While the northeast suffered through the end of winter, attendees at Orlando's Enterprise Connect Show found one topic hot and one just warm. WebRTC was the hot topic at the show. At the same time, compared to last year, cloud seemed to have cooled down to a warm status.
WebRTC, a movement heavily promoted by Google, its friends, and a few competitors, promised to allow desktop video conferencing from browser to browser; no plug-in, client application or external device will be necessary. The potential impact is huge. The excitement about RTC, as it is sometimes called, was obvious. At the first day’s session—which was set up to handle about 300 attendees—the meeting was so over-subscribed that many people couldn’t get into the conference room. Vendors with small booths that had WebRTC products or capabilities were clearly the busiest booths. At the keynote presentation by a Microsoft Executive, a commitment was made to incorporate WebRTC into Lync, “as soon as it is a standard.”
On the other hand, the buzz about cloud computing seemed to be dying down when compared to last year’s show. While vendors were making a hard push to sell it, users seemed to be saying that it isn’t as revolutionary as we thought it might be. It did have many representative vendors with cloud offerings that proposed everything from storage capabilities to voice and video conferencing. So, these perceptions seemed obvious.
What might be a more subtle observation is the fact that the contrast in traffic levels between the Cisco and the Avaya booths was larger than at previous shows. And, several traditional big players in video conferencing (Polycom and LifeSize) come to mind that seemed to be more in the background.
Phil Hippensteel, PhD, has spent more 40 years in higher education and now teaches at Penn State Harrisburg. He is a regular columnist for AV Technology magazine.