Orange opens up to app developers and startups with Apigee

Orange picks Apigee’s digital API platform to help developers and startups create services by levering data already held by the telco

Mobile network supplier Orange has picked Apigee’s digital application programming interface (API) platform to enhance its Orange Partner business hub for developer and startup programmes and bring new third-party services to market.

The Orange Partner hub exposes a portfolio of APIs that allow third parties to build mobile and web apps using Orange’s core network services. It already promotes a number of these, such as enriched communications and machine-to-machine services.

The partnership with Apigee is intended to foster more innovation around a number of areas, including personal cloud storage, 4G, near-field communications, TV, and smart home applications.

Apigee head of strategy Sam Ramji said: “APIs are central to the expansion of telco business models. What we have consistently seen is that telcos that are open end up doing better.”

Giving developers and partners access to its APIs will benefit Orange by allowing the creation of services that will help it compete better against OTT internet and cloud suppliers.

Of particular value to the developer community, argued Ramji, will be the opening up of APIs around search data analytics. “Search data is like a resource lying underground, waiting to be mined,” he said. “It was inaccessible and unavailable to us before.

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“A company like Orange can see a lot of user activity and authentically say, 'here are popular search terms and trends', which lets marketers and advertisers better approach consumers.”

Ramji said he expected a lot of development work around the new APIs to occur around video, an area where, he said, telcos had only begun to scratch the surface of what might be possible.

Search data, rising search terms and trending topics could, for example, be used to disseminate relevant video content such as, for example, World Cup goals, to consumers more widely and more quickly, he suggested.

Thierry Souche, senior vice-president of Orange Labs Products & Services, said: “We wanted to highlight and provide access to our portfolio of APIs and enhance our ecosystem’s developer journey through a simple self-service solution, and Apigee is the backbone technology that enables this.

“We selected Apigee for its innovative technology, for its thought leadership in APIs, apps and data, and for its experience with similar initiatives in other large enterprises.”

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