Platforms Emerging From Apps

Some of my favorite stories emerging from the app economy are those of apps that actually created platforms. In most cases, these platforms emerge from vision and strategy where the backend driving the app can and should be available to serve a larger ecosystem. The following stories are of companies that saw the potential of their functionality beyond their own successful apps.

An App a Day Keeps Confusion Away

At this moment, we’re in the thick of the U.S. presidential election season—the Republican nominating convention is about to start and the Democratic one is just around the corner. Only a few weeks ago, the world was abuzz with the London Olympics, and now many of us are thinking about Labor Day, Back to School, NFL games, elections, and on to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, into the holidays.

Illustrating APIs As Key To Your Multi-Channel Consumer Experience

Friday we reflected on multichannel expansion as a key business driver for retailers at eTail Boston this month, by comparing it to the technology recommendations of the analyst community. One fantastic point that Brian Walker touches on in his talk is that businesses in general cannot keep up with all of the emerging digital touch points in today’s market. Retailers are looking for strategies to reach customers across the rapidly growing array of channels most consumers touch daily: mobile, social, word of mouth, as well as traditional Web and traditional channels.

APIs: The Key to your Multi-Channel consumer experience

So, why APIs? For retailers, the answer is in your pocket. When was the last time you used a shopping app while inside a store? Or made a “spur of the moment” online purchase?

APIs Will Power More Than Your App

Less than a decade ago, we were limited to accessing the Internet via a monitor, keyboard and speakers overtaking our desks. Today, we view and engage with connected content by virtually every kind of device in our lives: our smartphones, tablets, television sets, even alarm clocks. At the heart of this ‘magic’ are the same engines that power our apps and websites of today: APIs.

SaaS API Management: Up Market In A Down Economy

One period of my career that I always try to keep in mind was my time with It was 2002—the economy was in lockdown mode and everyone was looking for innovation on a budget. I started selling Salesforce Automation (SFA) as a multi-tenant SaaS solution, and it turned out to be exactly the right offering for the right market at the right time.

Apps Grant Wishes: Find Me Hotel Deals

In the past year, we’ve seen a surge in mobile devices and smartphones plunging into mainstream, giving millions of people the capability to browse the Internet, watch movies and stream music anywhere, without ever having to find a place to sit down and boot up a laptop or desktop. In fact, in a recent Gartner report, worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached a whopping 419 million units in the second quarter of 2012, where open OS smartphone devices made up over 36.7% of all mobile device sales.

Turning Data Into Gold

Platforms have become a driver of new technologies, businesses and economies. Many in our industry focus on companies looking to enable others to create and deploy on existing foundations. And so a lot of media attention goes to APIs that generate innovation, energy and attention from third party developers in what we call the “App Economy”. Yet, many platforms have been generating revenue with the simple strategy of selling access to their valuable data.

The Time (to Market) Crunch

I’m always amazed to hear how fast things happen in the technology industry. It’s true—entire platforms can go from revolution to obsolete seemingly overnight, and we all know of companies that burned bright as startups and then went bankrupt in the blink of an eye. This is what keeps our world so exciting. It’s the new thing, the next thing, the bigger-faster-cheaper model taken to extremes.

Beware: ‘PCI-Ready’ Is Not PCI Compliance

There aren’t many issues left that we can see in terms of black and white. Everything has nuance—there are shades and complexities, levels of acceptance, and so on. Here’s an exception. If you handle credit card data, your product or service is either PCI-compliant, or it’s not. Period.


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