Video conferencing vendors shouldn’t just ignore WebRTC – doing so is the beginning of their undoing.
William McDonald wrote a post a couple of weeks ago on NoJitter. It gives some pointers of where WebRTC is lacking, finishing off with a conclusion that WebRTC is nice, but nothing to be afraid of – or nothing that you as a customer of a solid video conferencing vendor (who makes a ton of money out of you) should look into.
Hmm… Should I say I beg to differ?
You see, WebRTC does one thing good. One thing only. And that thing? It is reducing barriers of entry.
How many video conferencing companies can you count? 5? 10? 50? And that’s in an industry that existed for over a decade.
How about over 200? Over 200 WebRTC companies cranking up comparable solutions – not the same – just similar enough to be considered adequate replacements (or should I say superior replacements?). In less than 2 years. And they tell me the standard isn’t officially out yet.
If you are a video conferencing vendor and you aren’t scared shitless out of WebRTC, then you are probably blind.
Sure. Most of these 200 companies will probably fail. Some will stay small and survive. But a few will grow and thrive, eating up the market as they move along. It isn’t a matter of if just a matter of when companies that wield WebRTC will start tramping the old guard of video conferencing. It isn’t about technology – it is about business models. WebRTC opens up a whole new range of possible business models and integration points.
If you have been in the video conferencing business for more than 5 years now, you should seriously consider your long term strategy of WebRTC. don’t just throw it as an afterthought addition to your MCU or your gateway – make a point of thinking what it enables doing and see where else should you put it.
Panacea or not, WebRTC is here to stay, and vendors should ignore it at their own peril.