Monday 18th March 2013 was, in my opinion, the biggest day in WebRTC’s history. It was more important than the day WebRTC landed in Chrome, and the day that Chrome and Firefox interoperated. I say this because it was the first time that WebRTC entered the imagination of a large group of business decision makers who are outside of the tech industry.
The day was hosted by Brent Kelly and Irwin Lazar. The morning started with a highly informed talk by Jan Linden of Google and Cullen Jennings of Cisco, both pivotal and highly respected engineers working on WebRTC. Despite it being a fairly technical overview, the room was completely full. And as the talk continued, more and more Enterprise Connect attendees piled in.
About 45 minutes into the session the conference organizer, Eric Krapf, asked Cullen and Jan to pause. We were told that there were too many people and that they were going to extend the room size. In a few minutes a wall was removed to reveal 100 more seats that were all quickly taken.
This buzz continued through out the day with the AddLive and other ‘WebRTC Innovators’ demo’s were delivered shortly after 1pm to a still packed room.
The interest that day was a surprise to all of us involved in WebRTC, but we had no idea what was going to happen over the following days.
For those of you who don’t know about Enterprise Connect, it is the single most important enterprise communications conference globally. It is attended by 5,000 enterprise professionals, including CIO’s of large enterprises, CEO’s of vendors and also smaller disruptive companies like us at AddLive and our friends at Plivo.
The likes of Microsoft, Cisco and Avaya presented the keynotes. They shared their next generation products and their vision of the future and the panels discussed topics like the Cloud, BYOD, business models and the communication requirements of the enterprise.
But what was remarkable was that every single keynote, panel, and lecture had either a dedicated WebRTC segment or the conversation drifted to WebRTC. It became the hot topic of EC13. WebRTC was being talked about in the corridors, during lunch and even over evening drinks.
When I introduce AddLive, I introduce WebRTC. Firstly I introduce the term, then the technology, then the implications. On Monday this was still the case, but by Wednesday things had changed. Although I still needed to explain the tech and what it means to businesses, when I mentioned WebRTC to others their face lit up and they began asking me questions.
So when we look back at the WebRTC journey, I believe that Monday 18th March was the day when the business world woke up to WebRTC. The day that WebRTC entered the imagination of the enterprise.