Whether you realize it or not, Web Real-time Communication (RTC) platforms are the cornerstone of most communication-enabled services today. On the consumer side, we interact with WebRTC for a whole range of applications and browser-to-browser audio and video conferencing options. That’s because WebRTC, in most cases, is the stack that enables us to make a call with one-click by pushing an icon representing the call, or another endpoint. This option might pop up when you want to connect with a Verizon customer service agent to discuss your current data plan, or you talk with a technical support specialist regarding your Microsoft Office 365 account. Also, think of social media-driven messaging applications such as Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Viber, and more. Each relies on a WebRTC platform at some level to make these apps work seamlessly.
At its core, WebRTC combines two independent branches of IT: VoIP and the web. In doing so, it gives web developers the ability to add real-time communication capabilities to their website or web application. While WebRTC stacks are useful for those big-name companies that have a dedicated IT staff to build-in integrations with existing platforms, what about for startups or other companies looking at WebRTC? What are some options to consider? This is where Communication Platforms-as-a-Service (CPaaS) capabilities come into play. CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that enables developers to add real-time communications features such as voice, video, and messaging into their applications efficiently. This built-in component is critical because organizations can take advantage of WebRTC features and functionality, without the need to build complex, back-end configurations from scratch. As is the case with other as-a-service or cloud offerings, CPaaS brings the benefit of pay-as-you-go, and much-needed scalability and flexibility benefits. Let’s look at some of the most significant reasons to leverage CPaaS when looking at WebRTC.
1. More than voice and text, adding video-enabled communication! Where voice and mobile options were once a must-have for businesses, the ability to support video communication in the enterprise, or in an application solution, has quickly become an imperative for most. APIs supported by favorite CPaaS vendors, such as TokBox or Twilio or Vidyo, show how WebRTC is transforming the communications landscape and proliferating video calling services into everything from enterprise collaboration to customer-facing applications. Examples might include applications such as embedding real-time video conference solutions into a customer help desk or supporting enhanced team collaboration. Or it might consist of a healthcare provider offering telehealth services or a traditional bank offering video banking services, just to name a few. With the right CPaaS and imagination, the opportunities to integrate mobility, communication and collaboration functionality within business applications are endless.
2. Powering omnichannel marketing- The market for real-time communications delivered from CPaaS is driven by the demand from consumers for convenience and by marketers’ drive to adopt a real omnichannel strategy. An omnichannel marketing approach and messaging have proven to deliver outstanding results when it comes to providing better customer experiences, increasing brand visibility and capitalizing on new channels and interactions with customers. WebRTC stacks packaged with CPaaS are omnichannel marketers dream because they eliminate the need to develop custom real-time communication applications. And, they enable businesses to deliver a consistent customer experience, coordinating messages sent across voice, video, and mobile. Look for a CPaaS that provides a development framework that integrates RTC into its communication stack. Support might include pre-built applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) as well as product support and documentation. With this support businesses of all stripes, from healthcare, to retail, to industrial and manufacturing can offer communication and support services that are unified, streamlined, and ensure a consistent customer experience.
3. Bringing context to customer communications– For most modern businesses, it’s been a long-time battle to gather context around customer interactions. For instance, if a customer is searching on their phone for a particular service and they decide to call later and make a purchase, that agent won’t have the background or context around that customer. WebRTC helps bridge this gap because it sees all these communications as the same as they all take place over IP (i.e., voice, video, IM or through a mobile app). CPaaS options that offer WebRTC and APIs to connect disparate systems give organizations the ability to collect data across all IP channels and analyze the information to build context around interactions. In turn, these analytics features can help companies gain visibility into their communications and positively shape future interactions.
The beauty of WebRTC is that it's an engine that powers innovative user experiences all around one-touch communication. It brings together voice, video, IM and mobile channels with simplified development and integration options and a unified hub. Whether an organization is looking to build a new disruptive digital business initiative or add single-touch voice and video options to a legacy HR application, watch for simplified CPaaS capabilities to continue to expand WebRTC adoption in new and exciting ways.