Business has always been about connections. Whether it’s communication with your customers, alliances with partners, or ties with suppliers, connections are a critical part of your business.
Traditionally business development was about the salesmen with the Rolodexes who could close a handful of big deals. Today, the rules have changed. In the Web-based economy, business development is about connecting people with the relevant information at the point and time they need to consume it. Web services allow companies to do business across firewalls, reach a broad range of partners, and create new business opportunities.
The Web services model is applicable to a range of businesses, from information plays like WhitePages.com to messaging systems like Twitter to infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services and semantic web services like Thompson-Reuters’ Calais.
The concept works like this:
A company makes a web service that is accessible via an API (application programming interface).
Each business partner registers to obtain an access key.
Using those keys, partners can use the service programmatically to get and send data.
A well-managed API gives prospective partners, or a community of developers, a way to develop an application using your content or services. They can try it, test it, and even build something that begins to scale demand for your content. Using monitoring and metrics, you can identify the handful of partners or developers that have been the most successful in helping you meet your business goals. In the process, you end up with a self-managed business development funnel that yields the world’s most qualified leads.
Using APIs as a mechanism for content and service distribution, or as a tool to allow partners to build value added services on your platform has become an enticing concept. But the question still remains: If we build it, will they come? The purpose of this paper is to answer that question by showing you how to create a successful business development channel built on a Web services strategy.
KDYKES: From Catrina Fake of Flickr… this is the perspective of how startups build tremendous revenue & value from the outset!