WebRTC World Feature Article

January 30, 2015

OnSIP: WebRTC Needs More Developers On Board

We are still in the early stages of WebRTC, and during this time getting people to adopt the technology is just as important as making sure it works. More and more developers are becoming involved in WebRTC development, and while in the past the emphasis has been on appealing to the customer service industry for interest and support, honing the technology itself is now taking more of a front seat in the process. John Riordan, CTO of business phone service OnSIP, believes that it’s the right time.

In an interview with Webrtcworld’s Erik Linask at the fifth annual WebRTC Conference & Expo, Riordan explained that, in addition to rising industry interest in WebRTC, “getting a handle on things actually working has been a big change.” In terms of stability and reliability, as well as the sheer number of products that WebRTC can now be built on top of, “WebRTC has come a long way from where it was a few years ago.”

While other customer service industry providers have just begun considering the ease of use WebRTC offers both businesses and their customers, OnSIP has been working on integrating the technology for a while now. Recently, the company released InstaPhone for Salesforce, a phone that allows Salesforce users to receive phone calls in Salesforce without needing plugins or additional phone equipment. In conjunction with InstaPhone, OnSIP also launched an integrated product called InstaCall that takes advantage of the universal communication capabilities of WebRTC.

With InstaCall, companies can include a call button on their webpage that links customers directly to a customer service agent’s phone line through the browser. Once a call comes in to the sales rep, the customer’s context information is brought along with that, providing the agent with a lot more information upfront—saving time for both parties and improving the experience of the interaction. As far as OnSIP and Riordan are concerned, it seems that in the WebRTC arena, context information is becoming a huge draw for customer service companies, and OnSIP is already finding ways to provide that for businesses.

While OnSIP appears to have a solid handle on the customer experience side of WebRTC, Riordan believes that it’s important for developers of all kinds to start coming together on the burgeoning technology. In particular, WebRTC experts and HTML5 developers need to start coming together. After all, the two languages are inextricably linked, and Riordan is surprised there hasn’t been more of a merging interest from both sides for a while now.

“We’ve been sponsors of an open source project called SIP.js, released about a year ago. It’s a JavaScript SIP stack that’s completely open source, and we’re encouraging people to use it and build their WebRTC applications on top of it,” Riordan said.

In terms of targeting developers, OnSIP noted a shift in WebRTC attention this past year. “This is an interesting show for us,” Riordan explained. “We’ve got the HTML5 Developer Conference right next door, and we’re actually running back and forth between the two of them. It’s nice to bring the two groups together—getting the developers interested and understanding it, and also bringing them so close to the WebRTC Conference.”

Ultimately, developers are going to be the ones doing the behind-the-scenes work in integrating WebRTC into browsers and mobile applications, but it seems like developers and experts from both sides are beginning to compare notes. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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