Thanks to Dean Bubley and Phil Edholm for asking me to participate in the Beyond Video Conferencing panel at WebRTC Expo. It was a great discussion and I have been enjoying the follow-up conversations. For those of you that didn’t make it down to sunny Miami, hope to see you at a future WebRTC Expo event, and here is my presentation summary.
Younified Communications, not Unified Communications
You use pogo sticks, skis and delivery trucks for specific reasons. Or maybe you use none of them, but use other transportation “apps” or “services”. Would you ever want to “unify” your transportation to a lowest common denominator solution? You won’t do it with communication either. Unified communications, as commonly defined, looks great on paper but will rarely be seen in the wild.
Communication is actually getting more disunified, disparate and heterogeneous, thanks to WebRTC, pervasive Internet and the supercomputers in our pockets (aka phones). The only commonality is that You are in the center, using the best app or service for the job at hand.
I have over 10 communications apps right now on my phone alone that I use consistently:
- Lync / Skype For Business – because it is the best for IM with my colleagues
- TextStrong - because it is the best for group text messaging
- Phone – because it is one of the apps on this supercomputer ; )
- Whatsapp – because some of my connections use it, and it avoids international roaming charges.
- Jamvee – because it is the best for video conferencing and collaboration
- Text messaging – because it is ubiquitous and simple
- Hangouts- because I use it with certain people
- Chrome mobile browser – because I use it to communicate via many websites
- Outlook - work email
- Gmail – all other email
- Apps from Hertz, Marriott and Uber that could easily have RTC built in
I will have even more communications apps going forwards as apps continue to add integrated, contextual RTC (use our Click2RTC APIs and SDKs to embed RTC into your apps in minutes!) . And you will also have more communications apps tomorrow than you do today.
It is easier for me to switch between communication apps, choosing the best one for the specific job at hand, than to use an app for the job at hand that is *not* the best app for that job.
Disunified. Use-case specific. Contextual. Integrated inside specific experiences. Younified Communications – many apps and services for many purposes, with you deciding which to use, how and when.
Business models for WebRTC and video
The second part of my presentation addressed the question of the business model for video and WebRTC.
Pick your favorite SaaS application. Or maybe your least favorite, but the one your are forced to use the most ; ).
Would the app be better with integrated chat, voice or video? Then it will get it. SaaS apps are getting a voice.
WebRTC and ORTC enables SaaS apps to add RTC. The surrounding ecosystem – integrators, service providers, API and SDK providers, PaaS platforms, service enablers, developers and telcos – has some work to do to make it happen. But it will happen.
And not always full-duplex, synchronous communications. Remember that whole thing about Younified, disunified communications? One-way video. Video “mail”. Quasi-real-time video streams. Whatever best fits the use case and the experience.
Combinations of SaaS, WebRTC, ORTC, mobile and IoT will result in improving our current experiences, and delivering new experiences that we haven’t even thought of yet. Video, when and how it makes sense. Crazy amounts of messaging. Some voice. IoT feeds. Machine-learning guided pushes of real-time content.
All delivered in the manner that you decide to consume it. All delivered to enhance or make your experience instead of taking you away from your experience. Younified Communications, not Unified Communications.Google+