How NOT to Compete in the WebRTC API Space

05/10/2015

Some aspects are now table stakes for WebRTC API Platforms.

There are 20+ vendors out there who are after your communications. They are willing to take up the complexity and maintenance involved with running real time voice and video that you may need in your business or app. Some are succeeding more than others, as it always has been.

So how do you as a potential customer going to choose between them?

Here are a few things I’ve noticed in the two years since I first published my report on this WebRTC API space:

  1. Vendors are finding it hard to differentiate from one another. Answering the question to themselves of what they do better than anyone else in this space (or at least from the vendors they see as their main competitors) isn’t easy
  2. Vendors often times don’t focus. They try to be everything to everyone, ending up being nothing to most. You can see what they are good for if you look from the sidelines, feel how they pitch, operate, think – but they can’t see it themselves
  3. Vendors attempt to differentiate over price, quality and ease of use. This is useless.

Table Stakes

Most vendors today have pretty decent quality with a set of APIs that are easy. Pricing varies, but usually reasonable. While some customers are sensitive to pricing, others are more focused on getting their proof of concept or initial beta going – and there, the price differences doesn’t matter in the short to medium term anyway.

The problem is mainly vendor lock-in, where starting to use a specific vendor means sticking with it due to high switching costs later on. But then, savvy developers use multiple vendors or prepare adapter layers to abstract that vendor lock-in.

Vendors need to think more creatively at how they end up differentiating themselves. From carving a niche to offering unique value.

What’s next?

Want to learn more about this space? The latest update of my report is just what you need

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