of Big Data and analytics.
Somehow, the web knows how to do analytics very well, but telecom and VoIP is left miserably behind.
The platform vendor that will nail this one – for his internal consumption as well as for his customers – will win from it.
Got the list I had out of my system. What do you see as additional great tactics that a WebRTC API Platform can take to attract new customers and grow?