Dell: Providing Multi-Channel Access & New Capabilities with APIs

API Design Tour: Dell

Founded in 1984, Dell is a privately owned technology company listed at number 51 on the Fortune 500 list. The company employs more than 103,000 people worldwide.


Challenges and opportunities

For many companies seeking to expand their services beyond online platforms, an open data strategy has become the best way forward. “APIs are the key to remaining competitive,” says an executive in Dell’s product engineering group. “We’re using this technology to change the face of our online assets—including Dell.com—and to provide multi-channel access and new capabilities that extend beyond the scope of Dell-owned properties.”

Solution

Today, an extensive API ecosystem gives internal teams and external partners a set of simple, flexible tools for creating value-added applications and services for Dell customers. For example, support-desk APIs offer automated, end-to-end service capabilities, providing customers with order and warranty status, device driver information, and access to product manuals.

A warranty-renewal API enables partners to provide up-to-date warranty expiration information within their own systems management consoles. In addition, internal developers can use a growing library of APIs to support social media initiatives and M&A strategies.

Dell’s API strategy is built on a unique hybrid model. Production and sandbox gateway instances are hosted in the company’s own data center, while analytics and KMS components are hosted in the cloud. Dell teams rely on a rich set of Apigee tools, including both out-of-the-box technology and custom policies, to develop APIs across all of these instances.

Results

Without APIs, Dell simply could not keep pace with customers’ demands for greater access to more information across a widening array of channels and platforms—all in a collaborative environment that the company can develop, nurture, and control.

More than that, however, Dell’s API platform promotes a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and its partners, introducing new opportunities for business growth.

“APIs play a key role in our overall strategy as a company,”  a Dell executive says. “We’re always looking for ways to enable our customers to do more, and our API platform gets us even closer to that goal.”

“APIs are the key to remaining competitive. We’re using this technology to change the face of our online assets—including Dell.com—and to provide multi-channel access and new capabilities that extend beyond the scope of Dell-owned properties.”
Director Online Product Engineering
Dell
Opportunities: 
  • Seeking to expand services to new platforms and channels
  • Providing multi-channel access and new capabilities beyond the scope of Dell-owned properties
  • Pursuing an API strategy as the best way forward in a competitive global market
Benefits: 
  • Keeping up with customers’ demands for greater access to more information across a widening array of channels and platforms
  • Building a collaborative environment that Dell can develop, nurture, and control
  • Promoting a mutually beneficial relationship between Dell and its partners

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