The Real-Time Web Is Becoming a Reality

Real-Time Web Solutions

The Real-Time Web Is Becoming a Reality

By Phil Edholm, President & Founder, PKE Consulting  |  November 02, 2016

In a summer in which Twilio (News - Alert) went public and is valued at more than $3 billion, the recent Real Time Web Solutions event in New York City demonstrated the rapid changes that are happening in both the web and the real-time space. The three-day event, held Aug. 2 through 4 in New York City, focused on how real time can be used to enhance web and mobile applications.

The event started out with a discussion of what the real-time web is and the path to integrating real time into applications. For the more than 1.5 million web and mobile apps that are available and the more than 100 million web servers, the capability to enable apps with real time is changing the app space. With real time, applications are more sticky, creating interpersonal bonds that increase app loyalty and use. Also, real time increases the tie in app, a critical value in today’s advertising-driven applications value world. However, just putting together a simple WebRTC video chat is not enough. While an app value is increased by real time, user expectations of real time are driven by the telephony and mobile world where expectations of quality and consistency are high. While an application may introduce real time to differentiate or to respond in the space, a low qualiy experience will impact not only the real-time aspect, but also the entire app.

For this reason, the conference identified a set of steps that organizations must go through as they integrate real time into their app and value proposition.

• Do you have an application?

• Should you add real time to your app?

• How does real time integrate? What is the user experience?

• What is the development strategy?

• What is the deployment strategy?

• What is the operational strategy?

These steps start with understanding the value of real time in the app, clearly understanding the value that is being integrated and how. After this is decided, there are three clear steps that must be considered: development, deployment, and operations.

The event focused on all of these areas, with sessions on the value of real time in apps, development, and deployment options, as well as how to operate and maintain the resulting solution. All of the options, from internal development to using toolkits, frameworks or simple drop-ins, were explored. The conference included discussions of both the applications value as well as technical sessions, including a focus on the mobile space. With most new apps being mobile first, this has become a critical aspect of the discussion.

Over the last four years, WebRTC has emerged as the cornerstone of the real-time web. Whether using the browser-based implementations from Google and Mozilla (News - Alert) (and soon from Microsoft and Apple), or direct integration into mobile OS-based applications, WebRTC has become the gold standard of the next generation of real time. However, WebRTC is just the protocol and API definitions and an open source reference implementation. The reality is that success in the real-time web world requires more, which is why the WebRTC Conference and Expo expanded its focus to Real Time Web Solutions.

What was most exciting was to see the demos at the event. While past demos have shown the capability of the platforms or frameworks, toolsets or components, the demos this year were much more about actual applications, most of which were revenue generating. For example, the Temasys demo was actually done by a customer that is using the platform to deliver remote medical patient visits. In fact, virtually all of the demos were of actual use cases. That seemed to be the real theme of the event: that the real-time web is moving rapidly from technology to use cases to revenue. In fact, the demos yielded some exciting results and award winners, which were as follows.

  • Ready Now Award  – Blacc Spot Media
  • Easiest to Apply – Ingate
  • Best Conferencing – Dialogic (News - Alert)
  • Best Social Integration – ZURA
  • Best Customer Service  – Temasys
  • Wow Factor – Agora
  • Best All-Around – CafeX
  • Best in Show – Frozen Mountain
  • Audience (News - Alert) Favorite Award – Temasys

Regardless of whether you are an enterpise with an app for customer interaction, have an existing application in the market, or are looking at new app business models, considering how to integrate real time is critical. The Asia Real Time Web Solutions event will be Oct. 28 through 29 in Bejing, China. Just as the real-time web is accelerating in North America and Europe, the capability to use real time is accelerating in Asia as well.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi