The surprising truth about SIP trunking’s future

A new report suggest WebRTC could be far more complimentary than previously believed. How IT departments should start thinking about their approach to collaboration

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Here’s support for the idea that unified communications and collaboration (UCC) is the killer app for the session initiation protocol (SIP) networking standard: analysts at Webtorials found that 85 percent of 191 IT professionals surveyed see WebRTC and SIP as complementary. So says the firm’s recent study on the matter.

And that finding makes sense. As Webtorials notes, WebRTC uses SIP for signaling. But SIP is also becoming the go-to underlying technology for all kinds of UCC solutions. And judging from the Webtorials report, the links between UCC, WebRTC and SIP may be even stronger than some people think.

Quick primer on WebRTC: it’s technology that enables developers to write web apps with built-in voice calling, video chat and other communications capabilities. Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera natively support WebRTC. Microsoft is said to be developing a native support system for WebRTC in Internet Explorer, too.

SIP, UCC and WebRTC: the new tech trio

If your organization has adopted WebRTC, chances are your workplace also uses SIP and VoIP, the poster tech of unified communications. Webtorials says 69 percent of the survey respondents indicated that they have deployed or plan to use WebRTC. At the same time, 94 percent said their companies use VoIP and 71 percent use SIP. The takeaway: Businesses that have deployed SIP and UCC seem more likely to use WebRTC than others. Webtorials also found that 90 percent believe WebRTC can improve contact centres, which gives some indication of where organizations are likely to deploy this technology.

Stumbling over standards

The report suggests that if IT decision makers have a concern about WebRTC, it’s the lack of standards. The industry hasn’t finalized the frameworks required for the technology to work seamlessly across all implementations. About 38 percent said that’s a problem. But as Webtorials notes, the industry is progressing, having decided late last year that H.264 and VP8 would be the standard video codecs for WebRTC.

Webtorials points out that WebRTC has a unique role to play in the UCC landscape. The technology “can make some forms of collaboration easier and cheaper since connectivity is provided via a browser,” the company says. “WebRTC will supplement and be complementary to other [unified communications and collaboration] technologies.”

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