It could have been just another technology-for-technology’s-glory conference, but Apigee’s I Love APIs event in London skipped over that trap and talked long and hard about the business implications of using APIs, the cultural management pitfalls to avoid and the potential for new business that APIs generate.
Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) has catapulted itself from its reputation as a staid drugstore chain with a down-home image to being the world's second-largest retailer. And now it has a digital presence worthy of the ranking, partly because its app is the third-most popular retail app to date.
If you think application program interfaces (APIs) are just a tool for geeky software developers, think again. In the age of Big Data and mobility, every company is potentially an information provider, and APIs provide a secure and relatively simple way to selectively expose data and programs.
In the last few years, the rules of customer engagement have changed completely. This is due, in part, to the fact that customers can engage with brands in an unprecedented number of ways on a dizzying array of platforms, devices, and applications. For example, we might receive an offer via email, view the details on a smartphone, then visit a nearby store to touch the product. After that, we might go home and research a little more online, maybe engaging in a chat session with a customer service agent or checking out what our social networks say about the product—all before making the purchase on our tablet.
How do I pay thee? Let me count the ways…Actually, would you rather I didn't? Last year saw the launch of so many different payment services that it's practically impossible to list the different ways that businesses can now process payments, consumers purchase goods, or people transfer money among their friends and family.
Many successful API initiatives are done in stages. With each stage, businesses can build on previous projects, assume more risk, and invest in larger projects more easily.