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Why aren't more enterprises using WebRTC?

WebRTC support -- and a lack thereof -- has a major effect on the understanding of the technology. Learn why some aren't using WebRTC and its alternative options.

Web Real-Time Communications is often burdened by misgivings and misunderstandings. This trepidation prevents people...

from using WebRTC where they should.

WebRTC adoption is already somewhat widespread. Facebook is running more than 1 million calls a day in its Messenger app using WebRTC. Google Hangouts is using WebRTC. Slack adopted it for its voice-calling service, and Atlassian is now using it in HipChat. That's just a short list of more than 1,000 vendors and projects using WebRTC.

The main reason people don't use WebRTC is the lack of support in Internet Explorer. While Microsoft has promoted and supported WebRTC in its Skype service and Edge browser, the vendor seems reluctant to add WebRTC support to Internet Explorer. So, what are your alternatives?

If you thought you could rely on Flash, think again. Google is ending support for Flash in Google Chrome, which means you'll need to use some other technology on modern web browsers.

Plug-ins are something of the past, too. They still exist, but somehow feel clunky. They are also hard to implement correctly across various PCs and with little friction for users. WebRTC lets you bypass plug-ins, but you can also use plug-ins for browsers that don't support WebRTC -- just as you would if you chose a technology other than WebRTC for your voice over IP service.

Another alternative that is gaining popularity is using a real PC application, but building it with the Chromium Embedded Framework or Electron app frameworks instead of writing it from scratch. These open source wrappers to the Chromium component of Google Chrome enable the development of web-based applications that run as PC applications across Windows, Mac and Linux. This allows companies to enable downloading their WebRTC-based service as an app if the customer wants to use an app or when the browser doesn't support WebRTC.

Remember, you are the biggest hurdle to WebRTC adoption, especially if you're taking a wait-and-see approach.

Do you have a question for Tsahi Levent-Levi or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

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This was last published in November 2016

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What kind of WebRTC support is required for your organization to adopt the technology?
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