API Accelerator Programme – How AMCS Platform is enabling an Interconnected Ecosystem
The average enterprise uses 1,295 cloud apps and this number will likely continue to increase as more companies transition to remote working environments, as a consequence of the current global Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, organizations demand integrated, seamless experiences. APIs are the plumbing that allows these otherwise disconnected and siloed applications—such as CRMs, ERPs, finance, communication, digital portals, and marketing automation platforms— to communicate with each other and, in turn, deliver the functionality that an organization requires. APIs are the connective network that binds today’s digital ecosystems, so workflows can be strategically orchestrated to drive increased productivity and business opportunities.
With this dynamic environment in mind, AMCS has gathered feedback over the last year and a half, from customers, 3rd Party Integrators, and internal users of its’ REST API integration Software Dev Kit, with the goal of making significant improvements to our customer experience. There are two major components to this API Accelerator Programme plan:
Simplified API Management
Firstly, this has led to a new simplified, API Management, design and development approach. This involves four key inter-related components, illustrated below:
By providing an Accelerator Project, that any developer could easily get to start a new Integration Project as a template, they would have between 80-90% off everything coded for them, for example, how to connect to the APIs using a Personal Access Token (PAT), how to get customer details, create Site Orders, Manage Scale Tickets, etc. The Accelerator Project is a living project under an MIT public domain license, allowing any customer or 3rd party to leverage the code to fast-track their integration projects reducing cost, risk, and learning curve.
A Sandbox is a controlled environment that allows customers (developers) to test, explore and innovate in a safe manner. The Production/Development AMCS Sandbox environment with “Known” data provides a tool for developers to baseline their code by eliminating potential outside factors that could cause a false error. Secondly, it may often take weeks before the customer’s environment has data and is configured sufficiently to allow integration development to begin, so this immediately accelerates this phase, becoming a force multiplier for projects and a huge time-saver.
The Introduction of an Integration Hub allows users direct access to the developers who work on the APIs to get detailed answers to technical questions more quickly and also enable them to have a threaded conversation. Additionally, a forum-based support mechanism creates a community to solve commonly experienced problems. Combined with an AMCS Integration Experts, that is available to support critical issues, provide resources, documentation, and guidance to complete this simplified API management process.
The Accelerator Project, Sandbox, Integration Hub, and Integration Experts combine to provide a dramatically improved customer experience reducing the overall risk to integration projects by reducing costs, time, and learning curve.
Delivering Business Value
APIs have the potential to transform businesses. Traditional business growth strategies rely on large sales forces, manual processes, and siloed, discrete operations and the practice is becoming less sustainable all the time. Forward-thinking companies are reducing costs and time spent, by building networked solutions, which they access via APIs. This means increased automation of commercial processes and activities, with a focus on how to grow rapidly in an ever-changing business environment.
Creating new API management and operational process in AMCS will support two key business ideas: 1) Innovation and 2) Business Growth
- Opportunity to scale, foster innovation, and reach a wider audience – opening up and improving speed-to-market by building new services and product solutions, for new markets.
- Ease integration of backend data and applications – so both internal and external organization processes can work more efficiently, with more stability, reducing overhead and streamlining costs.
2. Business Growth
- Increase revenue - As APIs reduce development efforts, applications can be introduced in the market easily which helps businesses save money and resources.
- Extend customer reach and value – APIs can support more personalized customer experiences, into different channels, such as the use of Mobile Apps.
- Support sales and marketing activities - move a business from single or multi-channel customer communications to multi-experience ecosystems.
- Develop strong digital experiences - businesses can create engaging experiences for any audience, creating new ways to engage and communicate with customers, such as digital portals to drive e-commerce or community forums to share information and extend interactions.
In summary, APIs are growing as an essential capability to successfully navigate in the digital era. Moreover, as businesses integrate IoT and other smart technology into their ecosystem, success will lie in adopting API-driven strategies, to really make these powerful tools drive business performance.
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