A typical use case: on-boarding partners

These two little dialogues illustrate the point of the procedure described in the following section: how that procedure helps develop a thriving and growing ecosystem at a company called Acme Widgets. The actors in these dialogues:

  • Dave, an API Product Manager from the business department. His goal is to get as many people as possible to use the data from the API he represents, which is becoming popular in South-East Asia.
  • Pete, the IT manager for the same API, who helps him make the necessary connections.

A normal day

It's a normal day at Acme Widgets. Everything is running smoothly. Dave has a request for Pete.


Dave (API product manager)

Pete, could you please implement a new connection to the “ordering API” for our new reseller “Widget Malaysia” ?

 
Sure Dave, which technical specifications do you need? For authentication, do you need API key, secret key, Single SSL, Two-way SSL ? I will also need to inform Steve, our Security Officer to get his approval and get this documented somehow.

Pete (IT product manager)

Dave (API product manager)
Thanks Pete, I don’t know I will ask them. Would you also be able to provide me with consumption dashboards on a regular basis?
 

Things get busy

ACME Widgets is growing fast. IT is under pressure to deliver more and more. New partners are flocking in to get a piece of the action.


Dave (API product manager)
 

Hi Pete,
Sorry to bother you but I’m a little messed up with my different partners. The people at "Singapore Widgets" tell me they increased their traffic last week. Can you tell me if this is right and if this led to impact on other partners ?

Hi Dave,
I really would like to help but this will require me to query a few systems and I’m overwhelmed with work at the time being. I will do my best to deliver it to you at the end of next week.

Pete (IT product manager)

Dave (API product manager)
 
Thanks Pete, I appreciate your efforts.
I will manage with the partner but we will have to provide him with an answer as soon as possible.

The pain points

The situation described in the dialog above shows potential for improval:

  • On the business side, progress is slowed down by the bottleneck of IT resources. There are no dashboards to track usage per API, partner and web application. Dave, the API product manager, is frustrated because he can't deliver to his partners as fast as they require, and he lacks visibility on data usage. Time to market increases, meaning that SLAs may not be met.
  • On the IT side, Dave's repeated business demands are one more addition to Pete's already overbooked workload. Demands for rapid responses leads to integration spaghetti and patched solutions. An added headache: a lack of centralized code, technical specifications, documentation and support.

 

Read the next section >>> to find out how Dave can manage and keep track of all his onboarding partners without calling Pete at every turn

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