Cloud News: How vendors provide APIs
As we conclude our series of Cloud Trends Unfolding in 2016, the last trend that we will look at is the trend that predicts that cloud vendors will begin to provide APIs on demand. What exactly does this mean? Well, first, let’s do a quick study on exactly what APIs are. API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface and it refers to a tool or library that assists developers in writing code that interfaces with other software. Basically, it’s how one computer program communicates with another computer program. Think of it as two people conversing in the same language. APIs enable computer programs to “speak the same language” to each other. As the cloud continues to grow and evolve, the need for APIs that are compatible has also evolved.
How, then, does this affect the call center? Well, consider that there are a number of different functions that a call center requires, such as routing calls to the correct agent, the need for secure data storage when it comes to storing credit card information, call recording and tracking of customer-agent conversations and the need to sometimes add agents in order to deal with peak purchasing seasons. These needs have created a world of cloud vendors providing different services such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, making it necessary for cloud vendors to offer APIs that allow these services to communicate with each other.
Cloud APIs are segmented into infrastructure, service or platform and application. Here’s a brief explanation of each:
Infrastructure: Infrastructure APIs modify the resources available to operate the application. Functions include creating, re-creating, moving or deleting components and configuration of the architecture such as network and security settings. These components are referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Service: Service APIs provide an interface into a specific capability provided by a service created to enable that capability such as managing a database, messaging, web portals, e-commerce. These are all examples of service APIs and are commonly referred to as Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Application: Application APIs provide methods to interface and extend applications on the web. Application APIs connect to applications like CRM, ERP, social media and help desk. These would be an example of Software as a Service or (SaaS)
Cloud vendors are quickly learning that offering APIs along with their cloud services, is adding tremendous value to their service package. Technology gurus and market watchers are expecting this trend to rise as the cloud continues its phenomenal growth and influence in the digital world.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.