What I Learned from TNW About WebRTC and UC

WebRTC along with trends such as cloud and APIs are changing the value chain of video calling services.

The way I viewed it up until recently?

201308-WebRTC-value-chain

  • The browser vendors are now replacing the slew of technology vendors – especially the media engine companies
  • A new vendor now offers the technology – these are the API vendors, and there are a handful of them already
  • And then comes the product or service – the actual use case that is being fulfilled

But then comes the following value chain:

201308-WebRTC-value-chain-TNW

  • We have TokBox, a specific API vendor on top of the browsers
  • LiveNinja is the service vendor – an experts market vendor. They have built their service on top of TokBox
  • TWN Academy runs on top of… LiveNinja

You can read about the integration work done between LiveNinja and TNW in the academy announcement.

The takeaway for UC vendors?

1. HTML5

WebRTC is HTML5. It means rapid development – something you won’t find in the UC domain. In Brad McCarty’s words from the announcement:

“The polish on the product, especially considering its young age at the time, was beyond what we typically see anywhere. In the year and few months that have followed, I’ve gotten to see Will and the team continually test, iterate and improve LiveNinja, molding it into an incredible portal for one-on-one learning online.”

2. APIs

WebRTC is an API. And in its spirit, and due to the fact that this is a young ecosystem, most vendors who delve into WebRTC build their own APIs, enabling mashups and integration points. While these exist in other products, the web and REST makes it easier to handle:

On the back end, TNW’s development team has been hard at work integrating our Paydro payments solution, as well as automating the confirmation and invitation processes.

3. Verticals

UC vendors selling to verticals should start looking at WebRTC seriously – verticals will be the first to get disrupted due to the need for integrating video into business processes.

In this case, TNW decided to partner with a WebRTC vendor and not a UC vendor to fulfill its video calling requirements. How long until others follow suit?

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