It's a tough job but somebody has to do it - in the wake of the failed WAC initiative AlcaLu is advocating "back to the drawing board" on the old telco API conundrum. I. D Scales reports.
The failure of the Wholesale Application Community (WAC) was doubly galling for many within the industry who had long held that fighting the handset vendors head-on over app distribution and telco/netork API development was unlikely to work. "Too much to agree and standardise, too little time to do it in," probably best encapsulates what many voices were saying on and off the record over the WAC period.
But being proved right is little consolation when it just makes it harder to foster an approach that might succeed where the previous ones have failed. Which is what Alcatel Lucent says it's trying to do with its API Lifecycle Methodology, announced today.
The problem, of course, is the old one.
How can mobile telcos get an encouraging slice of the applications pie through opening up their networks in a timely way to make valuable capabilities like billing systems, location information, security services and so on available (for a price) to developers and cloud service providers?
Alcatel Lucent says the issue is a critical one and it defines the situation thus:
- SMS and voice revenues are on the decline, accelerating the need for operators to identify new revenue streams.
- To participate in the ecosystem, operators must shorten time-to-market & lower costs for delivering new services.
- Application providers have seized the consumer experience. Operators must rede?ne and reinvigorate their role in the value chain.
The answer, says AlcaLu is to work the operators towards a common and predictable technical and commercial approach: one that can command the confidence of app developers. That way the development of standard API's - perhaps working vertically with all the telcos within a particular territory - can be fostered over time, eventually leading to the standardisation of a set of universal APIs.
That's the vision. To formulate a repeatable process whereby an API strategy is designed, created deployed, otpimised and eventually retired in a predictable structured way.
Alcatel Lucent has already tried out the app enablement and lifecycle methodology approach in a joint project - YouConnect - with the big French mobile telcos. Orange, SFR and Bouygues are using the methodology and app enablement approach make it easy for consumers to input information to mobile apps on their phones or tablets.
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