Monday, May 29, 2017

Venturing to the API Economy

May 29, 2017 Posted by Akalanka , No comments

Connecting with Digital Business

Connecting business digitally has never been so easy. With the development of software technologies, integrating diverse aspects of your business has become a cakewalk. The Service Oriented Architecture (SoA) concept has been the fore runner of connecting digital business worldwide. According to the SoA standard a service has to comply with four fundamental properties 
  • It logically represents a business activity with a specified outcome.
  • It is self-contained.
  • It is a black box for its consumers.
  • It may consist of other underlying services.
In a simpler note it suggests that each service should be modularized and that each service should expose an interface for connecting with other similar services. This is where the application programming interfaces (APIs) come to play.

The API economy

APIs do exactly what their name suggests: It provides an interface for developers to program their applications. People who had their first steps in programming with JAVA would be familiar with the term APIs. In that case JAVA APIs provide an interface for applications to communicate with underlying operations abstracted by the JVM. eg: in Android the camera API provides the operations available on the camera (such as take a picture, adjust exposure) as an interface for applications to control the camera. 

Scale up this scenario to a distributed system, you get the APIs that we are going to discuss here. In this case services expose their capabilities/operations as interfaces so that applications can access and consume them. The exact implementation can differ case by case but generally the communication happens over HTTP/S and may utilize a higher layer protocol like SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) to formalize the request & response formats. This in contrast to the APIs provided by programming languages such as JAVA where they are more internal part of the Object Oriented Programming paradigm. 

When there is an exchange of value an economic transaction will ensue. When connecting services with applications this becomes the case and monetization of the services given via APIs has now become big business. With Inzpire our objective is to add value to your application via our available services to enable you.

APIs at Inzpire Store

Inzpire digital services store is the one stop shop for all your digital service needs. The API products available here will add value to your product or service in many ways. The telco APIs provided by Mobitel will enable you to engage with the customer more closely and will open new avenues for you to generate more revenue. Other APIs you can expect to be available are IoT APIs where you can control IoT devices with simple API calls without going through the tedious configurations and firmware development associated with traditional IoT services. You can also expect to see advanced APIs in a cognitive computing flavor to do image processing, machine learning and natural language processing.

We will discuss how to consume Mobitel's API services in the next blog post.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Welcome to Inzpire!

May 27, 2017 Posted by Unknown 2 comments

What is inzpire?

Inzpire is a revolutionary concept where the sole objective is enabling empowering and exchanging digital services. We are in an age of connected lifestyles where technology makes a huge impact on how we go about our lives. This has led to the rapid change in how we consume goods and services. It has given rise to a change in the way innovations are done. 
Mobitel as a leader in ICT innovation has come forward to facilitate the next generation of innovators by giving their creations an opportunity to generate value. Inzpire will create the channel for you to reach your customer for your digital service. It will create an avenue for you to monetize your service and take it to the next level.

Following the pattern

The buyer seller pattern has been existent since ancient times to satisfy the need for goods and services. We saw changes engulfing this traditional pattern in the last century with Mega stores and online retailers. What has been true for physical goods should be good enough for intangible 'goods' as well. This is the initial point where the concept for inzpire sparked into reality. The need for a platform to exchange digital 'goods and services' has been a long overdue requirement. Inzpire creates the opportunity for this through its flexible digital services store concept where any service provider can showcase their product or service. This store will take care of charging the customer and will settle the revenue collected back to the service provider.

Digital Services Store

The Digital Services Store is the main highlight of Inzpire. The digital services listed here are listed into 3 main categories based on the relevant customer segment

  • Enterprise
  • Consumer
  • Developer
Enterprise customers will find products and solutions of value to their enterprise regardless of whether its a large enterprise or an SME. This will give the convenience of finding the best solution to cater the customer's enterprise requirement under one banner. Visitors to the enterprise store can be expected to discover a plethora of solutions in the likes of CRMs, automation systems, IoT solutions, marketing tools etc. The consumption of these services are also vastly simplified. Most of the products & services can be purchased and used off the shelf in a pay as you go model. No need for lengthy discussions and product familiarization sessions involving countless hours of staring at presentations. The goal is to keep the effectiveness high and the complexity low.

The consumer marketplace will be filled with apps and content delivery services to keep the general consumer informed and entertained. The engagement with the retail consumer will be high with simple intuitive interfaces with great user experience. Any product listed in the consumer marketplace is expected to meet the high standards of UI & UX in order to maintain good customer ratings. It will a great opportunity for creative and tech savvy individuals to devise innovative services to suit consumer requirements and deliver it.

The developer store will be more focused in and will be for the tech gurus. It will feature platforms, services intended to make the development of your next ground breaking idea a smooth ride. The main highlight of the developer store are the telco APIs provided by Mobitel now opened for developers. This will help energize your application with a telco flavor with minimal effort. The APIs are designed to be as simple as possible backed by best in class Enterprise grade systems. Integrating SMS, USSD, Subscription as a Service and a host of other service will now be a breeze.

Empowering & Enabling

Inzpire is built to empower the value creator and enable the value creation process. The Digital Services Store serves to exchanging the value created in this process. Mobitel has been actively empowering and enabling value creators and turning them to entrepreneurs with programs like 'Kotiyak Vatina Adahasak' - Sri Lanka's first tech reality TV show and Inspire Sri Lanka - a tech innovation competition to serve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 
Inzpire's first program with the aim of enabling innovators of tomorrow was kickstarted at Google I/O 2017 Extended held at Stein Studios under the banner 'Codeblooded'. This was a coding competition based on the open source free code camp with the objective of improving the skills and increasing the familiarity of multiple heavily used technologies and frameworks. The winner was given an all expense paid trip to Singapore to visit CommunicAsia held in Marina Bay sands over a period of 3 days. Mobitel is expected to continue this trend to inspire the future leaders of the tech industry with more innovative programs.