It’s a surprising fact to some, but not all, that ‘modern’ technologies have often been around for some time.

By Amritesh Anaand, practice lead for unified communication at In2IT Technologies

The first LCD screens hail from the 1960s, the first digital music player first appeared in the 1970s, and some of the technology behind mobile phones was patented in the late 1800s.

It can take time for a great innovation to become popularly useful, which brings me to unifying communications and Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC).

The pandemic has pushed everyone around the globe to find alternate ways of working. We are more decentralised than ever before as people work from home. Even the organisations that were hesitant of a distributed workforce have been pushed to work from home.

This is placing serious pressure on all types of IT services, from networks to applications, and is complicated through various factors, including security and traffic volumes.

Central to that problem is how teams communicate and share information. At face value, this might seem solvable with a subscription to a popular video conferencing system. But the devil is in the details, and when you try to accommodate hundreds or thousands of users and guests over a vast communications estate, no single service covers all of the bases.

Many companies have existing communications investments they would like to keep leveraging. The impact of the pandemic has revealed how fractured and chaotic many unified communication systems actually are.

Fortunately, there is an answer to this, and it has been ready and waiting for several years. WebRTC is one of the technologies that came into being through HTML5, the exciting next-generation scripting language supported by modern browsers.

It enables browsers to run audio and video feeds similar to what you would find in video conferencing software. If you use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari, you can natively run WebRTC.

WebRTC enables a standard web browser to turn into a unified communications collaboration suite instantly. It also allows your staff to access your communications services via a web portal and thus not stress your virtual private network (VPN) infrastructure.

Popular vendor products such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex support WebRTC features at different levels, and a vendor-agnostic WebRTC platform can integrate different conferencing services into a unified communications system that accommodates the various flavours of remote working.

Let’s say you have an urgent call with a new customer, but they don’t have access to your video conferencing suite. Not a problem – simply send them a link to a WebRTC page, and they can participate in the meeting without fuss. WebRTC breaks down the barriers of virtual communications.

But WebRTC is just a collection of technologies. It must be implemented securely and to cover the various needs of your operations. That can include integration with other communications systems or coupling the service with secure file-sharing.

Technology providers that understand the worth of this technology, as well as how to align it with your business needs, can deliver on WebRTC’s promise.

WebRTC can overcome the different communication and collaboration bottlenecks that exist in an organisation. It was not as big an issue when everyone could still work in the same offices. But in a world of distributed workers, you need a distributed communications platform that reduces the need for plugins, special apps, or continual IT support. In this respect, WebRTC has come of age.

You can use WebRTC as a rallying point for your communications, giving your users a singular portal into using those different services if they need to. It will let you use existing services, take strain off your network services, and provide a seamless experience for your employees and guests.