Google, Mozilla, Opera team to develop common WebRTC platform

Technology is 'completely disruptive,' says Vidtel chief

MIAMI--WebRTC is a "completely disruptive" technology that will eliminate barriers to the use of video in enterprise, predicted Scott Wharton, CEO of cloud-based video-conferencing firm Vidtel.

WebRTC offers web application developers the ability to write real-time multimedia applications, such as video chat, on the web using Javascript application programming interfaces (APIs). WebRTC's purpose is to build a real-time communications (RTC) platform that works across multiple web browsers and platforms, explained the WebRTC group sponsored by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Mozilla and Opera.

During a Friday panel at the ITExpo, Wharton warned that the interoperability of unified communications systems is "dramatically harder now." He said WebRTC can ease the interoperability problem in video systems because it provides a common standard.

Last week, Vidtel announced that its MeetMe and Gateway cloud services natively support WebRTC, which enables users to connect to cloud-based or premise-based video conferencing using their web browser.

Dan Rusheleau, strategic marketing manager at video-conferencing firm Magor, said, "We look at WebRTC as a really great way to provide accessibility… The next step is to take WebRTC and wrap the collaborative aspect into it,"

Jeff Dworkin, director of marketing for session border controller (SBC) provider Sangoma, said WebRTC is one example of a broader UC trend that he called "clientless communication--the idea that hand-held devices are now powerful enough to do all this stuff."

"At the application level, we are not sure what will happen, but at the back-end, it will be very disruptive," he added.

Dworkin said Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is going to leverage its position in the back-end office and on the desktop. "They will be bigger than an 800 pound gorilla," he predicted. "When they took Skype from being just a collaborative tool and started making it look like a PBX replacement product, they said, 'Okay, we're just going to sit back and wait,' while other UC and PBX manufacturers have to sell their systems every day to stay in business… It's a complete war of attrition."

Sherman Scholten, vice president of marketing at VoIP equipment provider Obihai Technology, said that for WebRTC or any other technology to succeed, "there has to be a market opportunity and there have to companies with the engineering expertise that are focused on going after that opportunity. That opportunity might end up being using things like SIP and WebRTC, plus the legacy experience, to create that services that the market wants… There is an opportunity to provide products that are supremely interoperable," he concluded.

WebRTC is beginning to have an impact on the enterprise communications space. Whether it revolutionizes enterprise communications or is just another technology fad remains to be seen.

For more:
- check out the WebRTC website
- see the Vidtel announcement

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