WebRTC World Feature Article

February 28, 2014

Lync Live Chat Solution from Enabling Technologies Corp Challenges WebRTC

One of the industries expected to significantly benefit from WebRTC is the contact center. WebRTC enables organizations to make websites an extended channel of the contact center, and use real-time communication services like live chat, audio and video call and screen sharing right from the browser. Live chat is one of the most commonly used components of communications online today, making it easy for visitors to talk to a company representative immediately, and speeding up the process to find information and answers.

Enabling Technologies Corp, a provider of unified communications solutions, says you don’t need WebRTC to make this possible. The company is making moves into live chat over browsers with ETC WebChat, a live chat solution that uses Microsoft Lync to incorporate a real-time, presence-enabled Web chat on company websites.  

This solution won’t pop up as soon as a visitor lands on a website. Organizations can add a hyperlinked “Chat” icon so send visitors to a separate page, where they can fill out their information and select what department they want to interact with.

ETC WebChat also offers escalation paths in case visitors want to take the chat and jump to a phone call, or share their desktop. Using a custom Lync Extension, there is a “callback” button, joining users in an audio Lync Meeting. There is also an “Escalate to meeting” button in the extension, which brings users to a Lync meeting with full features, such as desktop sharing, audio and video.

The pros: Any organization using Lync can put this functionality on their website with some of the benefits WebRTC offers, such as eliminating plugins and installations. Actually, users do not even need Lync to implement this solution. It also works on any browser – something that slows WebRTC just a little (there are many organizations that enable WebRTC solutions across any browser). There are options to move the chat to a call, if necessary, and it still provides real-time access to an agent or company representative.

The cons: Comparing this to WebRTC and other chat solutions out there already, it’s not as user friendly. Visitors are brought to a separate window, where they have to fill out information – something that may come off as an unnecessary step when other websites have instant access integrated in the same window users were browsing. But overall, chat is chat: as long as visitors are connecting to the right agent and able to communicate effectively in real-time, that’s what matters most to them on their end.

WebRTC and Lync have the potential to offer an enhanced Lync user experience, and there have been plenty of rumors that Microsoft is ready to integrate the two. Until then, however, you can turn to ETC WebChat for this functionality.

What do you think? If your organization uses Lync, is this something that helps you and you would implement? Or are you still drawn to WebRTC-based solutions? 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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