Initials and acronyms are common currency in the telecommunications industry, and for good reason: Many of the major concepts and technologies are a mouthful to pronounce, and abbreviating their titles makes clunky topics easier to discuss and digest. However, buzzwords often come on the scene representing concepts that are more fleeting than they are revolutionary, which can make it difficult to discern between jargon that's meaningful versus just a passing fad.
One of the latest trending terms to enter the telco lexicon — API, or application programming interface — is not going away anytime soon, as this is one of the most important elements in telecommunications today. With software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) dominating the networking landscape, APIs are the ‘banner-men' that represent the tools and protocols needed to enable and automate the networks of the future.
APIs bridge communication gaps between software components, enabling automation
While buying the equipment and hardware necessary to operate networks can be pricey, those purchases are only the start, as network management is an ongoing process that requires continued investment. This includes purchasing the latest tools and training the staff needed to design, plan, implement and maintain networks.
This investment spans different areas of heavy specialization, both in terms of day-to-day functions — operations teams versus those in charge of capacity planning, for instance — as well as the different network domains. In the past, this specialization made it near impossible for all the different stakeholders involved in network operations to react in real-time with each other, as well as with the end customer.
But if all those elements of provisioning, assuring and optimizing could be automated, not only would that accelerate operations, but it would also reduce the amount of manual effort that goes into each process — not to mention the associated costs.
Enter APIs, which provide the software driven communication between applications and functions necessary to automate the network. Ultimately the end customer benefits by having a dynamic, on-demand network plus valuable network-based services.
Sign up to attend our latest webinar with SDxCentral on May 9th at 11 a.m. ET, “The ABCs of APIs,” where we dive into what's driving communication services' digital revolution. And, stay tuned for part two and three of our series on APIs, where we discuss how they can open the door for new partnerships and revenue opportunities for CSPs.