Growing up, there was a television program called Land of the Giants. The premise was the human race was battling against a much larger species of creature and had to survive. And survive they did. While the program didn't have the run length of StarTrek, Bonanza or All in the Family, it could be a blueprint for how today's rising stars in WebRTC have to work and are. Out thinking the giants, being nimble, and resourceful to be victorious.
When I look at this week's Enterprise Connect line up of companies I see parallels to Land of the Giants with companies like Vidtel, AddLive, Twelephone, Zoom, Firespotter Labs (Craig Walker's company) for UberConference and client Magor, who are the kinds of companies who have the nimble and resourceful approach. Some of these are at the new VoiceCon conference, which was renamed Enterprise Connect to be more encompassing in brand name. I also see further "rise of the dump pipe" where carriers like AT&T and Verizon claim to support WebRTC by attending shows like EC, but really only end up enabling, much the way Skype was supported by Verizon Wireless and 3HK, but not really embraced, all the time having their lunch eaten by Skype and soon Microsoft.
Already today we see UberConference using and deploying their service to include WebRTC within GoogleChrome, eliminating the need for a phone or softphone app. That's change for the better and I predict those in the softphone biz will be migrating in that direction, not to replace what they have, but to support what they offer to enable those who can use WebRTC to be able to do more, with less. As a global nomad road warrior who has been using my iPads and Android Nexus 7 so intensively the last month, I can't wait until WebRTC and support for it comes to those and my iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices.
Each of these small and nimble companies are embracing WebRTC, not fighting it. And more importantly, each is looking at how to really reshape the way people communicate, and engage more in conversations.
As the world migrates from Instant Messaging to Instant Conversations, we will leave behind SMS 1.0. The executioner of SMS, WhatsApp is proving that every day, and if they ever added WebRTC would redefine the idea of how to keep in touch instantly. We would leave behind the need for emoticons, as we'll be able to see, talk, share and refer to what we're thinking in real-time, one one one or in groups, all within the browser on our computers today, and soon on our smartphones and tablets. Make no mistake, WebRTC will first be an OTT (over the top) or UTF (Under the Floor) type experience long before it's mainstream, but as we're seeing with Skype and Google Hangouts, people in the workplace want to engage in the concept of visual conversations, not simply talk, text and share a screen. They want to work collaboratively together, regardless of distance, time zone or geography.
Oh, and at Enterprise Connect there's even a conference within a conference about WebRTC, as well as the Byte Innovation Showcase, two events that show off what's coming or what you need to know about. To me, the company that can blend all this together is the winner, not the compay that simply adds a tube inside the pipe.