Alcatel-Lucent has unveiled a host of capabilities to help service providers open their networks to application developers and content providers in a secure and controlled way to speed the creation of innovative Web 2.0 services for consumers and enterprises.
These capabilities – which include Alcatel-Lucent’s Application Exposure Suite, Open API Service, and a comprehensive set of transformation services – support the company’s application enablement vision, which is focused on combining the trusted capabilities of service providers with the speed and innovation of the Web to provide both consumers and business users with richer experiences.
These capabilities provide access to key service information, such as the location of subscribers, service preferences, billing relationships and more, to make it easy for developers to create ‘mash up’ applications that combine the functionality of service provider networks with Web-based capabilities. They complement Alcatel-Lucent’s High Leverage Network architecture to help address the business, technical and operational challenges faced by service providers, developers and enterprises as they create, manage and market new applications.
“Alcatel-Lucent has found an elegant way to help service providers and application and content providers benefit from the new model of application development – merging network capabilities with the agility and ingenuity of thousands of Web developers,” said Elisabeth Rainge, Director IDC. “The company’s holistic end-to-end approach to application enablement can help service providers to reassert their value proposition in the Web 2.0 value chain and beyond.”
Application Exposure Suite
The launch of Alcatel-Lucent’s Application Exposure Suite allows service providers to make their assets in their networks available – via a secure “exposure layer” – to application and content providers in a way that can enrich Web-based services and new mash up capabilities. Service providers can monetize their capabilities by allowing developers to easily ‘grab’ functionalities, such as billing, location or connection optimization, to add to their applications.
The Suite provides service providers with key services across their enablers, such as secure access to network assets, subscriber privacy, protecting the network and the end-to-end visibility into the performance of applications on their network in a way that helps them optimize end users’ experiences while ensuring the most efficient use of network resources. The Suite is commercially deployed and also in advanced trials with a variety of major service providers worldwide — companies engaged in creating innovative service experiences in digital media, rich communication, advertising, payment, customer engagement and more.
Open API Service
Alcatel-Lucent today also launched its Open API Service, which brings developers and service providers together to support the rapid creation and secure testing of new services. Providing managed and controlled access to aggregated network capabilities through a Web portal (http://developer.openapiservice.com), the Open API Service allows developers to leverage enablers from multiple carriers in one place, thus eliminating the need to establish individual relationships with carriers and providing the cross carrier advantage of reaching a larger potential customer base. Developers conveniently enter into one contractual agreement, and get access to easy to use application programming interfaces (APIs) along with technical support and a robust test environment.
For service providers, the Open API Service eliminates the expense of registering, provisioning and supporting developers. At the same time it helps foster new business models to increase and monetize network traffic.
The Open API Service is rapidly gaining traction, especially with mobile marketing and contact center application developers. Developer companies, such as 1020 Placecast, 3Cinteractive, Agent511 and Gamma Engineers, have extensively accessed its context information, specifically location data, to create applications.
“The Open API Service enables us to easily incorporate network capabilities into our applications,” said Alex George, Managing Director of Gamma Engineers, a leading contact center developer. “With these APIs we can differentiate our applications and deliver improved customer service for our enterprise customers.”
To support the transformation of service providers to open business models, Alcatel-Lucent offers a comprehensive portfolio of professional services in a multivendor environment, including systems integration and innovative approaches for the management of complex networks and service-layer operations. Alcatel-Lucent customers benefit from the combination of a proven track record in transformation projects and a tight network of partners as they “onboard” third party developers, applications and content.
An example of an Alcatel-Lucent-led transformation services project is its engagement with Nucleus Connect of Singapore where Alcatel-Lucent is providing a turn-key BSS/OSS solution including software, hardware and professional services, to support the customer’s OpCo operations and business models. Consisting of a scalable platform for content and application onboarding, the solution will facilitate the bundling and rapid introduction of new services via an on-line virtual mall. It will also provide open interfaces and fully automated workflows via a business-to-business (B2B) gateway to interact with the NetCo, Retail Service Providers, and other qualified parties.
“We are helping service providers find new ways to fully exploit their resources, including location, presence, preferences, address book, Quality of Service and payment, by exposing such capabilities in a managed and controlled way to a growing community of application developers to create a whole new category of advanced Web 2.0 and multimedia services,” said Kenneth Frank, president of Alcatel-Lucent Solutions and Marketing. “In particular, the Open API Service eliminates the inconsistent policies, practices, requirements and capabilities across multiple networks that make application development a costly and lengthy process, while protecting the integrity and reliability of the network.”