The second generation of WebRTC API Platform vendors are different. And interesting.
I released my Choosing a WebRTC API Platform report in April this year. In October, the report got a needed update. In the beginning of 2015 another update will be necessary.
What I find interesting, is how the new entrants into this space of WebRTC API platforms are different.
The initial set of players could have been categorized as two types of vendors:
- Communication API vendors that happened to add WebRTC. Twilio, Plivo and Tropo fit nicely in this category
- Startups. Either ones that started with WebRTC as an API for developer or those that shifted to WebRTC for some other technology
The new players have different background stories and origins. Here are the most dominant examples (I’ll do it in alphabetical order):
Bistri was one of the earliest players in WebRTC. Their initial target was pure communications for consumers. It is apparent from an interview with Bistri here – almost 2 years ago.
Bistri has shifted this year towards developers, coining themselves as “Bistri WebRTC Platform as a Service (PaaS)”.
This shift probably started once money started running out and a need to change strategy was required. With infrastructure in place, the logical thing to do is try and sell it to others so they need to debate how to make money out of their own use cases.
Forge is a new offering coming out of Acision – partly by their acquisition of Crocodile RCS. From providing SMS services the world over, Acision is now capable of giving its customers the ability to use WebRTC as another communication channel.
It maintained most of its DNA and focus, with an eye towards specific verticals where it feels comfortable today already.
Kandy by Genband is an attempt at the communications API domain by a supplier of communication infrastructure equipment to the telecom market. It too came partly by its acquisition of Fring and partly by internal products that already existed at Genband.
Suitable for larger enterprises, who need customization, integration and a lot of hand-holding.
ooVoo is an OTT VoIP company. Their main customer base, as far as I know, is the younger generation. I used to see their toolbars in computers of kids in the building I had to “fix” from too much malware. Times have changed.
ooVoo announced earlier this year their own developer platform, focused around WebRTC. As it makes use of their existing infrastructure and capabilities, it is built for scale. Will it have the focus necessary to work with developers for the long run? Time will tell.
Respoke comes from Digium. Digium is the force behind the popular Asterisk open source project. Respoke is a SaaS offering that while separate from the Asterisk legacy, can certainly benefit from that connection.
Sinch is a spin out from Rebtel. Similar to ooVoo, Rebtel is an OTT VoIP company. What Rebtel did though is interesting – they decided to split their platform itself into a separate company that caters developers. This gives them the focus required and the ability to work and operate out of the day to day needs of the mother ship.
Why is this important?
The WebRTC ecosystem is transitioning. New players are finding this technology with its gaps (=opportunity) interesting enough to join the fray.
As smaller vendors get gobbled up and taken off market, some of these new entrants are actually large enough to stay for the long run. This gives more alternatives to customers, while enhancing the level of confusion out there in the selection process of a suitable vendor.
* I have been consulting and actively engaging some of the vendors in this post. Tried to make my best to be objective
* If I forgot a new vendor, then I am truly sorry. Feel free to bash me in the comments section or just contact me – it would be great to see how you fit in my next update of the report.