WebRTC, Chrome, Market share. These are all intertwined, but WebRTC isn’t the only reason Chrome is dominant today.
The nagging question about support of WebRTC in Internet Explorer and Safari refuse to go away. I hear them almost on a daily basis in meetings I have, emails I receive and posts I read. In recent months. Things being what they are for the past 5 years or so, I have decided to ask a slightly different question –
If a browser doesn’t support WebRTC – will it hurt the browser’s adoption?
My inclination until recently was that WebRTC doesn’t matter that much. It is a great technology, but it won’t really hurt the market share of browser vendors that decide not to adopt it wholeheartedly.Want to run WebRTC on anything? Check out my free WebRTC Device Cheat Sheet.
And then I read this story: Safari browser sheds users, mimicking IE
According to California-based analytics vendor Net Applications, in March 2015, an estimated 69% of all Mac owners used Safari to go online. But by last month, that number had dropped to 56%, a drop of 13 percentage points — representing a decline of nearly a fifth of the share of two years prior.
I took the liberty of using StatCounter for my own check, focusing on the desktop browser and operating system (mobile is different opera).
Here’s what you’ll find when you look from the beginning of 2012 and up until today – roughly the time frame of WebRTC’s existence:
Is Safari really keeping its market share or losing market share? To answer that question, we need to look at the desktop operating systems market share for that same period:
I’ll make it simple for you. In the past 5 years, OS X grew from around 7% to over 11%. That’s a growth of over 50% in its market share.
While at the same time, Safari, available only on OS X AND the default browser on OS X – didn’t grew in its market share.
Which means that people using Mac OS X are now more inclined towards using Chrome than they were 5 years ago.
Today, people CHOOSE their browser on the desktop and don’t use the default one provided to them by the operating system.
And when they choose, they more often than not pick Chrome.
This is a tough question to answer. For me, it is the one I am most comfortable with. Since I switched to it from Firefox years ago, I never looked back – and when I do – I just return back to Chrome.
If I had to estimate, it has to do with developers. It isn’t quite related to APIs, apps or the creation of developer ecosystems where innovation and value creation happens.
No. It is about developers as early adopters.
The people who spread the word and get their friends and family to switch browsers when things don’t work for them.
The people who end up building websites and working on them daily on… Chrome… which brings it all into a virtuous cycle, as now sites work better on Chrome, so you end up having more users use it, which means developers will target it first, increasing its popularity.
Google has done a lot to get it there. It started by making a lean and mean browser that had tabs crash independently of each other, and from there it grew with the set of rich developer tools it has and the technologies packed into it.
Other browsers have been trying recently to innovate as well, but it seems this haven’t caught on with the mainstream crowds just yet.Is this a good thing?
Today, Chrome is the de facto standard for browser behavior.
There are other browsers as well, but their market share is declining – not growing or even stagnating. If this continues, Chrome will become the only play in town on the desktop.
This isn’t a good thing. It gives too much power in the hands of Google.
That said, Chrome is mostly open source (Chromium), it adheres to standards as much as can be expected from a product used by so many people daily.
But they can change their minds at some point in the future.
On the other hand, we’re now all mobile, and there, the browser is a lot less important.What does that mean for WebRTC?
as stated, Chrome is the de facto standard for browser behavior.
So much so that Edge is doing its best to look like a Chrome browser to developers, making it easier to interoperate with.
Should you develop based on the WebRTC specification? No.
You should develop based on what’s available in Chrome and what is planned for it in the mid term, as well as make use of adapter.js.
There’s the W3C flavor of WebRTC and then there’s the Chrome implementation of WebRTC.
Developers should stick to the Chrome implementation of WebRTC.
If you need WebRTC to work for you, you’ll need to understand how to get it running on any device and browser. My WebRTC Device Cheat Sheet is still as relevant as ever. It’s free, so go ahead and download it.
The post Does WebRTC has a Role in Chrome’s Market Dominance? appeared first on BlogGeek.me.
Is it finally the year of video? Who knows.
Up until recently, there wasn’t much out there for anyone who wanted to really use video in his use case. In the past few months we’ve seen so many announcements and moves that makes video as a service seem almost commonplace.
Who are these new and old players and what is it that they are doing in 2017?TokBox
TokBox has been the main player when it comes to multiparty video with WebRTC. In 2012, they got acquired by Telefonica, but left as an independent entity. This gives them stability of sorts.
Their main competitor – AddLive – got acquired in 2014 and taken off market. Other vendors tried to enter that same niche, but no one caught on in the same way.
What’s interesting is the path that TokBox selected for itself. It is resisting the path of connecting to legacy directly. Their offering doesn’t include PSTN or phone numbers. On the other hand, they have been progressing and expanding their video support into broadcast.
Their recent announcement tells a story of large scale live broadcast:
It seems that any type of workload that relates to real time and video is where TokBox is.Twilio
Twilio is getting ready to become a serious video player.
In 2015, almost two years ago, Twilio came out with video chat capabilities. Since then, it stayed mostly in beta, with 1:1 video chat support only.
Last year, Twilio acquired Kurento (or at least some important parts of it along with the its developers). This acquisition of Kurento was about “programmable video” – the ability to do multiparty, but also much more. Last month? Twilio introduced a new Rooms API – a first step in offering multiparty video.
For Twilio, this is a catch-up game, trying to fit the many requirements of video. It starts with multiparty video, moves on to recording, then hybrid support of video/voice/telephony and from there to live broadcast and whoever knows what comes next.
In 2017, Twilio probably won’t be the best of breed solution for video, buy hey – if you’re already using them for voice and/or messaging – it makes sense to source video from the same vendor.Vidyo.io
Vidyo.io is new to CPaaS but they are not new to video.
Vidyo have been working over a decade on video conferencing. Longer than other CPaaS vendors. They did that in the enterprise, offering multiparty video using SVC technology. This gave them an edge in media quality competing with enterprise video conferencing giants Cisco and Polycom at the time.
Now they are bringing this technology and their know how to the cloud and developers via Vidyo.io. And it doesn’t hurt that they are collaborating with Google on getting SVC into VP9…
They are also an enterprise player, which is where the action seems to be today for CPaaS.
One has to wonder how this is going to affect the other players in this space.Others?
There are other players out there in CPaaS. Some offering video from the start while others adding it onto their voice offering. Notable names include Agora, TrueVoice and VoxImplant. Each with his own flavor. Each with his own story.
How big is this pond and is there room for so many players?
Want to make the best decision on the right WebRTC platform for your company? Now you can! Check out my WebRTC PaaS report, written specifically to assist you with this task.Is this only about CPaaS?
While we’re on this topic, what about enablers? Vendors or frameworks who offer the ability to use WebRTC video in your own installation – cloud or on prem? There we had only Jitsi in the past, but now?
Here’s the thing though… There is still no one-size-fits-all.
Chuwi Hi10 Protablet is sold for about $200 with an attachable keyboard, which makes it a potential candidate to replace my old Acer Aspire One and run Linux on it. It’s also equipped with a high-quality 10″, 1920×1200 IPS screen.
The tablet is based on Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU, which requires a fresh Linux kernel. So I started with pre-release of Lubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus).
So far, out of the box:
Solving the screen orientation:
In /etc/default/grub, edit the following setting:GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="fbcon=rotate:1"
Then, add the following to make lightdm rotate the screen automatically:cat >/etc/lightdm/chuwi_hi10_screen_orientation.sh <<'EOT' #!/bin/sh xrandr --orientation right EOT cat >/etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/50_chuwi_hi10.conf <<'EOT' [SeatDefaults] display-setup-script=/etc/lightdm/chuwi_hi10_screen_orientation.sh EOT # this will apply the setting immediately: systemctl restart lightd
There is one bug though: for some reason, the display manager still thinks it’s the old resolution, e.g. 1920 on vertical resolution, so all fonts look much smaller than they are, and window closing buttons are hardly visible. If I start lightdm without my customization and login, and then run “xrandr –orientation right”, all fonts and window controls are of normal size.
Windows recognizes the WiFi hardware as “Realtek RTL8723BS Wireless LAN 802.11n SDIO Network Adapter”, so I need to figure out how to make it work in Linux. This fix does not work with kernel 4.10.0-11 (bug is already filed: https://github.com/hadess/rtl8723bs/issues/119)
Time for another refresh of my WebRTC CpaaS report.
Call it what you want – WebRTC PaaS, CPaaS, API Platform, Communication API – they all end up doing a couple of things for the industry:
Today, I am launching the update of my Choosing a WebRTC API Platform report. It is now in its 6th edition with almost 4 years behind it already.Before I begin – a thanks to my sponsor on this one
This time, I have a launch sponsor for the report – one of the new vendors that are profiled in it – Vidyo.
Vidyo launched recently CPaaS that enables you to embed real time video experiences into applications (here’s my recent analysis). While they are not the first in the market to do so, they bring with them some interesting SVC capabilities.
You can read more about SVC in this guest post by Alex Eleftheriadis – Chief Scientist & Co-founder of Vidyo.
SVC is a mechanism by which you can layer a video you are encoding in a way that allows peeling off the layers along the path the video takes – without needing to decode the video. This seemingly innocuous capability brings with it two very powerful capabilities:
That second capability is often forgotten – it is what can make or break great video experiences over things like WiFi or 4G networks.
SVC is starting to make its way into WebRTC, and you see developers tinkering with it. Vidyo has been at it longer than most, and have it boiled into their product. Vidyo already has SVC as an integrated part of their backend as well as their mobile and PC SDKs. When will that get enabled in their WebRTC part of the offering is a question to them, but you can assume it will have all the bells and whistles required.
Anyway, you can learn more about Vidyo.io in this report sample.
This report will guide you through the process of deciding how to tackle the task of developing your product:
Having this kind of information can reduce the risks of your project by enabling you to make a more informed decision.What’s new in this report?
You still won’t find marketing BS in this one such as weird market sizing numbers going to billions of dollars or devices with estimates of 2030.
That said, there are 4 important changes I made to the report:#1 – New Vendors
The main driver for these report updates are two: major changes in existing vendors (multiparty video support in Twilio for example) and new entrants to the market.
In this update, we have 3 new entrants to the market, and they are all interesting:
I will be writing some more about the new video players in CPaaS next week.#2 – Outlier Vendors
As time goes by, vendors and their products change and shift focus. Since my first release of the report this was bound to happen. Which is why I “migrated” some vendor profiles to a new section about outliers.
In some cases, you can use an outlier vendor instead of a CPaaS one, assuming your use cases fits what they have on sale. These vendors essentially cover a specific type of behavior (such as contact centers who offer visual assistance, or a click to dial consultation service for independent professionals). They might also target a very niche set of customers that just not fit what I am looking for in this report.
While they are SaaS companies in nature, they do have APIs and do offer some deep integration capabilities – and they are viable approaches to research for your product.
Two vendors who were profiled in this report in the past now find their home in this section:
And then there are platform vendors that got acquired, shut down or stopped catering for developers altogether. They were once profiled in the report, and are no longer with us.
They now have a whole section for themselves.
The reason I am not removing it? It isn’t due to sentiment. It is because this stuff is important. I believe that understanding the past and how these dynamics work will help make a better decision. It will give some more insights into the stability and trajectory of the “living” vendors in the report.
Whose gone to my deadpool section?
Each vendor section here is frozen in time, at the last point of its update. Reasons for its death have been added.
Hopefully, future updates of this report won’t make this section grow any bigger.#4 – Multiparty Explainer
It is 2017, and it seems that many of the WebRTC API Platform vendors are now offering multiparty support of one kind of another.
When it comes to video, there’s a variety of alternative technologies of getting there. These affect pricing, quality and flexibility of the solution. It was appropriate to add that as an additional factor in the report, which means that now, there’s a new appendix in the report giving an explanation of the differences between mesh, mixing, routing, simulcast and scalability.The Timespan Aspect of the report
This is something I added in the previous update and just… updated again in this round.
When I got to updating the vendor profiles this time around, I found this addition really useful for myself – and I try to follow the industary and gauge its heartbeat on a daily basis.
This is a small section added at the end of each vendor’s profile, where I added an “investment” section – an indication of what did the vendor introduced to the market since the pervious report. This can really show what these vendors are focusing on for growth and are they in the process of pivoting out.
Take for example the investment section I have for SightCall:
Green indicates investment into the API platform. Yellow indicates some investment. White with no text means nothing to write home about. And red means defocus in investment – putting money in non-API activities.
In this case, it is understandable that after SightCall’s investment in its Visual Assist service (May 2016), which was probably successful for them, they pivoted out of the general API market. Which is also the reason there is no update for it in March 2017.
This this is now part of each vendor’s profile in the report, so you can now factor it in with your vendor selection process (I know I would).How about the price of this report?
The report’s price is $1950 USD. That includes:
If you make your buy decision today, you’ll get a 35% discount by using the FASTMOVER coupon.
How do you do that?
Click to purchase the Premium package of the report.
Then on the shopping cart, make sure to indicate the coupon.
Prices go back up tomorrow at midnight, so better purchse this report now.
The post Check the Pulse of WebRTC and CPaaS in my Updated Report appeared first on BlogGeek.me.
Who really knows?Local or global for CPaaS?
In the past two months I’ve been conducting briefings with a lot of the CPaaS vendors out there. Some of them are now being added to my Choosing a WebRTC API Platform report that is getting a refresh next month.
During these chats, I came to realize a relatively lesser known type of CPaaS – the localized one.
To me, it was almost always about two types of players: you were either a “telco” or a global players. Telcos were based in their geography of operation, both limited and protected in their environment due to rules and regulations. Global players were the pure XaaS cloud vendors. I even created a nice graphic for that in 2013, comparing telcos to OTTs:
What we see now are mainly UCaaS vendors who are trying to join the CPaaS world. Put simply – vendors offering phone systems as a service to enterprises adding APIs for developers.
There are two reasons why these vendors are local in nature:
For UCaaS, this localization might not a real issue. Corporations are still thinking locally, even the global ones. You work with people. And use phone numbers, so you tend to use the “law of the land” in every country. From how you allocate phone numbers to what exactly BYOD means at that country.
The problem starts when you want to serve one of two markets as your customers:
That first one always existed. But I believe there are more of them today – smaller sized companies are reaching out globally, making them “multinatoinal corporations”.
The second? More of them as well, but probably focused on specific industries – high-tech comes to mind immediately.What changes when moving to CPaaS while staying local?
First thing you’ll notice with these vendors, is that while they may be using AWS for their data centers and are offering WebRTC connectivity and VoIP, their distribution across AWS data centers ends up looking something like this:
This means that WebRTC calling is going to be affected – and not for the better. If I need to get a call going in France (2 people in Paris for example), then they get connected via US East – maybe even rounting their media through US East. Which lends itself to a bad user experience.
For UCaaS we might not care, as this would be an outlier – but for CPaaS?
The difference now is that we are API driven in what we do. We build processes around our company to offer programmatic communications. And these tend to be wider spread than the local mindset of corporate communications.
Are we using CPaaS to enable our customers to interact directly with each other? Are our customers as local as our own company is?The end result
In most cases, the end result is simple. CPaaS is there as an API initiative for the UCaaS vendor.
As companies learn the importance and strength of integrations (see Slack and many of the new startups who offer B2B services and capabilities), they tend to offer APIs on top of their own infrastructure. One that their customers can use to integrate better. This makes CPaaS just that API layer.
In the same way that a movie rating company would offer an API that exposes its ratings, a UCaaS vendor exposes an API that enables communications – and then coins it CPaaS.
Only it may not really be CPaaS – just an API layer on top of his UCaaS offering.
The business models here are also different – they tend to be per seat and not per transaction. They tend to rely on the notion that the customer already paid for UCaaS, so no need to double dip when he uses CPaaS as long as he does that reasonably.
Does this make it any worse?
It just makes it different, but still something you’d like to try out and see if it fits your needs.
Is this confusing? The whole UCaaS/CPaaS area is murky and mired with doubletalk and marketing speak. It is really hard to dig deeper and understand what you’re getting before trying it out.
Tomorrow I’ll be starting out a short series of emails about the decision making process of build vs buy – building a comms infrastructure versus adopting a CPaaS offering. If you aren’t subscribed to my newsletter, then you should subscribe now, as these emails will not be available here on the blog.
While Windows may no longer be the default platform it was a decade ago it still has a huge and active community. More than 400 million devices support Windows 10 and there are many millions of .NET and Visual Studio users out there. In fact, I made my first WebRTC application in .NET using XSockets years ago. In […]
The post New Windows into WebRTC with UWP: Q&A with Microsoft’s James Cadd appeared first on webrtcHacks.
All paths lead to the enterprise.
My report was titled Choosing a WebRTC API Platform vendor. Later, I leaned towards calling it WebRTC PaaS. Last year, a new industry term starting to get used a lot – CPaaS – Communication Platform as a Service. These in many cases will include WebRTC, which leads me to call the vendors in my report CPaaS from time to time.
I am currently working on the 6th edition of my report. It has come a long way since it was first introduced. A theme that has grown over the years and especially in the past several months is the way vendors are vying towards the enterprise. It makes sense in a way.
Here are 3 different approaches CPaaS vendors are taking when they are targeting the enterprise.#1 – Special Pricing
The current notion that WebRTC is free. This in turn leads vendors in this space towards a race to the bottom when it comes to pricing. This leads vendors to look at other alternatives, bringing them towards the enterprise.
Because enterprises are willing to pay. Maybe.
This special pricing for enterprise means they pay more for a package that may accomodate them a bit better.
Check out for example Twilio’s Enterprise Plan. It starts at $15,000/month, offering more control over the account – user roles, single sign on, events auditing, etc.
It is a great way to grow from the penny pinching game of all the platform users to some serious numbers. Only question is – would enterprises be willing to see the extra value and pay premium for it? I sure hope they do, otherwise, we may have a big problem.#2 – Extending UCaaS to CPaaS
The second set of players viying for a place in the enterprise CPaaS game? The UCaaS players.
If you do UCaaS, Unified Communication as a Service, then you have an infrastructure already that can be leveraged for the use of CPaaS. Or at least the story says.
Who do we have here?
The challenge here is the change in the nature of the business and the expectations of the customers. Developers aren’t IT. They have different decition processes, different values they live by. Selling to them is different.#3 – Simplifying and Customizing
There are those who try to simplify things. They build widgets, modules and reference applications on top of their CPaaS. They customize it for the customer. They try to target customers who aren’t developers – assuming that enterprises lack the capacity and willingness to develop.
They augment that with system integrators they work with. Ones who speak and talk the language of the enterprise. Ones who can fill in all the integration gaps.
This is a slow process though. It is elephant hunting at its best – a slow process compared to the CPaaS game.Where does this all lead us?
There is no one-size-fits-all.
No silver bullet for winning the enterprise.
But there are a few approaches out there that are worth looking at.
For me? I am just looking at it from the sideline and documenting this process. It is part of what gets captured in my upcoming WebRTC PaaS report – these changing dynamics. The new entrants, those who exist and the progress and change that others are experiencing.
Want to make the best decision on the right WebRTC platform for your company? Now you can! Check out my WebRTC PaaS report, written specifically to assist you with this task.
The post When CPaaS Target Enterprises. 3 Different Approaches appeared first on BlogGeek.me.
Multi-party calling architectures are a common topic here at webrtcHacks, largely because group calling is widely needed but difficult to implement and understand. Most would agree Scalable Video Coding (SVC) is the most advanced, but the most complex multi-party calling architecture. To help explain how it works we have brought in not one, but two WebRTC video architecture experts. […]
The post Chrome’s WebRTC VP9 SVC Layer Cake: Sergio Garcia Murillo & Gustavo Garcia appeared first on webrtcHacks.
Different people think differently when it comes to creating WebRTC apps (obvious? maybe).
I’ve seen it all. I talk almost daily with different stakeholders in companies that end up adopting WebRTC. A developer here. An enterpreneur there. A product manager. A marketing lady. A PR agency guy who knows shit about what he is promoting. A test engineer. An architect. The sales guy. You name it.There’s a HUGE discount on my Choosing a WebRTC API Platform report now. And it is valid only until the end of this month. Why not grab your own copy of it?
If you go and ask the average Joe who is doing something with WebRTC how exactly does creating a WebRTC app, you’ll get one of 3 different answers. You see, at the end of the day, our small market can probably be pushed into 3 neat drawers, each representing a different school of thought. 3 different set of values and world views.
These worldviews can be found within the same industry niche, serving the same customer base, using similar business processes and user experiences, and yet each vendor will explain in detail why his way of creating that WebRTC app makes the most sense. And it does. It truely does.
I mostly agree with my buddy Chris Kranky who wrote about build vs buy of WebRTC apps last week. His approach is simple – why invest in your own infrastructure to cut down ridiculously low monthly plans of a CPaaS vendor? I see it as well with those approaching us at testRTC and then running away with cold sweat because they need to pay a 3 digits figure to stress test their product. But I digress.
Back to the schools of thought.
I think it is important to understand your own behavior and that of your team before moving fotward, as this may hinder your decision – or at the very least explain it. What you want to aim at here is to find a good match between your strategy and your team but also between your team and what you are trying to achieve. In many cases, I’ve seen failed attempts and increased risk because the choices made just didn’t make sense with the market realities.
It is similar to my article recently on a development path in WebRTC just looking at it from a slightly different angle.
Let’s see what these alternatives are:#1 – The Tinkerers
“Look what I found in the Chromium Issue Tracker”
When it comes to WebRTC bugs, Tinkerers know the current bug status in the Chrome Issue Tracker by heart.
They want to build stuff with their own bare hands, sometimes forgoing even open source frameworks and doing things from scratch. Our industry has a few of these and their names are quite known (Fippo anyone?)
If you’ve got a real Tinkerer in your team, then you’re in great luck. There are few of them out there – and even fewer who understand what they talk about and how to make real use of WebRTC.
The main challenge here is that you need to have more than a single Tinkerer. If she leaves to work someplace else – what are you to do then?
There are teams of Tinkerers out there building great products with WebRTC. What is interesting, is that these are the teams that get acquired for the technology they end up with. These are AddLive, Screenhero, BlueJimp and to some extent even Beam.#2 – The Owners
“How can I rely on someone else with my infrastructure? I must own it to be able to resolve issues and control my own destiny”
And still you go place your service in AWS.
Owners like to own stuff. They need control over it. They are just fine paying others to build it, but they want to own and control the finished product.
While I value ownership, I think it is something that needs to be questioned each and every time. Is that piece of technology really core to the business? Is it where innovation and barriers of entry to your market is found? If not, then you should probably rent and not own.
On the other end, ownership is sometimes necessary, and the reasons vary from case to case. Here are a few good ones I’ve heard:
“Collectors of wood art need a place to meet”
I have a dream. And in my dream, I see an untapped market. A need that isn’t answered. I am clueless about the technology that gets me there, but I am sure that will solve itself.
Many of these around. Especially now that WebRTC is with us. The reason? WebRTC lowers the barrier of entry for new players. And the best way of getting there fast is by employing CPaaS.
The Dreamers focus on their target audience. That niche market, where a problem needs to be solved. In many cases, they come from that market.
A dancer with cancer, trying to find a place for women suffering from cancer to dance from home.
Psychologists building an online group therapy service.
Teachers building education services for a very specific target audience.
You’ll find these in the verticals – places where communications is a part of the service – a feature within another service.To You Now
Did you find yourself in that list somewhere?
Are you a Dreamer trapped inside an Owner school of thought because of the limitations of CPaaS vendors?
Are you striving to be a Tinkerer but don’t have the workforce for it?
How are your intents and company DNA match with your school of thought?
I am seriously interested in it, so leave a commend or email me about it.
Want to make the best decision on the right WebRTC platform for your company? Now you can! Check out my WebRTC PaaS report, written specifically to assist you with this task.
The post The 3 Schools of Thought for Creating a WebRTC App appeared first on BlogGeek.me.
Microsoft getting their act with WebRTC Edge support is far from a fashionable delay, saying more about the future of Edge than the future of WebRTC.Want to run WebRTC on anything? Check out my free WebRTC Device Cheat Sheet.
Last week, Microsoft officially announced their intent to support WebRTC 1.0 (whatever that is exactly). I skimmed over that piece of news, but direct questions from a couple of my friends about my opinion, along with short chats with them on various messaging services made up my mind to actually write something about this.
Let’s begin from the end – nothing changed under the sun. Microsoft Edge supporting WebRTC is a non-starter for most.
Now for the details.The Microsoft’s WebRTC Edge announcement
The title of the announcement? Introducing WebRTC 1.0 and interoperable real-time communications in Microsoft Edge. 1.0 surpasses interoperability in the title, while interoperability (with Chrome) surpasses anything else in that announcement.
Microsoft is doing their damnest not to mention Chrome in the announcement – and they have succeeded. Barely. The annoucement mentions “video communications are now interoperable between Microsoft Edge and other major WebRTC browsers and RTC services”. I wonder who are these major WebRTC browsers. I wonder even more what “RTC services” means here. Maybe the ability to do a Facebook Messenger video call from an Edge browser to the Facebook Messenger iOS app?
They failed in not mentioning Chrome by mentioning specific bandwith estimation algorithm that Google is using: “Support for Google Receiver Estimated Maximum Bitrate, goog-remb”. I have to wonder how much legal fought over this one getting into an official blog post on Microsoft’s website.
The end result? Edge will soon have video interoperability support with Chrome and Firefox when it comes to WebRTC.
This is great, but it changes nothing.Edge and Market Share
Somehow, a friend of mine actually thought Edge is a real thing. Until we started searching for recent market share indication. The most recent stats I publicly found are from November 2016, and they place Microsoft Edge at 5.21% – “Trailing Microsoft Edge was only Apple’s Safari browser, with 3.61%, and Opera with 1.36%.”
NetMarketShare places Edge even lower at only 4.52%:
While Windows 10 has grown in adoption, Edge hasn’t.
Things are now getting desparate. In my own Windows 10 laptop, Microsoft is now pushing “ads” about how Edge is faster than Chrome and how great it is – enticing me (unsuccessfuly) to try it out.
This is happening to everyone NOT using Edge apparently, with some suggesting how to stop this Microsoft pushing you to the Edge.The Enterprise Urban Legend
Microsoft reigns supreme in enterprises. There’s no doubting that. But here’s the thing – the browser of choice there is Internet Explorer. Not Edge.
Many of these enterprises use Windows 7 today – NOT Windows 10. So the IT guy in the enterprise sees the following choices in front of him when he needs to decide on a major upgrade:
A smart IT person, will decide on a project that makes the switch in stages. Taking him to one of these two routes:
The common denominator? Use Chrome/Firefox and NOT Edge. Which is why most end up forgoing Edge. That and the notorious reputation of IE that is tarnishing Edge.
From a friend who works in front of such large enterprises, I am told that most are asking either for Chrome/Firefox support or Windows 10 with… Chrome/Firefox support. There’s no requests coming in for the Edge browser.
In the enterprise, it is either IE11 or Chrome/Firefox these days.What the Future Holds?
From day 1 of WebRTC, it seemed obvious that out of the oligopoly of 4 web browsers, two are going to be adopting WebRTC (Chrome and Firefox) and two will need to be dragged towards adoption (IE and Safari).
Microsoft decided to kill IE and focus on Edge. It also decided to throw the towel on ORTC and adopt WebRTC. The reasons are rather obvious – when you lack market share, you need to follow the trends. It tried taking the higher ground with the better ORTC design, only to fail and get back in line and now introducing WebRTC.
Apple… who knows? They hire people. They commit stuff into WebKit. They have people in the standards bodies. Will this mature enough in 2017 for an official release? Maybe. Probably. I just don’t know.
As always, before you make the decision on what to support – do an investigation of your target users and what they are using. You might be that outlier whose users are that 5% using Edge…
If you need WebRTC to work for you, you’ll need to understand how to get it running on any device and browser. My WebRTC Device Cheat Sheet is still as relevant as ever. It’s free, so go ahead and download it.
Here’s a sequence of commands in an ssh session to an ESXi host that creates a VM backup without interrupting its work. Of course it’s only a snapshot of the disk, so there may be corrupted files as a result. vmkfstools command requires full file path for the source and destination VMDK files.# This lists all virtual machines and their IDs. # Further in this example, our VM is number 18 vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms cd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/VMNAME vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.create 18 mybackup mkdir /vmfs/volumes/nas1/backup/VMNAME vmkfstools -i VMNAME.vmdk /vmfs/volumes/nas1/backup/VMNAME/VMNAME.vmdk cp VMNAME.vmx /vmfs/volumes/nas1/backup/VMNAME/ vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.removeall 18
There’s an underlying theme to questions from those approaching me. They most often than not consider what to pick as their WebRTC development path.
Before we continue – there’s a huge discount on my WebRTC PaaS report this month – so make sure you don’t miss it.
About 10 years ago or so, a large LCD manufacturer came to the company I worked for. They wanted to build a monitor that has an embedded video conferencing endpoint in it. It was revolutionary at the time. Beautiful. Agressive. And we won the project. That was when the hard work started – we had to pick out a team to build it.
We had some of the best VoIP developers out there at the time. Our business unit licensed the technology to everyone and anyone who did anything with VoIP, so it made sense to self develop. And yet… we found ourselves hiring around 8 more developers for this project. All with skillsets different than the ones we already had. We were missing in the domain of media processing, codecs and hardware.
In almost any case, when it comes to WebRTC, the skillset you already have in place will not be exactly what is necessary to get the job done.
You will either have to hire the skillset, teach your current workforce new tricks or outright outsource the work.
Which means that when you start thinking about a product that needs real time communications, there are usually 2 routes you can pick when it comes to the WebRTC development part:
And in them, there are 2 additional aspects to decide upon:
This all leads to the following WebRTC development matrix:
There are 4 classic development paths that I see companies take with their projects.#1 – Hard Core
The Hard Core development model is all about control and core competencies.
At the extreme, these vendors will tend to “live off the land” and go as far as building their own SFU from scraps of code they cobble up around the web.
What they see as imperative in front of them is to be the best at communications – and to rely as little as possible on others.
For the most part, these would be companies with existing VoIP heritage who make the plunge towards a WebRTC project. At times though, they can be brand new to VoIP and for them, it starts as an adventure of sorts.
Another vendor type in this space would be the NIH type of a vendor. Where the Not Invented Here synrome is high, and trust on others to deliver what is needed is non-existent. These guys know better than everyone else how to put this type of an infrastructure in place and no explanation would deter them. Their best argument? CPaaS is too darn expensive when you start counting the minutes. And I already said – WebRTC is… free.#2 – IT Project
The IT Project development model is about ownership.
The end game here, is to own the infrastructure and the data flow. Companies will tend to go to this approach if they have a regulatory issue they need to deal with (such as “data can’t travel out of the country”), a need to serve a specific geography (China for example) or special requirements that translates into the need of using their own infrastructure since others won’t support it (real time video analytics in the backend comes to mind).
As with the Hard Core players, they will be those who simply fancy the idea of ownership.
Why is this an IT Project then? Because an external outsourcing vendor is taken to develop it for the company. Usually because the internal workforce doesn’t have the experience, overbooked, or just more expensive.#3 – Integrate
The Integrate develoment model is about getting things done.
You have the developers in place. They are already building your product/app/service/whatever. And you direct them to a CPaaS vendor of your choosing to work on top.
Why? Because communications isn’t your core business. Because it is cheaper. Because it gives you faster time to market. Have a pick of your reason for it – there are quite a few.#4 – Agency
The Agency development model is about the dream.
You have a dream. You want to get it done. But you don’t really have the experience or the manpower. But you have some budget for it. What do you do?
Find and outsourcing vendor to build the product for you. Use CPaaS to work on top, so ongoing maintainance will be kept at a minimum if possible. And have that delivered to you.
Simple. If you pick the right outsourcing vendor. And the right CPaaS vendor. And the stars align just the right way to give you the luck needed in any development project.How to choose your path?
I am in the process of updating and beefing up my WebRTC PaaS report, which is geared towards the vendor selection process of a CPaaS vendor. This time, I’ll be enhancing it to cover the IT Project, Agency and CPaaS quadrants.
Until I do, I am lowering down the price of the currently available WebRTC PaaS report from $1,950 down to $199. This should make it affordable to anyone who is planning on investing any kind of time or money in this space.
There are a few caveats:
Those who purchase the report now will be given a discount later on if they wish to go for the 1-year update package. Which means there’s nothing for you to lose when grabbing the report now at a huge discount.
Making a CPaaS platform is not easy. Making one that is differentiated? That’s even harder.
Vidyo announced their new CPaaS called vidyo.io last week. It has been around for some time now – I covered it a couple of months ago on SearchUC – Vidyo migrating from enterprise video conferencing to video APIs. Now it is officially out, and I want to take a closer look at it.
Vidyo is/was an enterprise video conferencing company. Their focus throughout the years has been around software based solutions that make use of Scalable Video Coding – SVC. Its main competitors were probably Cisco, Polycom and Avaya – all operating in the same space.
But now, things are rather different. Vidyo has decided to go after two adjacencies at the same time – UCaaS as CPaaS:
CPaaS isn’t something new. I have been covering the WebRTC part of it for quite some time in my own WebRTC PaaS report. And there are lots and lots of companies in that space already. So why bother with yet-another-one in 2017?
That’s a question for the vendors who join the market, but I’d say this. You can be one of two types of companies:
Vidyo took the latter approach with vidyo.io, going for differentiation.
What is it that can make vidyo.io so enticing to developers and differentiate them from the crowd? Here’s what I came up with.#1 – Razor focus on video
Vidyo does video. Not much more. There aren’t many players in this specific category besides maybe TokBox. ooVoo might be considered as another such player, at least to some extent.
This resistence to fill in the legacy gaps of voice and SMS probably isn’t an easy one. There’s a need to maintain a lead in the technology and the capability of the IP based video communications and at the same time believe that that lead is warranted and perceived by customers as an advantage.
Would you source your video from a second vendor or just take what Twilio or any other CPaaS player you’ve picked up for your phone calling do the video part for you as well? Maybe. Maybe not. Depending how critical video is for you and what features are you looking for. For mission critical applications such as healthcare, financial services or even customer engagement, you might not want to take the risk when you don’t have to.#2 – Enterprise Savviness
Everyone wants to go after the enterprise these days.
Developers are hard to work with when it comes to developer tools:
Mitigating that gap with the longtail world of developers is hard. So once a platform goes there, it will usually try going upmarket to get enterprise customers. This is one of the reasons that Twilio launched an enterprise plan last year.
Vidyo comes from the enterprise world, boasting as its customers government agencies, financial institutes, healthcare providers and contact centers. In all cases, big names who adopted Vidyo technology in one way or the other to add video to their business needs.#3 – SVC, in all its glory
There’s a notion that SVC is necessary for multiparty video conferences, and while the answer is that it is, SVC done right also improves video quality in mobile devices over error prone networks.
You see, SVC enables you to create different layers:
The sender sends all layers and the server then peels the layers it thinks are the best that can fit to the device they are intended for. So if we send to multiple devices – we can just fit for each device his own view at a lower cost to our server. Which is why SVC is so good for multiparty calls.
For mobile? If I can split a stream into several layers, I can decide to “protect” the lower more important layers by increasing their probability of being received. How do I do that? I add Forward Error Correction. This means you can improve video quality in really bad networks – Vidyo has that in their platform for quite some time, making it one of the few players today with WebRTC that can do that.
There’s a lot more to it than that, as Vidyo has been making use of SVC longer than anyone else out there in the industry. Vidyo is also the only CPaaS vendor in the market who offers that as far as I know. You can read more about it in their technology overview on vidyo.io.
Which brings us to the Google angle.#4 – The Google angle
We’re now in a world of VP8 and H.264 in WebRTC. That’s the video codecs you see deployed in the market. Will this trend continue? Unlikely. Technology waits for no one. H.264 is old. Its first version was officially released in 2003. It has improved, but it is time to start the transition as an industry to a new video codec. VP8 was meant to be on par with H.264. Its successor is VP9 or H.265).
In all browser based WebRTC implementations we either already have VP9 support or will have VP9 support. And VP9 is where scalability will happen for WebRTC. A great deal of that is taking place by a cooperation between Google and Vidyo – one that I am not privy to.
The end result? Vidyo will probably have the first SVC-enabled video routing infrastructure that works with Chrome’s VP9 implementation. And this, in turn, can give Vidyo a huge headstart over other platforms.Can Vidyo succeed with vidyo.io?
Yes. It will be a question of execution, as the path isn’t an easy one.
There are two challenges here that Vidyo is taking upon itself:
The first point is something that Vidyo has already committed to with VidyoCloud. It is a shift that is happening – with or without the developers angle. This means that management and shareholders are already bought into the cloud strategy and will have the patience to wait until Vidyo shifts and sees enough success in this “new” market.
The second point is where the real challenges will occur. There are different things that take place when you work with developers and on a managed service. Marketing works differently. Documentation and support are also handled differently. The sales processes are different. Vidyo will need to fill in these gaps and learn fast while maintaining its position in the enterprise. Being able to do that will mean being able to win more enterprise customers with vidyo.ioCPaaS Differentiation in 2017
As we enter 2016, differentiation in the CPaaS space will be important.
The notion of “cheaper than X” will not work. It leads to a price war where nobody wins. These managed services require scale, but the market is still new and nascent, so real scale isn’t here just yet for the most part. Reducing prices and going down to AWS levels make no sense. Especially if you consider the investment in ongoing development that is required in this market.
Vendors are finding their way in this market, each trying to differentiate and carve its own niche. Vidyo may well have found its own where their strength in multiparty quality over mobile can be a differentiator. Time will tell how successful they will be.
For developers? This is definitely a big win, as there are more alternatives on the table, with Vidyo joining in and adding their enterprise video tech into the mix.
Join me and Vidyo for a 2017 WebRTC State of the Market webinar - registration and attendance is free.
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