Launch of consulting and professional service practice to define, create, deliver and manage business strategies around application programming interfaces
Paris, August 16, 2012 – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is today launching a new consulting and professional services practice that will enable communications service providers to create new revenue opportunities and deliver new services to market faster.
The practice will support a proven lifecycle methodology for application programming interfaces (APIs), providing operators with expertise and technology to streamline the creation, deployment and management of network-based services.
Operators expose these services to internal and external software developers as APIs which allow data to be shared between applications, as well as enabling better management of the underlying service’s value.
Laura Merling, Senior Vice President, Application Enablement at Alcatel-Lucent, said: “APIs are the glue that ties together all the elements of the data economy – apps, the cloud and big data. But launching and supporting a dynamic API strategy is not easy – these programs need to be monitored, nurtured and directed as they evolve over time. Operators need to offer a program that lowers the barrier to entry for developers and creates a more supportive environment. Our methodology and related services are designed to address the pain points affecting developers when designing, implementing and integrating APIs.”
By strategically creating APIs which provide access to technology assets and content within their networks, service providers promote the development of innovative applications that support a range of goals including creating new revenue opportunities, improving operations and enhancing customer experience. A well-executed API-sharing program will attract developers and support them in the kind of vibrant community needed to achieve these goals.
The new API consulting and professional services practice is built on the foundation of Alcatel-Lucent’s uniquely qualified and experienced team of veterans in API implementation, strategy and operations. The recent YouConnect project in France is an example of the team’s work.
Coupled with the company’s API lifecycle methodology, which is licensed under Creative Commons and freely available to the larger community, the new practice is designed to address the challenges developers face when integrating APIs and to help optimize an API program for success, while also providing operators with a repeatable model for innovation.
James Governor, Redmonk cofounder, said: “As consumer expectations soar in the age of the app store and the smart device, traditional telco subscriber relationships are breaking down, and being replaced by API-driven business models. Alcatel Lucent is providing API management tools and expertise to directly address this change, with service exposure, packaging and next generation network capabilities.”
Managing APIs as a key strategic asset for future growth
To be successful, service providers must make a long-term commitment to an API strategy. Whether they are in the early stages of deciding what to do or in the more sophisticated phase of optimizing operations, Alcatel-Lucent’s flexible methodology follows three phases of Definition, Design and Deployment. Each phase can be offered on a standalone basis or combined depending on where the service provider is with their current API strategy.
- Definition – establishing appropriate business objectives and matching evaluation parameters by looking at what can be done with service provider network assets as well as looking at what the competitors are doing with theirs. This also involves defining the most compelling services for consumers and businesses alike, which can then be used to create the most lucrative business models.
- Design – focusing on API design and creation. In this phase API’s are created for developers from business assets and services ensuring the technology choices match overall business goals, the standardization of API libraries, as well as standardized error handling, and the creation of developer-friendly example code. Standardization is a requirement for the success of developers and the overall program.
- Deployment– focusing on how services are deployed and then undergoing continuous analysis and improvement through to end-of-life. This phase also includes complete back-end systems integration, testing and production deployment as well as performance optimization to assure that metrics are being met along the way. In the deployment phase the major emphasis for service providers shifts from the quality of the developer experience to that of the ultimate user of the application, the consumer.
Hear Laura Merling discuss the API consulting and professional services practice and methodology lifecycle on a brief audiocast.