& cplSiteName &

Operators Cut AlcaLu Out of API Equation

Sarah Thomas
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        ADD A COMMENT
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.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.