WebRTC Disruption

WebRTC is not a new concept to the world, collectively as a market we have been speaking about it for over five years now. However, it hasn’t really taken off in any meaningful way after it promised so much in the early days of development. In this interview, David Dungay talks to the UK arm of Wildix, which launched just last October, to find out why they think they have finally cracked it.

When someone sits in front of me and tells me their product is going to disrupt the market I often struggle to keep a straight face. The phrase ‘Hot dinners’ often comes to mind! However, this is exactly what Ian Rowan, UK Channel Manager at Wildix, did at the end of last year when he introduced me to his new WebRTC product. He said, “This is going to do what Avaya’s INDeX, and then IPOffice, did to the market.”

Operating as a joint venture with the Italian founded company Wildix, Ian Rowan, Rob Loakes, UK Channel Manager and Graham Dixon, UK Support Manager, believe it’s time for a change in the telephony market and people are now ready for new technology and a new brand.

Rob Loakes, UK Channel Manager, commented “With the uncertainty around the Cisco acquisition of Broadsoft, the Shoretel and Mitel deal, and Avaya just about coming out of Chapter 11, we feel there is market share for us now to move into.”

Although Wildix is new to the UK it has a rich heritage in the PBX market with over 25,000 systems deployed globally. They are particularly strong in Europe and the USA. Founded in 2005 and now with over 300 employees, the company has spent the last four years developing a full PBX on the back of WebRTC technology.

So, why are people going to buy this?

Rowan states, “The biggest strength of the product is it is truly end to end. The phones are ours, the switches and gateways are ours and the PBX is ours. It’s one brand end to end. This is great because there are no compatibility issues or finger pointing as it is one complete solution we can take responsibility for. We do support third party SIP devices if that’s what people want too.”

“People are often ripping out existing solutions where the investment is low because they want our back end functionality. Often the biggest investment for the customer is the handsets so they want to retain those and ship the back end to us. We also have a swap out options for kit which helps with the financials.”

Rowan continued, “The ease of use and deployment are major draws for customers also. To deploy it you just click on a link to your unique PBX system. You don’t install anything, you just go to the page and log in with a username and password. When we provision users, we send an email with a link to the Android App, iOS app and the URL for the browser. You aren’t limited to any one PC, you could go home and pinch the laptop off the kids and just log in and have your full PBX system available.”

I was treated to a full, and impressive, demonstration of the system’s capability. Mobile app, call recording, social media integration, CRM, the list of features and integrations was endless but also far more comprehensive than anything else, built using WebRTC, I had been treated to in the market to this point. My wry smile was quite quickly replaced with genuine intrigue.

wildix-videoconference

So what about the partners?

Rowan states “Since Channel Live we have on-boarded seven partners who are out there with this product. We are actually talking to some sizable companies, one of which hasn’t taken on a new PBX vendor in twenty years! We are talking to lots of partners but are already well ahead of where we thought we would be at this point.”

“WebRTC is completely the future. Everyone is looking at it or talking about it but no one is doing it on our scale. WEBRTC is voice, video, chat, desktop and file sharing and we do every element of that across the whole platform.”

Loakes commented, “For us it been a four year development cycle with 60 developers for us to get it to this point. We know other people have a WebRTC product in the pipeline but the market is still quite new to this. This is a mature product already and we are seeing partners table this over other major vendors for sizeable contact centre opportunities.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine