New generation digital service providers (DSPs) need to be able to plug in new platforms or partners and immediately create products to compete. In order to easily access other web-based software application and systems an application-programming interface (API) is utilised.
An API is a software-to-software interface, not a user interface, wrote Tony Poulos. With APIs, applications talk to each other without any user knowledge or intervention. For example, when you seek out something online, buy it using your credit card and get a response back that the transaction is complete the many applications working together behind the scenes are using APIs.
APIs as such are not such a new idea. Operating systems, databases and many software solutions have had APIs for decades. Newer things are open APIs, web APIs and the API economy. This involves companies opening their own platforms or solutions for third parties to innovate and develop new applications on the top of their own solutions. It also means new earnings models, accelerated innovating and more networked business models.
Services that include newer cloud, NFV and IoT components are a part of this mix. In order for service providers to make best use of APIs and deliver new products and services quickly they need an environment allowing them to accelerate their API strategy.
Serial-entrepreneur, Jouko Ahvenainen recently wrote that “we are moving to a new era of the API economy when APIs are no longer the territories of internet and mobile companies alone, and instead are implemented in basically any industry.”
That is the reasoning behind a group of TM Forum members working together in a project called the API Simulator Platform Catalyst. Catalysts themselves are rapid fire, member-driven, proof-of-concept projects which both leverage and enhance TM Forum best practices and standards, connecting service providers, technology suppliers, and global enterprises to create innovative solutions to common industry challenges.
Over the past year, significant progress has been made to align these Catalyst projects with the strategic ambitions of TM Forum, thereby producing a portfolio of Catalysts which bring best practices and standards to life in real world scenarios ensuring the value of these assets is proven in complex partnership scenarios.
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