Day 1 of Enterprise Connect is underway! The buzz concerning WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is palpable, and the major players in the communication space are all chomping at the bit to get their claws into the enterprise. This morning’s sessions included an introduction to WebRTC which was given by executives from Cisco (Cullen Jennings) and Google (Jan Linden). Interestingly, a live demo from the Google guy was given using Apple’s Safari browser!
At any rate, the introduction was informative, and paved the way for the second session which was a round-robin style presentation given representative from Avaya, Microsoft, Acme Packet (recently acquired by Oracle), and Thrupoint. If I were giving a play-by-play, I might say that Avaya (Val Matula) came out swinging, and poo-pooed this new-fangled WebRTC stuff, saying that at the end of the day, control and accountability are still of vital importance to enterprise, and we’ve heard messages about ubiquitous solutions before (SIP). Perhaps his best point though, at least in my opinion, was that while video communication is sometimes critically important for establishing relationships, its utility declines sharply thereafter. Once trust is established to a degree, collaborative activities become most important. We all can likely point to our own experiences where this has proven to be true.
The first counter punch was delivered by Albert Kooiman of Microsoft who (in true Microsoft form) talked about Microsoft’s “Real-Time Web”, (read “we have our own WebRTC standard”) while speaking about cooperation and collaboration with those who are creating the standards for WebRTC.
Things generally settled down when “Can’t we all just get along” proponents from Thrupoint (David Jodoin) and Acme Packet (Jim Donovan) joined the fray. Each gave a description of their solutions that facilitate connectivity between new WebRTC technologies and existing SIP, Unified Communications and (gasp) legacy PBX communications.
As I wrap up this post, we are waiting for the software providers to get cables hooked up so they can demonstrate all their cool new apps! One presenter calling for the need for a “common API” for all those cables!
Stay tuned – there is more to come!