AlcaLu Lures Developers With Free Tools

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is courting developers by offering free access to its OpenPlug development toolkit packed with network application programming interfaces [APIs] and the means to build apps around them.

With OpenPlug, which it acquired last year, AlcaLu is angling to be a broker between operators and developers looking to create "write once, read everywhere" apps. By using standard Web language, OpenPlug promises to convert a single code base into native apps for any number of smartphones and tablets. (See AlcaLu OpenPlugs Away at Apps Enablement.)

With AlcaLu in the middle, service providers can focus on standardizing the developer interface to carrier billing, identity and other unique network assets, says Laura Merling, senior VP of AlcaLu's developer programs.

The vendor has also tapped three of its developers -- Exuvis, Nexworld and On3 -- as inaugural members of a new Certified OpenPlug Solutions Provider Program, teaching developers how to use OpenPlug and building business apps that take advantage of network APIs.

Why this matters
AlcaLu needs to make OpenPlug as easy as possible for developers, because they've got a growing list of app stores and brokers to choose from. "The power shifted to developers a while ago," Merling says.

AlcaLu's apps enablement strategy has been more than two years in the making and is similar in scope to what the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) is promising. The vendor is homing in on developers looking to build for large corporations and operators hoping to capitalize on the cross-platform opportunity.

For more
AlcaLu has built its apps strategy through acquisitions and by leveraging its close operator ties. Here's more:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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