September 11th, 2012

Dispatches from Rome: Different Strokes for Different Folks Applies to APIs Too

SDP Global Summit 2012This week, I’m at the SDP Global Summit in Rome, which is focused on API publishing for telecom carriers. One of the comments I’m repeatedly hearing from speakers with carrier organizations is that they want to support different communities of API consumers without complicating their API publishing strategies.

Everyone wants to capture the long-tail developer but, for many carriers and non-carriers alike, developers in dorm rooms don’t generate revenue. Increasingly, the focus of many enterprise API publishers is on internal users, other enterprise customers and even partners. The mass market is great but, for APIs, it doesn’t always pay immediate benefits.

API goals around revenue, reach and retention are often realized faster by programs that expose APIs to internal developers who can turn around new services faster, customers that can build revenue-driving software faster or partners that can expand collaborative channels across mobile and cloud.

No two API consumers are the same, which means publishers need to build diversity into their API strategies from the get-go. But building flexibility without creating complexity can be tricky. And now for the Layer 7 plug…

API platforms like Layer7′s ease the whole diversification thing. Why build different APIs or API versions for different customers when you don’t have to? One of the popular features of the Layer 7 API Management Suite is the way customized versions of an API can be rendered virtually and exposed to target communities of API consumers, at will.

Something to consider – whether you’re a carrier or not!

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