If you happen to be a business that relies on software developers, your company is a software developer, or your company - large or small - has products and services that rely on APIs and SDKs for third-party developers to use, then the chances are quite high that you either know Apigee quite well or that you need to know Apigee. One or the other.
Among the services it offers, Apigee's flagship is its Apigee Enterprise platform - available either in the cloud or on premises. The platform helps the company's 350+ customers, which include Walgreens, Bechtel, eBay, Pearson and Gilt Groupe (News - Alert), among many others (20 of Fortune 100 are Apigee customers), some of which are off the record, and over a hundred thousand developers. Apigee Enterprise assists these customers by securely delivering APIs, driving developer adoption, providing the critical API info needed to build powerful apps, and analyzing the massive amounts of data generated by resulting apps.
Apigee also includes a number of the large wireless service providers among its customers. Earlier this year Apigee delivered a new API platform - The API Exchange, which we covered at the time, for which the telecommunications industry happens to be the first industry to participate. The API Exchange helps the telcos manage their own developer ecosystems.
Now Apigee has added an entirely new service to its wealth of API capabilities - in part because the telcos are hugely interested in it and in part because it is something that makes sense for Apigee's entire range of customers to have access to. Specifically it is a new, premium subscription component to Apigee's core platform, dubbed "Apigee Enterprise - Monetization Services." The new services give business users a fully integrated solution for managing the entire monetization process, from purchase to payment. We recently caught up with Apigee to chat about the new services.
End-to-End API Monetization for Business Users
Relative to Apigee's platform, the new premium service sits with and completely integrates with Apigee Enterprise as follows:
Apigee Monetization Services specifically empowers non-technical business users to manage the complete process of monetizing all digital assets. Some of the processes that are automated include creating rate plans, managing limits and notifications, configuring reports and billing documents, and modifying a given system to maximize API program value. There is a great deal of flexibility for creating customized plans though customers can also use easy to implement out-of-the-box plans that cover all revenue models, including fixed and variable fees, revenue sharing, and freemium plans.
The following shows the basic high level interactions between the business people, the services provided within the monetization module, and the interactions with developers and partners.
Based on the model shown above (think of it as the 5,000-foot view of how it operates), businesses can now expect:
- Rate plans and changes to plans created in Apigee Monetization Services are automatically published to the developer portal for immediate use by the developer community
- Rate plan limits and notifications set in Apigee Monetization Services are automatically reflected in real time in the Apigee Enterprise platform
- The API provider is automatically notified when a developer purchases or changes their plan or is reaching plan limits
- Performance of developers, packages and plans are constantly monitored in Apigee, enabling API providers the agility to react and adjust plans in real time – testing and refining across a range of scenarios and variables
Apigee Monetization Services can also, of course, easily be integrated with any existing accounting, ERP, sales or other backend system to provide consistency and coordination with already established business processes. Apigee Monetization Services is not just about pricing digital assets, but also understanding what to price, monitoring plan performance, and easily adapting to meet optimal monetization terms.
Chet Kapoor, Apigee's CEO, notes that "the API and developer programs that are core to mobile strategies are increasingly business critical and provide opportunities to create new revenue streams. The key problem to date has been that existing financial management solutions are not designed to take advantage of new transactional opportunities enabled by apps and APIs. Apigee Monetization Services is the only fully integrated, end-to-end solution for managing the entire monetization process, from purchase to payment."
The real point here is two-fold. First, APIs can be turned into revenue streams. An interesting thing to note here is that Apigee finds that many of its customers do not even realize they are sitting on potential revenue streams. Part of the goal for Apigee is to unlock this value for all of its customers. That said, the very same telecom companies that are the pioneers for Apigee's API Exchange are also the first to really understand that APIs can indeed be monetized, and we look for them to become some of the bellwethers here for the new services. That said, the services scale easily down to the smallest of Apigee's customers.
Kapoor adds, "It is critical that businesses have the freedom to explore all the ways to orchestrate value creation through APIs. Our monetization capabilities provide the flexibility and agility to allow API providers to quickly determine and execute on the right business strategy for their digital initiatives."
Apigee Monetization Services was announced in mid-July 2013, and is now fully available. Existing customers can easily purchase the services as an add-on to Apigee Enterprise. It will be widely available in August, 2013. Apigee Monetization Services details are available directly through the Apigee website.
Edited by Alisen Downey