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Women in the Channel Talks Tech


Nicole HaywardBy Nicole Hayward

The year 2014 is an exciting one in business communications, and its not just because of my confidence that my fellow members of Women in the Channel will knock their sales numbers out of the park. Its an exciting year because we have a new technology on the rise thatll rock us all; and, as vice president of marketing and product management at a business communications service provider that is on the forefront of this technology, Id like to explain it a bit.

The new technology is Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC). Technically, WebRTC is an API definition, started by Google, and now being drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WebRTC enables browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video conferencing and file sharing without downloads or plug-ins. In more common terms for the average Internet user, this means you will soon be able to, for example, video chat with businesses and each other instantly, in a secure fashion, without downloads.

Imagine you are unhappy with your office supply order. You click a button on the office supply distributors website, and you are not directed to a general phone tree. Instead, you are instantly video chatting with a customer service rep as you hold up and show her the copy paper that got delivered with water marks and creases. The customer service rep doesnt bother to ask you your name or order number; she knows it already because you simply clicked a Contact Us” button next to your order number in your account login and this context of your call was delivered right to her browser.

Imagine you are an IT consultant, and your client clicks to call you from your website to ask you where to plug in the cables from your recent delivery. As you video chat with your client, you direct him in plugging the right cables where, save yourself a trip and attach the call log to your bill.

Thats all possible with WebRTC.

But WebRTC has its limitations and challenges. Its browser-dependent, and currently only Firefox, Chrome and Opera support it in their latest versions. Video chat communications require a speedy computer, tablet,or mobile device ideally with more than 1 CPU. Video chat over WebRTC also requires a solid Internet connection. (Office Wi-Fi and 4G will do. The coffee shops network and 3G wont.)

Plus, today, WebRTC isnt, in and of itself, accessible to the technology reseller to deploy for business customers. Up until now, its an API standard for software engineers and the like to build new applications. However, those applications are coming, and there will be interfacing and integration obstacles to overcome with the phone systems and networks we know so well. But itll happen, businesses will want it and resellers will be looking to meet that demand (more revenue streams!) So, I figured Id write a tech-light blog here for those who havent looked into it.

If you need resources to learn more from a (non-communications service provider) third party, you might consider The SIP School, who has recently rolled out a WebRTC training program in addition to their SIP certifications (Im on their mailing list). See you at Channel Partners!

Nicole Hayward is a board member and chair of the Technology Committee at Women in the Channel, a nonprofit organization composed of women who are in leadership, ownership and revenue-generating roles in the channel sector of the telecommunications industry. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University for Engineering, Hayward has pursued a career in engineering, project management and Web marketing. She is currently the vice president of marketing and product management at

OnSIP Business VoIP

, a 2014 Women in the Channel Gold Sponsor. OnSIP offers hosted communications services for businesses and has an award-winning reseller program. Hayward manages OnSIPs direct and channel marketing initiatives.


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