APIs: Empowering the Connectivity
Industry for Explosive Growth

By: Ben Edmond

As the demand for connectivity services continues to skyrocket, teams push for more integrated internal workflows, and trading partners look to provide seamless processes for an amazing client experience, network buyers and sellers are faced with new challenges. How can they provide fast, scalable services to each other, within their internal clients and all the way through to each other’s customers? In today’s cloud-centric digital world, speed, scale, analytics, and integrated experiences matter. It’s clear that connecting providers and internal systems before an order has even been created via application programming interfaces (APIs) and automation is the future state of our industry—and the only way to buy and sell in our increasingly connected world.

When searching for any network partner, their API use should be a prime consideration. When investigating new partners, ask about their API stack: do they invest in updates? Do they provide customers with support and suggestions on how to properly tap into it? Do they offer a standards-based scalable framework that will enable faster onboarding and better long-term engagement? Are they fast and do they handle your multi-site, multi-product needs at scale in seconds and minutes, not hours and days? Answers to these and other API-related questions will help you understand how they—and you—can use API tools to empower your business for growth.

Introducing APIs

An API is a set of definitions and code that allows two pieces of software to communicate with one another in an automated, intelligent way. APIs act as messengers, delivering one application’s request to another and returning a response in near real-time (think milliseconds). The trend toward integration has been steadily increasing at a rapid rate over the past few years, driven by increasingly sophisticated ecosystems and business processes, as well as the growing need to better encapsulate and share information among disparate systems.

By leveraging APIs and automation, connectivity buyers and sellers can improve efficiency and agility and offer integration, scalability, and innovation opportunities—all of which are crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. When tapping into software platforms that house strong data, APIs inject much-needed automation into business processes, allowing companies to increase revenue, extend customer reach and value, integrate backend data and applications, and more. Legacy BSS and OSS stacks, on the other hand, result in inflexible and slow operational processes with siloed architecture, expensive maintenance and upgrade paths, laggard development cycles, and less-than-ideal customer experience.

Bridging the gap between customer expectation and reality

The bottom line is that consumers expect services to be faster and easier—and that extends to the telecom world. An IT director can jump into a public cloud dashboard, click a button, and seamlessly spin up terabytes worth of data. If that person then has to wait 90 days to execute on the connectivity that’s required, the disconnect between customer expectation and reality becomes a glaring chasm. APIs bridge that gap.

Let’s look at a few of the ways APIs and automation can drive results for modern telcos and channel companies.

Automating the go-to-market process

There’s no escaping it: network operators need to digitize and automate the go-to-market process. Everyone in the connectivity ecosystem has a responsibility to either present a strong API strategy or become obsolete. Service providers need to invest in seamless communication with the other parts of the ecosystem, to ensure they’re collectively providing the customer with a holistic, best-in-class service.

For instance, if a service provider wants to know where all the network operators are within its footprint, that company needs to be able to leverage an API-enabled platform to pull up a list of available buildings quickly and seamlessly. That service provider can bulk query in real-time, and network operators can send building list data among each other and then effectively advertise their lists to partners. APIs also help customers price their products to win while maximizing profit margin.

For network operators attempting to sell network services, for instance, APIs help to communicate:

  • All on-net and near-net buildings, a database that’s constantly updated (when near-net locations move to on-net, sites adjust).
  • Near-net impediments, such as railroads or bridges.
  • Full pricing catalog, which has been optimized based on the latest competitive and geographical data.


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