Today Genband announced a new enterprise initiative to focus on the enterprise market for UC with a new platform that has WebRTC support integrated as a core part of the solution. The product offerings, branded as the Generation Enterprise framework includes the Smart Office 2.0 platform for UC. Smart Office 2.0 is being delivered with full WebRTC support and integration from the beginning, the first enterprise UC platform to fully integrate and deliver on the capabilities of WebRTC.
One thing that impressed me is that Genband is demonstrating one of the key capabilities of WebRTC, that anyone who comes to an event can get the full event experience through WebRTC. For example, if you invite me to a meeting you are hosting, through WebRTC I can join without downloading a plug-in or an app. This capability is a direct extension of the web paradigm that WebRTC introduces to communications. In the web, you do not go through a portal or server to get to information, you are sent to a URL that delivers the information you need.
In Smart Office 2.0, Genband is showing how WebRTC can be used to extend the user experience to all of the attendees of an event, whether they are a registered "user" of that system or not. This is the beginning of the web paradigm in communications, where participants in a communications go directly to the platform managing that event without going through a separate platform. This is the web paradigm, and now we are beginning to see how it will apply to UC through WebRTC.
With Smart Office 2.0, a guest attending a meeting with a Smart Office 2.0 user will get a unique and new experience. For the first time, users will have a clear exposure to the capability of alternative platforms. While attempts to have browser clients from companies like Cisco and Microsoft have been out for a short time, WebRTC makes this paradigm both easy and full value.
The impact of this transformation will be interesting. In the mid nineties a CIO I knew explained that he managed user expectations in his company by adding loop timers to all of his apps. By varying the timers from a higher value immediately after an upgrade to a lower value over time as the system load increased, he always maintained a 2 second latency from an enter to the screen showing up. IN this way, his users were always happy and he maintained his job as a CIO. A number of years later, around 2004 we were talking again and I asked him about his strategy and his answers was that all the users figured out it really didn't take 2 seconds as they got better performance at home than in the office. This consumer experience demand drove many of the changes in enterprise IT through the last decade. Now we are going to experience the same in communications and collaboration. Through the power of WebRTC and the web, we will all be able to experience the capabilities and user experience of multiple UC platforms without actually being a customer or user of the vendor. This will result in users comparing their solution as provided by their IT with others that they join externally.
The impact is that users, executives and even customers will begin to push IT to provide new services based on the best of the web. No longer will IT be able to hide by saying that the current solution is "just as good" as other offers as using those will be clear to all. For a company like Genband, this will enable us to almost immediately evaluate their experience and capabilities. I encourage all of you to see if you can experience the Smart Office 2.0 experience, not only to see how well Genband has done, but also to begin to see the future of web based communications.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker