What is real-time communication?
Real-time communications (RTC) is a term used to refer to any live telecommunications that occur without transmission delays. RTC is nearly instant with minimal latency. The term ‘real-time’ pretty much means ‘live’.
In real time communication, there is always a direct path between the source and the destination. Although the link might contain several intermediate nodes, the data goes from source to destination without being stored in between them. In contrast, asynchronous or time-shifting communications, such as email and voicemail, always involve some form of data storage between the source and the destination. In these cases, there is an anticipated delay between the transmission and receipt of the information.
Real time communication data and messages are not stored between transmission and reception. RTC is generally a peer-to-peer, rather than broadcasting or multicasting, transmission.
Why is real-time communication important?
In today’s fast-paced world, you need to share information rapidly, make decisions fast, develop products quickly, answer and solve customer queries instantly, and even solve employees’ doubts swiftly so that they can work productively and efficiently. None of this could realistically be possible without real time communication.
Real-time communication makes it possible for employees around the world to collaborate with each other, solve problems, share ideas and information, and bring projects to fruition. It allows them to work together and attend meetings and conferences without having to spend ridiculous amounts of money on traveling and accommodation. It even enables them to experience flawless, uninterrupted connectivity over the device of their choice.
It also allows decision makers to make informed decisions at a faster pace, allowing them to launch new products and services, and make fixes wherever required in a speedier manner instead of just waiting indefinitely.
Real time communication (RTC) even enables businesses to offer information, service, or sales engagement in the right context, at the right time, thus making it more effective and impactful.
Real-time communication became even more important in recent times due to the pandemic. In the absence of real-time communication, most businesses would not be able to operate and serve their customers effectively. Real-time communication made remote working possible for extended periods of time, allowing businesses to survive and even thrive during the pandemic. A lot of businesses ended up shuttering their operations during the lockdowns, but in the absence of real time communication, a much larger number of businesses would have to close their operations and even go bankrupt. Without RTC, a very large chunk fo the world’s population would end up jobless and millions (or rather, billions) of people would lose their livelihood.
What are the modes of real-time communication data transmission?
RTC data transmission modes are as follows:
- Half Duplex: Occurs bi-directionally but not simultaneously on a single carrier or circuit
- Full Duplex: Occurs bi-directionally and simultaneously on a single carrier or circuit
What are the examples, or types of real-time communication technologies?
- Live chat
- Voice over landlines and mobile phones
- Instant messaging (e.g., WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger)
- Video and teleconferencing
- Robotic telepresence
Emails, bulletin boards, and blogs are not RTC channels but occur in time-shifting mode, where there is a significant delay between data transmission and reception.
Why do businesses need real-time communication services?
Given the significance of real-time communication, several managed services providers offer cloud-based RTC services to meet the needs of modern businesses. These services range from consolidating legacy voice infrastructure and modern VoIP networks into a native experience to offering modern features that make communication seamless and interruption-free.
Modern real-time communication services make use of hybrid models to improve performance, enhance functionality, and lower the total cost of deployment. Here are 5 reasons why you need real-time communication services:
1. Seamless Communication
Enjoy better communications availability and uptime and allow employees to have uninterrupted conversations with teams and improve productivity.
2. Optimized Business Operations
Focus on aspects of the business that really matter rather than on implementing and managing communication systems.
3. 24×7 Service Desk
Have access to a 24×7 service desk and get instant workarounds and solutions to any communication problems or incidents users are facing.
Always stay updated with the latest version, without having to worry about upgrades, backups, or security and maintenance issues.
5. Modern VoIP Technology
Make the most of modern VoIP innovations to transform the way employees communicate while leveraging features delivered on promises of enhanced productivity, better connectivity, and scalable flexibility.
6. Streamlined Service
Have a single provider manage all communication hardware and applications – from consolidating applications to modernizing legacy systems and more.
7. SaaS-Based Model Options
Leverage a range of services offered in a SaaS-based model to reduce costs of procuring and maintaining costly communication infrastructure while streamlining day-to-day operations.
Also read: Communication Model
What does the future of real-time communication look like?
The impact of RTC can be measured in two varieties: technologies that end-users interface with (apps) and technologies that allow those end-user products to do the things they do by enabling communication on the backend (APIs; cloud).
That last point is important because it gives RTC a strong appeal among developers, IT managers, product managers, and entrepreneurs, among others. APIs and their popularity among businesses are one reflection of this trend; so, too, is the rise of unified communications platforms, which enable companies to build RTC directly into existing systems and workflows.
Because of this, it's important not to think of RTC as solely a business- or customer-facing concept. In general, the faster we can share information with someone requesting it, the happier, more productive, and more efficient they'll be. In the workplace, this could mean small differences, such as an employee choosing to use IM instead of email for a quick question, or large ones, such as a company overhauling its contact center's unified communications platform.