WebRTC and the Enterprise

WebRTC and the Enterprise

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I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought it read “How WebRTC can SAVE the Enterprise.”  So I was like “wow, that’s an interesting thought” because I didn’t know the Enterprise needed to be saved.

The enterprise though has always been about delivering better services, yet doing so at a reduced cost.  This dichotomy has driven a lot of innovation.  Over the summer, I wrote a blog about speech analytics that touched on this same theme.

WebRTC is no different.  First and foremost, WebRTC enables IP calls through the browser, as the interfaces and technology is built into the browser. That means there are no downloads or plug-ins to fool around with.  This is a big deal.  This reduces complexity of IP calls and ultimately reduces IT complexity on the agent side.

Additionally, because WebRTC is built into the browser, customer service can improve.  It’s no secret the calls centers came to be called contact centers because self-help via the website became a preferred and faster way to find and get basic information, so the name morphed.  The article points out that between 70 and 80 percent of contact center interactions in Western business are proceeded by a website visit.  I didn’t know that.  That’s even larger than I would have thought.  It makes sense then that further integrating the website with the phone call experience can save customer time and improve customer service.  WebRTC is the perfect way to further integrate this experience. 

There has also been a trend for contact centers to move to the cloud.  There are many reasons for that such as upgrade cycles / getting the latest technology and ROI / total cost of ownership.  It’s estimated that by the end of 2015 about 20 percent of contact centers will be cloud-based.  As companies move to the cloud for contact centers and because many businesses already use a hosting service for the website, making the move to a hosted website that incorporates WebRTC would not be a big leap.  This would enable even better integration of the website and the contact center.

 I know this isn’t as easy as it sounds though, because of the different sites and vendors involved.  However, it’s a thought that could provide another enabler for WebRTC in the enterprise.

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  • One of the key advantages of WebRTC is that it enables context to be delivered with the call, which is something you just can't do with the PSTN.  This is particularly so with contact centers, because moving from an organization's web site to phoning them in most cases destroys that contextual linkage.  There's historically been no easy way for a contact center agent to be aware of the web browsing history before the call was made; WebRTC changes all that, plus it delivers video as a bonus.

    We've just put up a <a href="webrtchacks.com/.../a> over at webrtcHacks which discusses this.