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Opening the Door to Web Developers: How APIs Can Generate Billions for Operators
Telecom operators are continually hunting for new sources of revenue and new ways to gain a competitive edge. Faced with margin erosion in their core telephony markets and a pace of data traffic growth that is far outstripping the rise in data-associated revenues, they are under pressure to increase margins using the assets they have in place.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) offer telecom operators a quite literally golden opportunity to open up new markets, to generate extra revenues from the customers and assets they already have in place, and to deliver customized services that add more value for their customers and that will make their services more sticky.

What is the drawback? Why are operators not embracing this opportunity as fast as the market potential would suggest they should? Because they have to expose complex, core assets to third parties. Because they have to rely on third parties to support their innovation. They have to see those third parties as partners rather than customers to be bled dry. Because they have to interact with the over-the-top (OTT) Web developer community. These are not traditionally telco strengths. Telecom operators must reassess their business models, rethink the way they do business and they must kill some sacred cows to make it work.

Telecom operators must get a grip on the API market opportunity. It offers the potential to deliver billions of dollars of additional revenue worldwide.

A select group of larger carriers has been experimenting with and launching new services, but many other large network operators, as well as smaller services providers are missing an obvious opportunity to generate new income and nurture new ways of working with their customers.

Business models must evolve to make telecom operators more attractive to the develop community. Operators have attractive assets, but they should not see developers as a community to rinse. Developers can bring telecom operators traffic and revenue - but only if operators provide a commercial environment that nurtures them.

Opening the Door to Web Developers: How APIs Can Generate Billions for Operators looks at the opportunity for telecom operators to generate new income streams by using APIs to offer access to their network assets. It considers the services that can be introduced, reviews the infrastructure requirements and offers a detailed case study of an operator that has an aggressive API monetization strategy. It also analyses the products and services that third-party API solution providers can bring to the market, comparing leading vendors in terms of market positioning.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (spiti1212_toc.pdf)
APIs are simplified programming constructs that enable software programs (including Web-based applications) to access services and information or to instigate behaviors in other software programs or systems. APIs provide a layer of abstraction so that human programmers have no need to understand any of the complexity of the systems or programs they are trying to access with their applications, nor any requirement to learn how to program/operate those systems.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Aepona Ltd.; Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Apigee Corp.; Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM); Layer 7 Technologies Inc.; Loc-Aid Technologies Inc.; LocationSmart, a division of TechnoCom Corp.; Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL); Placecast Inc.; Twilio Inc.; and Voxeo Labs Inc.
Total pages: 41
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