Why Avaya is Embracing WebRTC in a Big Way

WebRTC is on the cusp of fundamentally changing the way people interact with one another on the Web. What’s remarkable is that so few consumers have ever heard of it.

In the near future, you might be shopping for clothing online when you get a prompt asking if you’d like to video chat with a fashion consultant live. Or you’re buying airline tickets when your browser crashes, erasing the transaction. When you return to that webpage, you might get a prompt inviting you to call someone in customer service through your browser.

This week, a handful of Avayans will take the stage to talk about the promise (and perils) of WebRTC, at the WebRTC Conference & Expo in Santa Clara, Calif.

WebRTC is a new online standard being developed in tandem with HTML5. Its implications are far-reaching, said Val Matula, Avaya’s Senior Director of Multimedia Technologies, and one of the speakers at this week’s conference.

“It’s going to make voice and video much more common on the Internet,” Matula said. “You might say to yourself, ‘My goodness. Almost everyone has Skype today or Facetime. How could it be more common?’ … WebRTC makes it so easy to add your website that consumers will start to see it being used in all sorts of places.”

Researchers at Avaya are busy integrating the technology into the company’s existing suite of customer experience software, notably around online interactions.

Take for example, the ways WebRTC could improve an online store.

Web transactions are great when everything works according to plan. Consumers can log on 24 hours a day, browse their options, build an order and pay without ever interacting with a representative from the company.

What happens though, when a Web transaction fails? It’s estimated that 60- to 70 percent of consumers abandon their online shopping carts–a number of whom, no doubt, had a question about a product that an employee of the company could have answered.

Offering online customer service is one way companies could improve their shopping cart abandonment rates.

Matula predicts that once WebRTC becomes commonplace, consumers will demand interactive online customer experiences. That may prove a challenge for companies that require an enterprise-grade solution.

Software developers working with WebRTC are “going to find that they can get a demo or a simple application going very well,” Matula said. “But if they dig into the details, they’re going to want security, recording, compliance, etc. We’re going to see more people asking Avaya, ‘What do you have? Because I need the other things you can provide as well. I need your whole package in order to be successful.'”

Listen to my entire conversation with Dr. Matula below, and share your thoughts about WebRTC in the comments section. How do you see WebRTC impacting the enterprise?

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