There is a time and a place for each different communications modality, and while there have been video conferencing vendors claiming nearly every interaction can be video-based, that’s simply not going to be the case. That said, video adoption rates are nowhere near where they should be, especially when you consider the growth of remote and mobile workforces, and the collaboration capabilities from which they could benefit.
WebRTC was supposed to cure all the communications challenges of the world. But – and as CaféX CMO Sajeel Hussain reminds us, there is always a “but” with WebRTC – there are a number of challenges with existing video collaboration platforms that WebRTC has not solved.
- Enterprise platforms are complicated to use and install
- WebRTC is not supported by all browsers
- WebRTC standards are still not fully developed
- Deployments often require additional gateways, STUN/TURN servers, MCUs, or other hardware
- Web-based solutions require software or plugin installation or download, often multiple times
- Traditional solutions are inefficient from a port and bandwidth usage perspective
- They are expensive to install, manage, and maintain
- Circumventing these challenges is only possible with a very limited number of users
Today, CaféX, however, has taken a step towards addressing these issues, eliminating obstacles to adoption and making conferencing and collaboration benefits easy to achieve with its new Chime solution. In a nutshell, Chime is a server-based endpoint agnostic video conferencing and collaboration platform that delivers URL-based one-click participation to users on any endpoint, using any browser (including Edge). It can be a business’ entire conferencing platform, or it has been developed to integrate with existing conferencing and telepresence systems, including Skype for Business, Jabber, and most others.
“When you run into these kinds of issues, that’s where adoption stops,” explained Hussain. “With Chime, we are addressing all of these issues and giving businesses all the conferencing and collaboration capabilities they want, all in a packaged, intuitive application.”
Chime is a software solution, delivering all the features and capabilities of traditional solutions, that can run on industry standard servers in the enterprise cloud, or CaféX will be offering its own cloud-based SaaS offer for those businesses looking for the simplest possible deployment scenario while enjoying the flexibility and benefits of a solution that combines flexibility, scalability, feature richness, and cost effectiveness better than any other solution available.
CaféX has for a number of years been touting the benefits of WebRTC as the future of communications, and it continues to leverage WebRTC in many of its products. But, because WebRTC has not developed as rapidly as many expected it to – including the lack of standardization and universal browser support – it has opted to create Chime, a solution that, while leveraging some of the underlying principles of WebRTC, uses proprietary technology to fill in the gaps WebRTC has not been able to on its own, delivered to the user by way of the required Chime server.
Much of the cost savings is delivered through a clustering technology that allows the Chime server to algorithmically calculate, based on endpoint, location, browser, or other metrics, groups of participants that can be efficiently clustered together into a single node that connects to existing infrastructure. Thus, rather than requiring 10 MCU ports for a session, a Chime interaction might use only two, ultimately allowing the enterprise to continue leveraging its existing investment, but paying for far fewer ports, while playing a much lower monthly per user rate for Chime. Hussain says Chime can deliver as much as a 70 percent reduction in TCO of conferencing and collaboration solutions, and help reduce MCU and WAN utilization by more than three-quarters.
What’s interesting here is that, with Chime, CaféX is adjusting its positioning in the market. Having focused since its inception on online and digital customer engagement leveraging WebRTC, the company realized its next logical step – moving from the contact center environment deeper into the enterprise, would be stymied by WebRTC’s shortcomings. So, it took the next logical step and evolved its strategy in a way that would allow it to deliver the promise of WebRTC, even though that technology on its own could not.
Check out this video for more on the features and capabilities of Chime.
Effortless Low Cost Video Collaboration for Every Business User from CafeX on Vimeo.
Edited by Peter Bernstein