Light Reading
Operators are still interested in APIs. They just don't need a vendor's help, Alcatel-Lucent says

Operators Cut AlcaLu Out of API Equation

Sarah Reedy
5/3/2013
50%
50%

Alcatel-Lucent has been pursuing application enablement as a top-down initiative from the CEO since 2009, but the market has changed in the past four years, and the vendor is finding it no longer has a role -- or a business model -- for helping operators expose their application programming interfaces (APIs).

In fact, Alcatel-Lucent isn't playing the role of intermediary between operators and developers at all any more. As part of its reorganization, it sold off the API repository it acquired in 2010, ProgrammableWeb, to MuleSoft, noting that its operator customers would rather see it embed its own APIs into its platforms like IMS and SDN than work to expose their own. (See AlcaLu Sells Off its API Repository.)

Cassidy, Shield, VP of marketing for Alcatel-Lucent's platforms business division, says part of the reason AlcaLu changed its strategy was that it was only focusing on telecom, a narrow focus which hurt it as its competitors like Apigee Corp. and Layer 7 Technologies Inc. targeted multiple industries. He says the company knew it would never be a leader in API management while only focusing on one industry vertical.

"On top of that, we heard from customers that API management was important, critical to success, but we don't necessarily need to get it from you, Alcatel-Lucent," Shield adds.

Instead, operators are tackling the API market on their own through industry-wide initiatives like the GSMA's OneAPI and through their own innovation centers and developer programs. Whether or not that has been successful, however, is up for debate. Even Shield admits that innovation labs are typically more for operators to acquire technology for their own business initiatives than to give developers unfettered access to their network APIs.

"Despite the talk of open innovation, we've been moderately successful at best," Shield says, adding that the majority of revenue and investment still goes into building networks as operators struggle to find a business model for APIs.

"The operator issue is not that they don’t want to engage with developers, they just haven't figured out the business model," Shield continues. "Technically, there isn't an issue at all. It's about what services will be launched; what's in it for me?"

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Telco
50%
50%
Telco,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/6/2013 | 9:07:21 PM
re: Operators Cut AlcaLu Out of API Equation
Sarah, At first I thought your comment regarding carrier finding a business model was limited to wireline and telco in particular but as I work on carrier network architecture across all verticals (cell, cable, sat, telephone, internet); it is true, they all are are struggling with a go to mass-market app. One internal group says customer treat complex apps as intriguing but fail to create take-up which is true. Another group wants the API vendor to be a customer seeking access to the customer base, essentially another revenue stream (like they use to treat ISPs and cell operators).

AT&T did just post 7 developer positions in mid April. Let's see what happens next fall.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/6/2013 | 2:57:10 PM
re: Operators Cut AlcaLu Out of API Equation
Of course! I think APIs are hotter than ever right now, however, it's become clear that operators role in APIs is anything but clear. It seems to me they've moved away from APIs and helping developers (if they ever really did that) to building services they can monetize and charge consumers for. I wonder how much longer their Innovation Labs will stay open for...
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/6/2013 | 2:08:39 PM
re: Operators Cut AlcaLu Out of API Equation
Good to see you still going string on the topic :)

As we've discussed just exposing API's is not enough anymore, but MNO's need to invest in creating a deeper development environment with capabilities that are beyond anything available elsewhere.
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Cisco Puts a Fog Over IoT
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Apple Earnings: Strong iPhone Sales, iPad Sales Slump, $7.8B Profit
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/22/2014
Salary Survey Report 2014
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Facebook: 30% of Users Are Mobile-Only
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/24/2014
U-verse Growth Slips But Still Strong
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed