How to Integrate Video Conferencing Technology to Your Existing App
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Following the rising cases of the COVID-19 that have impacted most of the economies, words like social distancing, working from home, virtual events and lockdown are now not new to us. Due to the prevailing situation of the world, many businesses have opted for video conferencing technology to host events or meetings.
It is essential to maintain and build quality relationships with suppliers, internal teams, partners, customers and investors to help innovative businesses grow globally. Video conferencing technology helps in strengthening relations by keeping everyone engaged with each other. It saves time, promotes collaboration, boosts productivity and reduces travel expenses.
Video conferencing technology can be easily integrated into any existing application, allowing businesses to leverage the functionality for improved productivity. Building the entire technology from scratch can be very expensive and time taking process.
We recommend integrating the APIs or SDKs for video calling into the existing software to enable quick implementation.
In this article, we have explained:
- Challenges of building video conferencing technology solutions from scratch
- Why should you consider integrating the APIs or SDKs to add video calling functionality in the current app?
- How to integrate video conferencing?
- Industry-wise Use Cases of Video Conferencing Technology
Challenges of Building the Video Conferencing Technology Solution From Scratch
- Long Delivery Times
It may take a long time for a project to deliver successfully when it comes to building from scratch. You may have several iterations of the project before it is completely built. It requires rigorous testing to test the software that is coded from the ground up.
- Operational Complexity
Building a solution from the beginning can lead to operational complexity. You will need to deploy and manage the entire infrastructure to deploy the application. Also, you will have to meet complex expectations and requirements.
Focusing on developing the solution from the initial stage may keep you distracted from your core competency, thereby affecting your regular business operations.
- Cross-Service Security
While developing and deploying an application from scratch, you will have to consider security requirements to ensure that it meets the necessary regulations and compliance.
There can be n number of issues or challenges you might face when you consider building something from the ground up. Therefore, we recommend integrating the available SDKs or APIs into your existing software and applications.
Benefits of Integration
- Quick Implementation
With Ready-to-integrate SDKs, it becomes possible to implement video conferencing technology quickly in any business use case. The integration of video calling functionality into the existing solution can abstract away WebRTC complexity and bring the product to the market quickly.
- Reduced Costs
Since you don’t have to put effort into developing a solution from the ground up, you will save on design and development costs.
- More Security
When it comes to developing a video conferencing technology solution, you need to consider a lot of compliance and security protocols. However, video conferencing APIs or SDKs already have built-in security standards that can be automatically implemented in the product at the time of integration.
- Added ML/AI Capabilities
Many SDKs and APIs for video conferencing technology come with AI/ML capabilities that can help generate analytics for voice and video calls using which organizations can make crucial decisions.
- Save Travel Expenses
Integrating video conferencing within your business ecosystem can help you save travel expenses. You will be able to connect with your customers or stakeholders from anywhere with video calling functionality and reliable internet connection. Apart from saving costs, it will also save your travel time, thereby enabling you to focus more on core competencies.
- Maintain the business continuity
In unprecedented times when many offices and public places are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are thinking about business continuity plans.
As we can see that the world is going digital and people are looking forward to technology advancements to run their business, video conferencing technology can be the best way to ensure the business efficiency and continuity. It can be implemented in various sectors and can help them execute their business operations remotely.
How to Integrate Video Conferencing Technology Within Your Existing App
To incorporate video conferencing technology within your existing app, you will require the following three components:
- Video SDK Account Credentials
Credentials to use the SDK and its services that you want to integrate into your client app.
- Server Application
It runs at your application server. It uses your third-party account credentials to grant access to video services.
- Client Application
The client app executes at a mobile or web client. It uses third-party SDKs to publish, capture, subscribe and execute the RTC (Real-Time Communication) information.
Here’s a step-by-step process from creating a room to attending a video conferencing in a web or mobile app
Creating a Room:
- Server Application tells Video SDK to create a meeting room.
- SDK validates the provided credentials and creates a new room.
- Video SDK responds with the Room SID that is the unique identifier and can be used in latter API requests.
Client 1 gets an Access Token:
Clients have to get an access token for connecting to a meeting room. It ensures that the client application has control of who is authorized to join the video meeting room.
- Client 1 requests an access token from the application server. It is usually achieved with the HTTP request from the client app.
- The application server uses Video SDK account credentials to generate a secure access token
- Client 1 then obtains an access token
Client 1 gets connected to the Meeting Room:
- Client 1 connects to the room with the Video SDK connect interface and validates using the fetched access token.
- Video SDK verifies the access token. If it is found valid, a signaling connection gets established between the room and the client.The client becomes a participant in the room and can subscribe and/or publish media tracks from other participants.
Client 2 connects to the Meeting Room:
- Client 2 gets an access token from the application server, connects to the room and becomes a participant.
We have just explained a simple one-to-one communication use-case. However, Video SDKs provide multiple features, including Multi-User Rooms, Data Tracks, Screen Sharing, Recordings and more.
As a technology leader, we recommend using the following SDKs to add video conferencing technology into the existing solution:
- The Amazon Chime SDK is a set of real-time communication components that allow developers to quickly add audio and video calling and screen sharing capabilities to the existing web or mobile apps. For example, you can add video calling to your healthcare app so that patients can communicate with doctors on health issues remotely.
With the Amazon Chime SDK, you can eliminate the complexity and costs and burden of building and maintaining your own real-time communication services and infrastructure.
- MirrorFly comprises of feature-rich SDKs and APIs to bring the flexibility of integrating highly scalable video chat functionality in the existing app. It facilitates the customization of UI, add-ons, core functionalities and hosting.
MirroFly’s SDKs allow you to analyze, configure and manage video conferences in real-time. It provides an insightful analysis report and dashboard to simplify thousands of discussions, webinars and meetings.
- Twilio’s Programmable Video SDK allows integrating and building real-time video and HD audio functionality with WebRTC and cloud infrastructure. It helps in reducing time to deploy while providing unparalleled reliability.
It has a web service called “In the Cloud” that facilitates developers to integrate real-time phone calls into applications.
SDK entails various features, including peer-to-peer calling, group rooms, HIPAA eligibility, recordings, co-browsing and screen sharing and complete media control and layout.
- Sinch provides one of the best Video Chat APIs and SDKs that supplement applications with video, voice and real-time communication APIs. Developers can quickly integrate Sinch SDKs to the existing mobile or web app to enable video conferencing technology.
It allows you to pay as it grows and it does not have any hidden charges. Based on WebRTC and VOIP, Sinch helps in powering the products.
Let’s discuss the multiple use cases of video conferencing technology.
- Video Integration with CRM
Integrating video conferencing with CRM tools or application can upgrade your sales superpowers. It will help you attach video calls automatically with the appropriate lead that can increase your chances of conversion in the first place.
Adding video functionality to the sales process can streamline the entire sales workflow. It has been found that video calls and demo can close more deals by creating a face-to-face connection and screen-sharing capabilities. Also, it can help sales leaders analyze video calls from the most crucial leads that can enhance your sales training and process to the next level.
The American Telemedicine Association reveals that more than one and half of hospitals in the United States use a Telehealth application. It states that 75% of urgent care, doctors and emergency visits can be handled effectively over the video or phone.
Therefore, video conferencing technology can be integrated into healthcare applications, for example, Practo, to add video calling functionality and enable patients to consult doctors over the video call.
It saves travel time and waiting time in the long queues at hospitals or clinics. Also, it makes it comfortable for both doctors and patients to communicate from anywhere and anytime.
Since many schools and universities have been teaching their students online via different video conferencing platforms amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the demand for video conferencing in the education sector is at peak. It is not sure how long it will take to come to the new normal and when students will be able to attend their schools and colleges.
Many schools have decided to continue to train their students online until the situation does not get better. Schools and universities can integrate video conferencing technology into their existing learning management system or mobile apps to enable the long-term solution.
- Real Estate
Real Estate Industry can leverage video conferencing technology by enabling its customers to visit the properties virtually via video call. It will help real estate leaders maximize the ROI as more customers would be able to invest in the property.
Apart from local citizens, citizens across the different states would also be able to take a virtual tour to the property via video and invest in properties in various states of the country.
Real estate leaders need to integrate video conferencing technology into their existing mobile apps and websites. It will help customers to connect with real estate professionals more efficiently and real estate managers can close deals quickly.
- Recruitment Process
Reduce delays in the recruitment process by adding video conferencing technology into your existing process. You can add the video calling functionality to your recruitment software that allows you to connect with candidates on a quick video call as soon as they are shortlisted.
It has been seen that in many cases, candidates are not approachable when HRs try to get in touch with them after shortlisting. But it will not happen anymore. Video conferencing technology will reduce the time it takes for a candidate to join an organization due to the delayed interviews.
For example, if video conferencing technology is added to a recruitment platform like WorkDay, HRs can interview candidates via video quickly right after the shortlisting from the same platform.
Many companies have enabled virtual joining of the new candidates amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that continuing the virtual joining process can reduce time and save costs.
- Travel and Hospitality
What if your customers could directly connect with you via video call to discuss any issues? Yes, it can be possible with the help of video conferencing technology.
Writing emails and responding to every query takes a lot of time. But if you connect with someone over a video call to fix the issue, it can be solved in just a few minutes.
For example, if Airbnb adds video calling functionality to the support service, customers would be able to discuss issues more promptly by showing what problems they are facing during the stay. It will help customers have a relaxed stay and owners fix and close queries quickly.
- Digital Commerce
As we all are aware that the impact of COVID-19 is not going to end soon, the demand for digital commerce is growing rapidly. People are ordering essentials via contactless delivery to avoid any physical contact in stores or showrooms.
But it has led to a decline in the sales of electronic appliances as it requires in-house demos or installations. What if you could provide online demos to your customers via video call?
By integrating video conferencing technology to the digital commerce platform, you can allow your engineers to help customers with online installations and demos.
- Legal Hearings
Legal Offices and Courtrooms can use video conferencing technology to connect with prisoners and witnesses who cannot travel to provide evidence or be questioned. Moreover, litigation often needs interviews where the ability to record and capture non-verbal and verbal clues is crucial.
You can integrate video conferencing into your existing app or website to ensure that meetings are secure, effective and efficient.
It can also be possible for law professionals to provide video consulting to their customers. Using video consulting, both law experts and customers can save more time and travel costs.
With ready-to-deploy video conferencing SDKs or APIs, you can reduce time-to-market, overhead and costs. It is crucial for every business to remain resilient in this unprecedented time when many industries are experiencing downfall due to the pandemic.
Published at DZone with permission of Akash Takyar. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.