Telefónica-Movistar Uruguay: API Management Initiative
What was going on at Telefónica, and in the telecom industry, that drove the need for an API Management?
The telecom industry faces a lot of challenges and needs some drivers to reinvent it to allow businesses to be more flexible and agile. Businesses are always looking for new ways of monetizing the big investment we have in our networks and tend to be very creative. For instance, we are developing new services around Cloud, IoT, Virtualization, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
Traditionally, when businesses request for new services IT needs some time to adapt actual systems and, by the time it is finished, the service may be useless or outdated. The way Telefonica found for businesses to not only be flexible and agile, but also independent from IT, is implementing APIs.
What specific goals or benefits were achieved with this project? What prompted your need to look at API Management solutions?
As previously mentioned, one of the main goals we achieved within this project was the ability for the Business to be more flexible, more agile and gain independence from IT departments. Moreover, Telefonica Global put the end to end digitization as the most important goal to achieve in the upcoming years and API Management solutions are one of the core drivers for this.
What advice do you have for other organizations looking to deploy an API Management solution?
API management solutions per se are not magical, you have to think very well your end to end digitization and do a long term plan with short and mid-terms milestones and, once you have this plan polished and approved by the board managements within your organization, do a market research and compare the different solutions. Take your time. Remember that the technology you select for this will be a key factor for the success (or not) that will drive your company to the next step.
How did the implementation process go? Is there anything you would have done differently?
Before the definition of this specific design of deployment and arrangement of the solution in Telefónica, it became necessary to do an induction to the involved teams on the Axway API GW, its characteristics and possibilities. Moreover, Axway and Perceptiva -which is a partner of Axway in Uruguay- teams had to learn about the systems and infrastructure of Telefónica that would participate in this project.
In the administration of a corporate platform of Telefónica, different teams with different purposes and responsibilities intervened and all of them had to work in tandem with Perceptiva and Axway. What was essential for this was the definition of an initial architecture document that served as a guide of the solution to be implemented, the formal instruction of the Telefónica teams that participated in the project, the constant interaction between all those involved, and everyone's willingness to search for solutions for the different difficulties that arose during the project.
I believe it was a great project, that was able to achieve its goals and in which everyone worked collaboratively. It was thanks to Axway´s technologies and support, Perceptiva´s services and the work of a series of Telefónica teams that the project could end successfully.
Do you have any advice to others regarding implementation?
First and foremost, sufficient time must be allocated for the designing of the solution between the client and the implementer, having Axway’s support. This is of vital importance because it gives a global vision as well as a work plan before starting to do any work or to allocate any resources for the API Gateway.
It is convenient to do a first simple installation of all the components and tools that will be a part of the project in the development environment and to instruct all those who will be involved, just like Axway and Perceptiva did in this project for Telefónica.
What is certainly advantageous for the project is having as much activities held in the client's office as possible, being as this benefits the relationship between the team, which is essential for the rest steps of the project.
Once the client validates the architecture document that is designed upon the knowledge acquired during this first activities, everyone starts working according to schedule in all the preparation and revision areas of the infrastructure of the hardware, browser-based software and necessary connectivity for implementing the design.
Last but not least, the completed solution is installed, set up and tried, including all the Axway components that integrate it, as well as other´s softwares that may be involved. In the case of this Telefónica project, the load balancer installed was also a part of the global solution proportioned by Perceptiva.
What did Axway API Management offer you that other providers did not?
Axway and Perceptiva do not consider the business of integrating B2B, including the APIs´ management, to be a mere business model in a large catalogue, but one that is specialized and works in the creation of products and in the achievement of projects that allow unlocking businesses´ data, as well as publishing and managing it professionally. I believe this specialization, the quality of the products, the technical support and the capacity to execute projects with clear objectives and adapt to the organization in which they work, are proof that we made a right choice. Furthermore, the fact that the vast majority of the businesses of the LATAM group in other countries have also chosen them demonstrates that it was the best solution for the integrative platform that Telefónica desires to upgrade for the future.