WebRTC World Feature Article

January 29, 2015

Anymeeting: WebRTC Could be Huge - If Everyone Embraces It

Digital capabilities have revolutionized the way businesses small and large communicate. No longer limited to in-person meetings and one-on-one phone calls, employees today can interface through voice and video calls, hold virtual video conferences, and host webinars—all from their workspace. WebRTC is a highly valuable tool in making conferencing more readily available across multiple browsers, but implementation has not yet been across the board, leaving plenty of room for WebRTC—and virtual business communications—to grow.

At the fifth annual WebRTC Conference & Expo, Webrtcworld had the chance to talk conferencing and WebRTC with Costin Tuculesco from Anymeeting, a company that offers a free, full-featured Web conferencing, video conferencing, and webinar platform built specifically for small businesses. “We focus on simplicity, ease of use, and value,” Tuculesco said, describing Anymeeting to Webrtcworld’s Erik Linask. One of the greatest features of the company’s platform is that small businesses can implement it across their entire sales or marketing team, so that small businesses can still very affordably gain access to advanced conferencing and webinar tools on a tight budget.

In the sense of its user-friendliness and accessibility, the concept behind Anymeeting is similar to the concept driving WebRTC integration, which creates a sort of universal language between browsers and their applications to maximize sharing and communications in-browser.

Anymeeting has had its eyes on WebRTC since it become stable in the Chrome browser roughly a year and a half ago. Since then, the company implemented WebRTC into its Chrome version and, as a result, “we’ve seen a nice raise in auto quality and performance on the Web,” Tuculesco explained. “One of our big differentiators is that we don’t require downloads or installs from attendees, so if you’re holding a webinar or Web conference, users just log right in through their browser. Because of WebRTC, now we’re able to get the best of breed echo cancellation, the best codec for our Chrome users, and their audio experience has just gone through the roof.”

Despite the obvious benefits WebRTC has afforded Anymeeting’s services through Chrome, the company cannot fully take advantage of WebRTC because it hasn’t yet been widely adopted. The lack of support from Microsoft and Apple, in particular, has had a definite impact on WebRTC proliferation—and companies’ ability to use it.

“It’s made tough for us to really get fully on board with WebRTC, even though we’ve done everything we can with Chrome. We do still support all those browsers through a Flash fallback, so it really hasn’t impacted our customer experience very much, but WebRTC audio technology is superior to Flash, so we would love to see Microsoft and Apple get on board.”

While the use of WebRTC may not make a huge, noticeable difference for end users—besides improved audio quality— implementing full WebRTC on the service provider side would make a big difference, as it would help to streamline back-end support and operations. “For end users, it just has to work, and that’s what we do for them,” Tuculesco added. “I really think what’s been holding WebRTC back as an industry has been the lack of ubiquitous browser support.”

It’s clear to many that, while WebRTC isn’t really as prominent in the marketplace today as it should be, this doesn’t mean it will lag behind forever. Ten or 15 years from now, if the implementation is there, WebRTC stands to become highly ubiquitous for business communications across the Web. Tuculesco, for one, certainly believes in the power of the technology. “I think if we nail the codec issues and all the browsers implement it whole-heartedly, it’ll be the de facto standard for all communication digitally, and while there may still be some PSTN that routes in, it’ll be huge—just about everywhere.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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