At the inaugural WebRTC Conference & Expo last month in San Francisco, much of the crowd was focused on demos of WebRTC working in a production environment. One example at a luncheon keynote Mozilla (News - Alert) showed how WebRTC communications could take place between two browsers on the same laptop.
This is one of the first demonstrations of the technology much of the audience had ever seen.
The event has brought together a wide swath of technology companies like Google, Plantronics, Oracle (News - Alert), Sangoma and Ericsson, which are all very optimistic about the potential for WebRTC to be as some describe it, “A once in a lifetime opportunity in telecom.”
One speaker at a standards panel at the WebRTC Conference & Expo mentioned perhaps the biggest challenge to WebRTC is overhyping. And he is partially correct. A bigger challenge to this emerging new space may be security.This is where a player like session border control maker Acme Packet (News - Alert) comes in. I spoke at length with Chad Hart, director of product marketing; and Patrick McNeil, senior security engineer, CISP from the company at the show, and the takeaway was they are getting ready for the second wave of WebRTC, when it gets deployed in the real world, across network borders.
Technologies like VoIP and SIP had to deal with major regulatory issues once the technologies reached critical mass. The FCC (News - Alert), for example, put onerous 911 regulations on the VoIP market as a result of a death related to a VoIP line that didn’t support E911.
Hart said you need to get ahead of these situations as we leave phase one of adoption and head to phase 2.
He also pointed out that call centers will be some of the earliest adopters of WebRTC and will benefit from the technology a great deal, and as a result, they need to be ready to deal with recording and compliance issues which will have to now apply to WebRTC customer interactions.
This is where an SBC company shines and explains why the company was at the WebRTC event and why there was so much interest in its booth.
Acme showed an interesting demo involving what it called a “happy button,” which allows a user on a website to click an icon to connect immediately with an agent while in context.
Coincidentally, I was recently in the market for an SUV, and none of the automobile websites allowed me to calculate my precise lease payments online. In each case, I had to wait for the dealer to reach out to me. It seems they wanted me to speak with someone directly before I got a quote.
As it turns out, I made a purchase before half of the dealers responded. The “happy button,” in contrast, allows a user to click a button on a website during a transaction to be connected with an agent who is aware of the issue at hand based upon user’s browsing information. The alternative, said Hart, is to leave the screen, do a search for the company’s contact information, traverse an IVR tree, find an agent and potentially have to re-authenticate a second time.
All of this adds cost to the company providing the call center service.
Moreover, in my case at least, half the companies’ contacted lost the opportunity for me to purchase from them because of spam filters or they called me back while I was busy. Keeping a buyer waiting to get a price is never a smart thing to do.
At this event, Acme Packet also announced the first WebRTC to multivendor IMS interworking capability where it enabled a major tier one network operator to deploy what amounts to a WebRTC to IMS SIP gateway. On a separate but related note, the company also discussed the release of its 6300 SBC, which can scale to 200,000 sessions and 1 million subscribers in a 3U chassis. The company explained that as VoLTE rolls out and VoIP providers mature, the demand for higher capacity systems has grown.
Moreover, this new platform can be 70 percent cheaper than purchasing multiple 4500s and supports simultaneous transcoding of 64,000 sessions and 32,000 sessions of simultaneous encryption.
Edited by Braden Becker