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Monday, June 10, 2013

WebRTC partnerships and ecosystems

One of the things I'm expecting to hear a lot about at the upcoming Atlanta WebRTC conference & expo is partnering and the formation of vendor ecosystems.

Most enterprises and telcos putting together WebRTC solutions – even simple ones such as extensions of VoIP or messaging, or basic customer-service apps – will be reliant on multiple vendors. To this end, we are starting to see the emergence of several “ecosystems” or groups of partnerships. Disruptive Analysis views this as a critical factor for vendor success in the near term.

Some examples include:

·        Oracle/Acme works with Quobis & others
·        Ericsson partners with Mozilla
·        Crocodile is working with Telestax (Mobicents)

Over the next 3-6 months, expect to see many more similar alignments between complementary players, as well as further tactical acquisitions. Specialists such as Zingaya and Thrupoint are likely to carve important roles here, as well as a number of the API providers such as Twilio and AddLive.

I actually wrote the paragraph above in the quarterly WebRTC update I published last week for Disruptive Analysis research report subscribers. Looks like I scored a direct hit - Today I've just seen this announcement and demo from one of the companies mentioned - Zingaya - working with Cisco and another specialist firm, for a clever retail-banking WebRTC demo. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRbLnj4r71M&feature=youtu.be and more info at http://www.thrupoint.com/2013/06/thrupoint-cisco-syngrafii-light-up-mobile-banking-app/

I think this will be especially important for the growing number of vendors providing WebRTC gateways to telco or enterprise infrastructure. On its own, a gateway is going to be rather useless. It will need to be blended into particular solutions, with specific feature-sets optimised for particular use cases. It will also need to be deployed with the end-user experience in mind, and the realities of mobile apps as well. This will mean design and client-side expertise, as well as testing, security and assorted other realms of software and consulting. 

Few vendors - if any - will be able to do all of this on their own. And as yet, we haven't really seen big system integrators wake up to WebRTC, although surely that is just a matter of time. What will be important in the very short term is the establishment of concrete partnerships and developer ecosystems - I think that will be a key determinant of which vendors emerge as actual commercial winners, versus those with standalone me-too products.

2 comments:

Mark Hadfield said...

Dean,

You did not mention Ondello.com. We are pursuing exactly the strategy your post implies. WebRTC needs to cover a lot more bases than simply browser protocol embeds. Usability, UI features, integration, browser incompatibility and more need to be provided for. Companies that want to jump ahead can leverage pre-built solutions such as Ondello to do this without reinventing the wheel.

Tsahi Levent-Levi said...

Dean,

I think you can add here Voxeo and Joyent, who are doing that in Ameche but also around WebRTC as far as I can understand.

And then there's Vidtel and Haverford Systems (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vidtel-and-haverford-systems-partner-to-deliver-cloud-based-any-to-any-video-collaboration-209911771.html).

Tsahi