The Tragedy of WebRTC is UC and IMS

24 Jun 2014

I came to a realization lately: the tragedy of WebRTC is Unified Communications and IMS.

No, it isn't the fact that they make the case for NOT needing WebRTC. It is because the people who are aware of WebRTC today are those who are most hurt by it.

It hit me when I saw Eric Krapf's notion of the 40/60 WebRTC split:

"Ultimately, the 60/40 split on this question makes perfect sense; actually, the fact that 40% of respondents expect to see a peer-to-peer model seems to me like a big win for WebRTC."

I think it is more of an 80/20 split:

80% of the people who are marginally aware of WebRTC have a 20% potential of making any difference.

WebRTC is about the fusion of Web with RTC. It is where the web swallows up communications as an industry and remodels it to fit the way the web happens to be architected. NOT vice versa. It is about rethinking the way we view VoIP and telecom. It is not about adding yet-another-access-point-to-an-existing-service.

The general population isn't aware of WebRTC. Just check LinkedIn and see how many profiles have WebRTC in them. We are still huddled in our small VoIP bubble - be it UC or IMS - where we look at WebRTC, downplaying its affects; or using it for obvious use cases.

What is missing in WebRTC is wider recognition (and understanding) of the technology by web developers - those who are clueless about real time, RTP, codecs and other curse words we use.

The tragedy of WebRTC? That we all say it is overhyped when the problem we have is that WebRTC is still an obscure technology to most people who stand to gain from knowing how to develop with it.

The worst thing that happened to WebRTC? The fact that we telecom guys have embraced it so closely.