Channel Partners

SEP-OCT 2013

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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COVER "The power of APIs is unlimited. It is possible to create an entirely new service simply by combining two or more separate functional APIs." —at&t'S jaSon porter DISCUSS ON TWITTER: #applications #api #cloud #mobility 24 ChaNNel paRTNeRs SEPt/OCt 2013 leverage these APis," said Andrzejek, noting that big, monolithic websites are being downsized into widgets. And, increasingly they are targeting mobile devices — smartphones and tablets where apps reign supreme. "All your traffic, we think, over time is going to migrate to these APis," Andrzejek said. "Whether it's your website, traditional mobile devices, new alternative devices, they are all going to communicate through APis. it's kind of like a universal connector." Beyond Connectors But connecting two applications so the functionality of one is available in the other is just the beginning. the true potential of APis to drive the economy lies in enabling new services. "the power of APis is unlimited," said Jason Porter, vice president of business operations for the Emerging Markets Business Group at At&t Business Solutions. "it is possible to create an entirely new service simply by combining two or more separate functional APis." At&t is among a new wave of telephone companies to open the kimono and allow developers to use its network functionality to create such new services. "Opening up APis is a fundamental part of how we're changing the way At&t does business," said Porter. One example is a suite of APis around At&t Watson speech technology, which allows developers to add the voice engine to their apps. twilio is another company focused on easing the integration of voice and text functionality into Web and mobile applications. twilio's cloud-based APi taps into functionality from a range of telecom service providers with which the company has wholesale relationships. it also has developed its own intuitive markup language called twiML, to make it simple for developers to use. for example, if you want to use text-to-speech, you just use the word "say." All of this is available on a payper-use basis via the cloud. And it's being used by developers to create new services that have nothing to do with core telecom services. in a high-profile example Uber, the innovative car service, uses text messaging capabilities exposed through twilio to keep customers updated about the status of their ride in real-time. The Cloud factor the cloud is both a beneficiary and benefactor of the APi Economy. On the one hand cloud services are enabled by APis. Cloud infrastructure providers, for example, enable customers to spin up virtual server instances, take them down and reconfigure them using APis. APis also are critical for making disparate cloud applications work in concert. "in cloud computing, leveraging APis is absolutely essential," said Larry Walsh, president and CEO for channel consulting firm, the 2112 Group. "Most cloud platforms and applications remain isolated; they don't speak to each other natively. therefore, what you have is a multiscreen experience. … it's beginning to get better because there are APis. there are means to customize and create interconnects between applications so that they can share information more easily." On the other hand cloud enables companies to more easily and cost-effectively expose their APis to developers as do twilio and Apigee. hosting APis in the cloud also offers the ability to provision and deprovision as needed. in addition, the cloud has driven down the costs of new app development. "the fact that you can go to Rackspace or Amazon and spin up some instances and … take two, three, four APis and combine them into an app has dramatically reduced the cost of launching new services," said Andrzejek. "that adds fuel to the APi economy." Cloud computing also allows businesses to scale as usage of their APi-enabled services grow. "the cloud enables you to quickly adapt to what's happening in your business," said At&t's Porter. "for example, if you used APis to create and launch a service and that service takes off, cloud can enable you to scale your business on a near real-time basis. You can add more or less storage or compute power as you need it." The Channel's opportunity A new value chain is emerging wherein business' data and systems are exposed as APis that are then used by a developer

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