Google appears to always be at the forefront of technology advancements and life changing concepts. WebRTC is also a revolutionary technology within the communications industry. The technology allows us to communicate from browser to browser-using video and audio for free. The technology is set to revolutionize not only the customers shopping experience but it also aids sales agents to upsell products. Although this technology can be added to any organization to improve their sales and customer service, it is still yet to be adapted on the mass market. As such, we ask the question:
Are alternative browsers, who do not support the technology, holding Chrome and WebRTC back from breaking into the telecommunications industry?
Firstly and more importantly, the awareness within the industry of the benefits, for implementing WebRTC technology and the benefits it brings is not there, although its presence has increased dramatically since its birth back in May 2011. The benefits of WebRTC are still only predominantly recognized within the niche community, who practice WebRTC on a daily basis. There is a wider awareness amongst Telco’s of the functionality. However this comes with high levels of skepticism for the tangible benefits of WebRTC and whether it can aid an organization.
Without WebRTC featuring across all browsers Telco professionals appear to have some doubts. To overcome this, browsers such as IE will have to release updates to support WebRTC functions. Developers are likely to be hesitant when investing their time into a technology, which demonstrates a lack of support from the wider collection of browsers and may want to hold back from developing an application to support WebRTC until the wider collections of browsers support WebRTC functions.
Chrome has the dominant market share and their dominance increases year on year. This demonstrates the user preference to use Chrome rather than alternative browsers. Firefox, which also supports WebRTC capabilities, has the second largest market share. Therefore users already have extensive exposure to the technology through the likes of Chrome and Firefox.
Browsers such as IE (as recently seen with their most recent update schedule) are or will be pressured by market demand to support WebRTC functions. The user will eventually migrate to a browser supporting WebRTC when the true benefits of the technology are transparent. The capability for direct in browser communication to the business will soon become second nature, similar to how sending emails have become! However, without an increase in awareness within the market, WebRTC will continue to struggle battling with the biggest hurdle to its acceptance.
We mentioned above developers may not be as willing to spend time and resources in WebRTC. However, companies such as us here at Drum are more excited by the technology advances each day. We continue to develop our own apps, which utilize WebRTC. These apps and services provide both the end user and the Telco’s a real working example of what can be achieved.
Alternative browsers can provide a small barrier to the success of WebRTC. However there is more movement behind the technology from both the users and the developers to utilize WebRTC. It is more of a matter time when other browsers start supporting WebRTC functions rather than questioning when Chrome will stop developing/supporting the technology. What do you see the main pushers to encouraging WebRTC to being adapted within the wider market? How long do you feel it will take for the wider community to be utilising WebRTC on a daily basis?
Laurence Chandler is the Marketing Manager at Drum Web Meetings who regularly shares his thoughts on the industry and WebRTC developments. He is more than happy to be contacted to discuss the industry in more depth. www.thisisdrum.com Drum Web Meetings is a tool designed using WebRTC to communicate within your browser.
Edited by Maurice Nagle