Over the past couple of years telcos have been under tremendous pressure to keep up with the evolving landscape of exponential revenue generation. It was apparently clear that in order for telcos to spearhead large market shares they are in need of new revolutionary business models. In times like this those who are reluctant to make a disruptive strategic move in redefining business models would be left behind in competitive dynamics. According to a comprehensive study done by Programmable web on a report published by Mind Commerce about future trends on Telco API market place they say “ As traditional Circuit switching technology is phased out in favor of digital tech, and traditional voice calling plans in favor of data services. As a result, telcos will need to build more value –added services to maintain their revenues and profits. Source (http://goo.gl/eFHjR3). This clearly highlights the requirement of telcos to uphold the strategic decision opening up their APIs to aid service innovation.
Ever increasingly commoditized technology world was taken by a storm when tech giants like Google wanted to aid external innovation which was previously beyond the reach of their grasp. Learning from the success of the web telcos also have to move their attention from internal to external innovation, Leveraging on APIs as the prime medium to an open ecosystem. However, opening up your APIs it-self doesn’t necessarily mean that you are contributing towards the goal of making new revenue. The key is to have more and more services built upon the existing telco assets. Achieving this milestone of open innovation cannot become a reality unless telcos starts aiding to a broader service creator spectrum covering tech and non tech savvy communities. So it is clear that a comprehensive engagement environment with third party- service creators is in high demand for telcos.
Annual hackathons, Monthly develop meetups; mentoring sessions should be telcos major concerns in developing a diverse third party app creator environment. Encouraging breakthrough tech entrepreneurs and grass-root startups which incorporates telco features should be on the top of telcos checklist in building a developer ecosystem. They should be given a platform to showcase their success stories, where they get to pitch their ideas to potential investors and enter incubation process in the long run. Educating individuals about the vast possibilities of telco app creation, addressing their difficulties on app creation from scratch, guiding them on how to properly market their application are some of the key points telcos can focus on in nurturing an ecosystem of value added service creation.
Advocating individuals without prior coding knowledge and experience is much important as mentoring tech savvy programmers. Compelling new services can be put into motion by enabling “Everyone” to be involved in the app creation process. Wizard based app creation environments, sample programs; pre-defined app patterns should be made available on telcos platforms for value added service creators.
The involvement of an experienced technology vendor is of great importance in the matter of fostering a developer community leading towards an ecosystem. A vendor could play a vital role in maneuvering a telco through the process of developer community building. A telco would be extremely benefited to be hand held by such a vendor who has experiences in multiple global deployments on top of being experienced in building a sound developer ecosystem. Such an outstanding vendor can guide telcos on this journey of building a sustainable developer community.