How many times have you been in a mobile app or on a website and wanted to get more information on a product or service – or even had the desire to purchase a product or service – but been unable to do so because there’s no phone number; the phone number provided is not hyperlinked to allow you to instantly place a quick call; the Contact Us information is on a previous page or screen rather than right where and when you need it; or you would prefer asking your question via chat, video, or some other mode of interaction?
That, my friends, is what we call friction in business parlance. And it’s something that businesses need to contend with if they want to survive and thrive in a day and age in which the always-on customer has taken control of what businesses they want to deal with, when, and how.
Indeed, the ability for people to easily enter into real-time communications interactions is more important than ever. And it’s something WebRTC enables on the front end, and allows to be implemented more easily by developers on the back end.
In his June column in INTERNET TELEPHONY, Phil Edholm of PKE Consulting LLC talks about how it is becoming increasingly clear that real time is going to be the next big thing for the web.
“The examples are all around us,” Edholm notes. “800 million Facebook users on Messenger and more than 100 million video calls. Snapchat bought Add Live and is adding real time as a more personal value to its social platform. Other apps like Uber have used integration to the PSTN through platforms like Twilio to add traditional telephony, but more and more, the communications are actually in the web.”
That real-time communication could be voice, data, or even video. Indeed, famed Silicon Valley personality Sean Parker is now at the helm of a company called Airtime, which just purchased vLine in its effort to build a globally distributed WebRTC platform optimized for multipoint real-time video on mobile devices and networks.
But many of the examples noted above are more of a business-to-consumer nature. WebRTC also can come into play in business-to-business applications.
For example, companies selling CRM and human resources business applications might want to bring real-time communications capabilities into the fold. Users are already in those applications, and they likely want to be able to exchange and interact with co-workers or partners about information in those applications. WebRTC can enable communications to become part of such applications.
Indeed, CRM giant Salesforce recently introduced Service Cloud Lightning Snap-ins to help companies provide connected, personalized service across any device. As a result, organizations can quickly deploy a contextual, modern service experience by just snapping in capabilities such as live chat and tap-to-call to their mobile and web apps. Additionally, the Salesforce SOS (News - Alert) Snap-in now has two-way video chat, empowering agents to quickly see and resolve customer issues.
All of the above lay the groundwork for new business models and opportunities, and illustrate why the real-time web will be transformational for business.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi