AT&T today launched a new API marketplace designed to provide businesses with software code to add new services on their sites and applications. It built the marketplace on Ribbon Communications’ Kandy, a cloud-based communications software development platform.
“We see the AT&T API Marketplace as a complement to AT&T’s current SDN portfolio,” Greg Johnson, director of voice and collaboration at AT&T Business, wrote in response to questions. “This service rides over the top of [SD-WAN and security] technologies functioning at the application layer.” He cited two-factor authentication as an example of AT&T’s efforts to help businesses decrease fraud on their websites and applications.
The network operator is positioning the marketplace for two distinct use cases: turnkey applications and self-service APIs that give developers the flexibility to create custom applications. The self-service APIs enable businesses to add or upgrade services such as click-to-connect communications, two-factor authentication, conferencing, virtual directories and contact centers into their existing environment.
Other use cases include automated scheduling, reminders, and broadcast messaging. AT&T plans to regularly add new APIs to the marketplace to increase the number of services available to its business customers, and the operator says it will offer support for more customized integration. “The marketplace will be able to support APIs from multiple software providers and vendors,” Johnson wrote.
APIs Work on Over-The-Top Network Transport
“These APIs can function as over the top working on AT&T network transport or any other network transport,” he added. “The APIs are interoperable with outside technologies, and AT&T can connect businesses with developers for hire that can create more tailored solutions to help solve complex needs and use cases.”
AT&T is also offering a limited number of pre-packaged applications including click-to-connect communications and a virtual directory that is designed to help customers directly reach the person or department they want without waiting on hold or grinding through an automated phone system.
“Even the largest enterprises struggle with securing the time and resources needed to deploy capabilities that can enhance customer service and create personalized experiences,” Roman Pacewicz, chief product officer at AT&T Business, said in a prepared statement. “In today’s omnichannel communications environment, customers expect timely responses. By giving businesses a consistent experience and easy-to-use tools, we can help address common pain points efficiently and effectively.”
The pricing for turnkey applications ranges from $20 to $115 per month, and self-service APIs are priced on a per-instance basis or total data used ranging from $.0022 per minute for standard-definition video calls to 9 cents per PIN for two-factor authentication requests.
“The AT&T API Marketplace underscores the company’s overall strategy helping businesses drive tangible business outcomes through the depth and breadth of communication and collaboration solutions,” Courtney Munroe, group vice president of worldwide telecommunications research at IDC, said in a prepared statement. “Interest in plug-and-play APIs like these is only growing because of their potential to deliver immediate value without a huge investment of time and resources.”