Iâ€™ll answer a question with a set of questions, all starting with â€śHow big does a business need to be before it â€¦â€ť
- Needs a web site?
- Needs a mobile App?
- Wants to provide great service to its customers?
- Needs to partner with other companies (e.g. for supply chain)?
- Wants to take advantage of social media?
- Wants to reach/obtain new customers?
- Wants to bring new offerings to market faster and less costly than they have in the past?
- Needs a digital strategy?
There is no business that does not want to do any or all of these.Â And, all of these are enabled through APIs.Â Whether you are a traditional manufacturer, regional retailer, credit union, or a startup trying to disrupt an industry (think Uber), APIs are applicable to your industry and provide value to help you succeed.Â Over the last several years I have written blogs covering use cases across all industries (see â€śAPI Use Cases for Every (?) Industryâ€ť).Â So, certainly APIs are desirable to all businesses in all industries and of all sizes.
When the initial question is being asked, the real implied question is â€śIf I only have a small budget, is an API initiative using API Connect feasible?â€ť
IBM offers API Connect in several different editions both in the cloud and as an on premise offering.Â Each has different price points and characteristics, but is actually the same product.Â Letâ€™s describe some of the options.
How about a â€śNo Chargeâ€ť option?
Yes, API Connect can actually be no charge.Â As mentioned there are multiple editions of API Connect.Â The Essentials edition available on the cloud via Bluemix is intended for developers and is available at no charge.Â It has some limits on function compared to the other editions and does not include IBM support.Â This edition supports 50,000 API calls per month and is a great way to have your API developers give API Connect a try.
On the cloud IBM offers all the editions of API Connect within its Bluemix Platform as a Service offering.Â There is a 30 day free trial for anyone signing up for a Bluemix account and API Connect can be used for no charge on the cloud during that period.
Yes again! The professional edition is offered on both the cloud on Bluemix and as an on premise product.Â On Bluemix you can start small with a monthly charge for 100,000 API calls per month.Â As you grow and find you need additional capacity (because of your incredible success!) you can add incremental groups of 100,000 API calls or change the plan to the Professional 5M plan which supports up to 5 million API calls per month.
On premise, the professional edition is installed in your data center and can support 5 million API calls per month.
The enterprise edition offering higher scalability, higher availability and additional functionality may also be applicable based on your needs and certainly as you grow.Â Â All the editions are the exact same product.Â So, as you grow, as you move to the cloud, as you add more APIs and obtain more customers you can move between editions and use APIs on the cloud and/or on premise with exactly the same product.Â API Connect can be obtained at price points that match your needs.
Just this week I was approached by a startup company in the automotive industry asking questions about using API Connect on Bluemix.Â This is happening now.Â How aggressively are you pursuing an API initiative?Â Perhaps this should be higher on your priority list?
Contact IBM to find an IBM Business Partner who can assist you in moving forward with your API initiative.
To understand more about IBMâ€™s thoughts on the API Economy visit the IBM API Economy website.Â IBM API Connect is IBMâ€™s complete foundation to Create, Run, Manage, and Secure APIs.Â You can find more information about IBM API Connect at the API Connect website.Â And you can also experience a trial version of API Connect.
If you have questions, please let me know.Â Connect with me through comments here or via twitter @Arglick to continue the discussion.