The WebRTC ecosystem is becoming more complex, and I am having some hard times cracking it.
WebRTC is a technology and not a market, but it does seem to grow its own ecosystem and a rather interesting one. I touched this briefly on UC Strategies where I outlined the new TNW Academy, which uses LiveNinja – who in turn uses TokBox.
There are many similar instances where vendors adopt WebRTC in one form or another, but it is not always easy to tell what the result is. Here are some interesting examples I am struggling with.
Joyent is a cloud infrastructure vendor. Their direct and most obvious competitor is probably Amazon AWS. How are they related to WebRTC? I have no real clue, but their blog did promise they will be in the WebRTC Conference & Expo (they didn’t attend it as far as I remember). What it is they offer around WebRTC or plan to offer is a mystery to me.
It is also why I didn’t add them to my list of 220 WebRTC ecosystem vendors.
Fresh Tilled Soil
Fresh Tilled Soil is a web design company I had the opportunity to interview in the past. For them, WebRTC is just a technology to master in order to win more web development projects with customers. Seen in this light, a lot of WebRTC’s future services might be developed by similar companies.
Wello and LiveNinja
Both Wello and LiveNinja provide solutions to the expert market. The interesting thing here is that they both rely on other vendors that provide WebRTC infrastructure and APIs to build and run their service on a daily basis. Simply put, at the extreme, these vendors don’t need to think or care about WebRTC – just use the APIs defined and provided by a third party.
Are these WebRTC vendors? They seem like the second circle, but somehow they count in my book.
Taking it to the extreme, TNW Academy runs their service on top of LiveNinja, who in turn run it on TokBox. We’re another step farther away from the original WebRTC APIs and specification.
Is that a WebRTC vendor? Hard to tell…
Vacasa Rentals is a vacation house rental company (here’s an interview). They don’t really care about WebRTC, besides the fact that they used it to implement their own internal solution. They took WebRTC and embedded it into their business processes, no third parties involved.
In a way they are a WebRTC vendor, but somehow the fact that they don’t use anyone else and don’t intend to sell the service in any way makes it hard for me to view them as a part of the “ecosystem”.
Codassium & OpenVRI
Codassium and OpenVRI. Both very interesting services whose developers/owners/writers I interviewed. The interesting thing here is that the services were developed and then opened up to the public without any real business plan attached and no real intention of making money out of it. Just people tinkering in their garage and building something that works.
Are these vendors or just developers? Hard to say.
Same question to ask about VIAVID.IO and probably tens of other similar “services” out there.
Here’s a challenge for you. AudioCodes announced during the same WebRTC Conference the support of WebRTC in their products. How? By adding Opus voice codec support to their IP phones. Now, Opus can be used elsewhere and not in the context of WebRTC, and here it is used in SIP with no WebRTC anywhere. While they might add WebRTC to their product portfolio in the future, it isn’t the case today.
That said, in my book, they are a WebRTC vendor, as they are trying to add it to their story and doing that in a way that gives an advantage to both their ecosystem and to WebRTC users.
Vonage have used WebRTC to build their mobile application and to jump from voice to video. At the end of the day, their solution runs over SIP and WebRTC is just the media framework used. The solution for Vonage was to port WebRTC to mobile and use it as a software stack that got modified to fit their needs – even the voice codec used there isn’t Opus.
Are they part of the WebRTC ecosystem or just free-riders of the fact that WebRTC uses a permissive BSD license? While this may seem just a matter of tactic on Vonage’s side, I think it is part of Google’s strategy in opening it up for such uses.
What about a VoIP stack vendor that just happen to use WebRTC as its media engine and license it? That’s what M5T is doing. Is this part of the WebRTC ecosystem or not?
Time for you to speak up your opinion – who is a WebRTC vendor?