AT&T launches API program for enterprise customers


AT&T (NYSE:T) unveiled an enterprise-focused application programming interface program enabling customers, wholesale collaborators and solution providers to leverage the operator's network capabilities to create and deploy new mobile applications.

The enterprise API program, which complements AT&T's existing AT&T's consumer developer API efforts, enables partners to source customer insight data (e.g., aggregating subscriber information to help support hyper-local mobile marketing efforts), re-format existing content for access on almost any mobile device or network, automate voice and video calls, and integrate speech and video services into apps.

AT&T said that its API programs now generate more than 7.8 billion API calls per month, more than any other operator. The total telecommunications industry API opportunity expected to yield $157 billion in global revenues by 2018, according to a Mind Commerce forecast issued earlier this month.

AT&T first revealed its enterprise API plans in May. At that time Laura Merling, vice president, ecosystem development and platform development at AT&T, told FierceWireless she is charged bringing new value to the carrier's enterprise business, in turn driving new business models and new revenue.

"AT&T has always been focused on the enterprise," Merling said. "But now we are saying that this business is an extension of our business." She added that the key challenge for her group is to evolve from selling finished products to their enterprise clients to selling tools to help companies create a finished product.

AT&T also announced it is partnering with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to deliver new cloud solutions allowing enterprise customers to connect to Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform via private network, allowing users to access company resources from any site using almost any wired or wireless device. AT&T promises customers enterprise-grade security on par with virtual private networking, also touting latency as much as 50 percent lower than the public Internet.

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