WebRTC: is this the End of an Era for Contact Center Infrastructure Vendors?

​The contact center infrastructure industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, providing unified connectivity solutions to contact centers as well as interactive voice response, automatic call distribution, Web Customer Service and Workforce Optimization. Contact centers today have to invest quite a lot in having (and maintaining) even a very basic infrastructure for medium sized operations, and this investment goes up and up for bigger operations.​

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) offers a full blown multi-media communication channel to be initiated directly from the browser without the need for any additional plug-ins. 
Although still in its infancy (at least in the contact center space), WebRTC has the potential to turn the contact center infrastructure market on its head as it evolves and matures, all while creating perfect experiences to consumers.

How so? Well, why would you need an expansive PBX to route your calls, if full-blown multi-channel interactions can initiate in a standard manner, over the internet, with no cost and no technical complexity? Why would you need to maintain a complex IVR system if your customers can get all their self-service options on your website or mobile app? Are you sure you even still need an IVR given the self- service contextual information is carried on your WebRTC session (link)?

Well, conceptually, you don’t. Even the current WebRTC ecosystem provides you with a lot of these capabilities, with 3rd parties always innovating on top of the standard solutions. 

Every large contact center infrastructure vendor is now providing a ‘WebRTC API’ and publishes press releases on their support for WebRTC. Yet, in reality, they know they will need to reinvent their business model and provide more substantial value to their customers if they want to stay on top of their market and in their customer’s phone books. Getting another (now multi-channel) extension becomes free of charge …

Call me a contact center enthusiast, but WebRTC is maybe the biggest potential revolution we’ve seen in the contact center infrastructure market since VoIP was invented. Many contact center infra vendors did not survive the VoIP revolution, and you should definitely discuss with your incumbent vendor their strategy for rising up to this challenge and not keeping you behind the technological curve.