I’ll give credit to Alcatel-Lucent for thinking outside the box in today’s acquisition of ProgrammableWeb, a site that catalogs Web APIs. ALU has been on an aggressive path of transformation into a Web API-centric telecom company as I’d written here before. Clearly it believes that the future of telecom is the Web, and its executive management team is doing something about it. The Web-focused strategy may just give ALU an advantage over its heavyweight competitors.
Official press release:
Paris June 29, 2010 – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that it has acquired ProgrammableWeb, the technology industry’s universal source for Web APIs (application programming interfaces) used by application developers to build web, mobile, and other connected applications that serve consumers and the workplace. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Web APIs enable developers to create new applications leveraging various kinds of content and functionality. Alcatel-Lucent’s acquisition of ProgrammableWeb will help bring together an ecosystem of service providers, enterprises, and developers to drive the creation of unique applications today and in the new world of broadband mobile through LTE.
ProgrammableWeb will continue to operate as a separate entity, maintaining its repository of over 2,000 Web APIs which are regularly accessed by a community of hundreds of thousands of developers, and continuing its role as the industry’s most comprehensive content source for Web services development. Alcatel-Lucent will provide support and resources to promote the continued and robust growth of the API and developer ecosystem, and facilitate service providers’ participation within that ecosystem.
For Alcatel-Lucent this acquisition provides an important new channel to partner with the Web developer community – a dialog it has started with its Open API Service and Developer Platform. It also gives Alcatel-Lucent access to general API usage patterns, allowing it to build highly relevant API bundles for its Open API Service. ProgrammableWeb’s API monitoring services, API trial services, and automated API updates will be integrated into Alcatel-Lucent’s Developer Platform. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent will be able to share its developer resources, such as its dashboard that helps developers track application monetization, with ProgrammableWeb’s developer community.
“If you look at any organization that launches an API, you quickly realize that the one thing the most successful APIs have in common is a vibrant developer ecosystem,” said Laura Merling, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent’s global developer strategy. “Our goal is to protect the uniqueness and independence of ProgrammableWeb as an API repository and developer resource, while adding beneficial technologies and service provider relationships to the mix for everyone’s benefit.”
This move advances Alcatel-Lucent’s Application Enablement strategy, which is focused on combining the trusted and secure network capabilities of service providers with the speed and creativity of the Web to provide a richer end-user experience.
“ProgrammableWeb has always sought to put developers first, by giving them the most timely and comprehensive picture of everything related to APIs,” said John Musser, ProgrammableWeb founder who is moving to Alcatel-Lucent, but will continue to oversee the repository’s operation. “That mission will be strengthened and expanded by joining forces with Alcatel-Lucent. As APIs become more central to software strategies in all domains, we’ll make ProgrammableWeb an even better one-stop independent source.”
ProgrammableWeb is the leading online destination dedicated to mashups, APIs and the Web as a development platform. Founded in 2005, ProgrammableWeb offers the Internet’s largest directory of Web 2.0 APIs and mashups. With over 2,000 open APIs and thousands of real-world mashups, users can search, contribute, and connect as part of ProgrammableWeb’s active mashup developer community. The site also offers daily industry news, analysis, case studies, tools and technical resources. Regularly featured in major publications worldwide, including Forbes, Newsweek and CIO, ProgrammableWeb is a recognized industry authority. For more information, visit www.programmableweb.com.
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation, and governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP and optics technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 15.2 billion in 2009 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet:http://www.alcatel-lucent.com, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/blog and follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Alcatel_Lucent.
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