API Business Models

APIdays Paris 2018 Wrap up


Thank you! This 6th edition of APIdays Paris has made history, thanks to our 3000 phenomenal attendees and 127 amazing speakers, over two days of event!

Special shout out to our featured speakers: Reese Jones, Associate Founder Singularity University; Jean-Michel Garcia, CTO BNP Paribas CIB; Tariq Krim, CEO, dissident.ai, Founder at Netvibes; and Paolo Malinverno, VP Research Gartner. A warm thank you also to our 29 sponsors who made all this possible, particularly our Gold Sponsors: Apigee, D2SI, Microsoft, IBM, and Orange.

If you could not join us in Montrouge on December 11th and 12th or if you had to make a heartbreaking choice between two great sessions, you can now watch or rewatch the videos of the keynotes that took place on the main stage. We will also regularly publish articles to sum up the main presentations and additional interviews with top speakers.

This year, APIdays Paris’ program dedicated one day to what makes the new API stack, in its technological, business and regulatory dimensions, and a second day to the challenges of the programmable society, a world where IT systems are able to discover themselves and integrate with each other without any human interaction thanks to Artificial Intelligence. Yes, we can automate the world, one API at a time. But we also took time during APIdays Paris to reflected together on the impact of IT on our environment and the ethical implications of technological innovations, because as a community we can decide to work together towards a sustainable future.

Wrap up of APIdays Paris 2018:

  • Introduction: we asked Mehdi Medjaoui, founder of APIdays Paris, to sum up what the API stack and the programmable society represent.
    Read the full article here
  • Day one: the event kicked off with Tariq Krim’s inspiring opening keynote about the principle for the slow web, “an ethical approach for building software”. Tariq shared his worry about the state of the world caused by a technology-fuelled hypergrowth. “Technology should be here to give you time to enjoy your life, not take it away from you”. He encouraged developers to be aware that technology is also politics, raise their voice, and take time to craft things conform to the values of their life”. Gartner’s Paolo Malinverno’s following keynote was dedicated to “The state of the API industry”. As our MC, journalist John Koetsier, remarked on stage, those two topics could not seem farther apart on paper. And yet, Tariq and Paolo delivered parallel keynotes as two frequencies in the API spectrum, both putting human values at the core of API business and practices. Paolo presented the Magic Quadrant for API lifecycle management solutions and insisted on the fact that change will come from people who program or use APIs. He compared API product managers to “fine artists” who have the constantly walk a line caught between people asking for APIs and the governance choices that need to be made. He illustrated this idea with a picture of Philippe Petit, the original “fine artist”. In the 70’s, he felt the need to walk a tightrope setup between the Twin Towers buildings in New York, with the police on both sides and possible death at any mistake.
    Read more quotes from the top speakers of Day 1
  • Day two: our caffeine infused synapses fully fired up with the first morning keynote by Reese Jones, associate founder of the Singularity University, titled “Blockchains like biology”. Armed with crowd-pleasing slides on amoebas’ anatomy and the Cambrian explosion, he opened our minds to how biology uses technology for communication between cells. In fact, APIs communicate like cells communicate, and this might give us ideas about the evolution and the future of APIs. Or as John Koetsier summed up “API is how software have sex »! The second morning keynote by Mike Amundsen, director of API architecture at API Academy, was dedicated to “bots on the net, the good, the bad and the future”. Mike introduced us to old friends ELIZA, the psychologist robot, and PARRY, the schizophrenic paranoid robot. He urged developer to pay more attention to human psychology and be aware of their own biases when creating apps/API and bots. If you are looking for the next great idea, let biology inspire you and human psychology guide you!
    Read more quotes from the top speakers of Day 2
  • Environment & Society: Following in the tradition set during previous APIdays event, the last keynote of APIdays Paris 2018 was dedicated to environmental and societal concerns. We have been honoured to invite on stage Jean-Marc Jancovici, president of the Shift Project, newly appointed to the High Council on Climate. Our global IT system, energy saver or climate destroyer?
    Read more from Jean-Marc Jancovici’s keynote
  • Next steps on your API journey, till we meet again!
    The date of our next APIdays events will be announced at the beginning of 2019. Make sure to subscribe to our email alerts.

We asked Mehdi Medjaoui, founder of APIdays Paris, to sum up what the API stack and the programmable society represent.

“The tools for the API economy are now ready!

But outside of tech circles, “nobody knows what an API is, but they run the world” mused John Koetsier our MC during APIdays Paris. In fact, API has the potential to bring the world closer together, if we can find the right blend of technical skills, business savvy and human ethics.

At APIdays Paris we shared the updated version of the “API Industry Landscape”, a map to help all practitioners to understand the different parts and models of the API Industry (insert link to the map). It features 446 tools: 230 for business process as an API/API as a service (including 44 messaging APIs, 32 payment APIs and 27 AI APIs), 123 API lifecycle platforms, 40 backend building tools/MbaaS, 17 integration Platform as a service, 36 Vertical API abstractions.

Yes, some of those tools have been around for the last 15 years, but for a long time we focused on servicing IT with IT solutions. Now major new developments are increasing the scope of the API landscape along the entire API lifecycle. Because the real potential of APIs is not to replace a software but to represent the business of a company. The power of API is that the code can change, but if API are built from the user and the business perspective, with a focus on User Experience, they won’t have to change. That’s why now that we have this full API stack, along with a common culture and shared best practices, we can focus on building an API economy.

If we want to build this “economy as a service” we will also have to develop a long-term culture about APIs with this focus on API design. A culture which understands APIs at the core, is a culture that understand that by about thinking APIs as products you can now dissociate the interface from the implementation and design it to be more aligned with business. Like that, as long as business remains the same (and it can be for a long time), interface contracts will not break compared to the implementations that change quite often. Thinking API is also thinking API first, which means building the APIs before building the final client. This way you will be able to have complementary building bricks that are also reusable to rationalize IT. More aligned with business, thought as products, more reusable to save IT costs and with increases time to ideation, this is the new API culture stack.

We can agree that so far, the way agile and lean startup principles have been implemented is not from a long-term perspective. UX is often treated as a layer instead as the foundation of API. A short-term oriented motto like “move fast and break things” also reaches its limits in an API economy where companies focus on their core business and competencies and rely on the core competencies of others, exposed as API to complete their services. Unmanaged API versioning or termination impacts all those who use API, so we need to remember that we are all interconnected to make smart moves without breaking what others built.

To be able to think in long term, companies will need to reclaim their IT culture. How? By re-internalising key development and architecture jobs that create value, by listening to internal and external clients’ needs.

The API economy will rely on those human skills but also on the automation of some interactions, with the right dose of Artificial Intelligence. Ancient Greece gives us an interesting analogy for the challenge that this programmable and automated economy represents. Automation can be a “Pharmakon”, a Greek word that can either mean remedy or poison depending on the usage of the drug. To guide us in the creation of services bringing long term value to the market, with an economically and morally sustainable approach, we will also need another Greek concept: ethics.”

Mehdi’s latest book just launched during APIDays Paris : “Continuous API management”, making the right decisions in an evolving landscape. Published by O’Reilly; co-signed with fellow colleagues of the API Academy Erik Wilde, Ronnie Mitra, and Mike Amundsen.

Day 1 — The new API Stack

With the needs of high speed, high growth and high scalability required by Cloud and Mobile technologies, APIs and Microservices have evolved tremendously. IT and business managers need to understand what this means in order to face the challenges of the digital transformation and achieve a successful transition.

On the business side, new concepts like API governance, Developer experience and API-as-a-product have enabled companies like Stripe and Twilio to reach $20 Billions and $7 Billions in valuation.

On the regulatory front, the EU Commission and many governments worldwide are forcing banks to open APIs and create innovative ecosystems, with, for instance, the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2).

On the technical side, recent concepts like API-first architectures, microservices, Service Mesh and Zero trust security, powered by technologies like Docker, Kubernetes, GraphQL, Kafka, OpenId connect and API gateways enable the migration from legacy software to more agile systems, the deployment of software on any cloud in a safe and controlled environment.

Governance guidelines from some of our speakers:

Tariq Krim, founder, Dissident.ai: Principles for the slow web, an ethical approach for building software

“The idea of slow web was inspired by the slow life and slow food movements. Technology is here to give you time to enjoy your life, not take it from you. Now we need to take back control of our digital life. The three principles that shape our world are transparency or rather lack thereof (about our data and who uses them), attention manipulation (media and ads use our emotions, recent examples show us that algorithmic radicalisation is possible), privacy (fighting for real privacy and control of our data).”

#Ethics #SlowWeb

Paolo Malinverno, VP Research, Gartner: The state of the API industry

“The principle of the API economy is that API can be new products that a company offers to open up new business channels, or to sell more of its traditional products. These dynamics need three parties: the API providers, the developers, and the application users. Applications must bring value to the users first, and application providers also need to get value from the API. Value creation at those two level is what creates the value of the API economy. (…) The megatrends that APIs enable are the raging digital transformation, open banking, platforms and ecosystems, artificial intelligence APIs, privacy and culture being in the background of all things above.”

#Value #APIEconomy #APILifecycleManagement

Jean-Michel Gracia, CTO and Hugues Even CDO, BNP Paribas CIB: Leveraging on APIs to deliver AI as a service @BNP Paribas

“80% of the world’s data is unstructured. The purpose of our AI project is to reduce the number of repetitive and administrative tasks of our teams and redeploy them on innovation. In 3 years we have developed 250 AI use cases, delivered through web interfaces and APIs. The acceleration of AI adoption impacts every part of our business, from customer experience, to operational efficiency, risk mitigation and cybersecurity. More fundamentally, API is a way to reconnect business and IT, with an open and flat way to work that values collaboration and empowers team.”

#CXO #AI #CustomerExperience #Cybersecurity

Laure Jouffre, API Program Director, Orange: API culture enabling Bi-modal IT

“We launched our API approach 5 years ago, and this year we share the lessons around the idea of ​​an “API culture” enabling a bimodal IT (mixing legacy IT environments and new projects) and business development. The first mission of my team is the development of this API culture, that’s why we are talking about “API culture enablement”. Our goal is to develop a maximum of value (through cost reduction, direct income, customer satisfaction, …) but to start this we need to develop APIs and convince people to use them.”

#CXO #APICulture #BimodalIT

Alan Glickenhouse, API Business Strategist, IBM: Creating an API economy business strategy.

“The business drivers of the API economy are speed, reach, innovation/IoT and domains that can benefit from a better sharing of information like B2B vs B2C lines of business, sales, marketing, development, and finance. (…) The idea of an API business strategy is not just to charge money for APIs but make money through the use of APIs with indirect monetization.”

#APIEconomy #APIBusinessStrategy #Monetization

Antoine Larmanjat, CIO, Euler Hermes: Machines are taking over in trade

“Two needs underlie the transformation of Euler Hermes. On the one hand, the need to continue to evolve with new sources of growth while keeping costs low. On the other, the evolution of our business in a connected world where the automation of purchasing processes is accelerating, with the development of e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, automated logistics chains. Historically, to purchase a credit insurance covering the risk for non-payment, people wrote a letter and shook hands, today individuals buy them on Internet, and tomorrow our products will be bought by two computers interacting with each other.”

​#CXO #Automation #Business #APIEconomy

Ali Bouhouch, CTO, SEPHORA : Anatomy of an API Transformation Journey

“API is not something new, but the way to build them as changed. What we see now is a multiplication of collaborative APIs. Our drivers are the business needs to innovate, to stay relevant by introducing new products and services, with speed through short development cycles to gain first mover advantage, agility in the form of a sustainable flexibility and responsiveness in the face of constant change. Because the only constant is change, and in a world of change the old models do not work. Share and monetize digital assets (data, business logic, algorithms and models) make them valuable for your business, and API is a way to shrink digital assets to make them usable. (…) Our API journey started with internal APIs for enterprise reuse. We also wanted to make sure data is used with integrity, synchronized, synched. And offer consistent experience for customers across channels, because customers don’t like to be confused. We also wanted to change the way we do software development, to simplify dev and testing (stop long regression tests), ease deployment, and enable monitoring.”

#CXO #Business #Innovation #DigitalAssets #Data #CustomerExperience

Nizar Chaouch, Head of API & integration, AIRBUS: Accelerate Innovation & Aircraft Production by using APIs

“An Airbus takes off or lands every 1.4 seconds. We have a backlog of 18 933 aircrafts sold, 20 000 daily flight, and building an Airbus takes millions of parts from several providers, and 9 years of production. Some airlines can’t wait, so we need to produce faster but with same level of quality and security. Airbus is leader in commercial aircraft but challenged by competitors with new business models, so we need to accelerate innovation cycle and reduce time to market. We manage information and data as an asset to create new services. We adopt devOps at scale and automate everything. We have an API first strategy.”

#CXO #Innovation #Production #Quality #Security

Augusto Marietti, CEO and Co-Founder, KONG: API Management is Dead

“API management is dead. Information is always in flight, the number of services that make up applications is exploding, and most applications are now multi-language, hybrid-architecture and multi-cloud. These factors make APIs more important to application development than they have ever been before and require a new way to intelligently control the information that flows between them.”


Day 2 — The challenges of the programmable economy

APIs are the digital contract of the 21st century, enabling us to enter into a programmable economy, a world where IT systems are able to discover themselves and integrate with each other without any human interaction.

Is it up to humans to adapt to softwares or do we need to adapt softwares to humans? With AI, how can we distinguish Chatbot APIs from humans online? How can we make the programmable world an inclusive space and educate everyone to the possibility of owning data and technology with Open data, Open APIs, OpenAI and Open source software?

Governance guidelines from some of our speakers:

Reese Jones, Associate founder, the singularity University: Blockchains like biology

“If we observe a Petri dish, we see a differentiation of species all based on DNA, because there is diversity in nature, in an ecosystem. Blockchain has also evolved in different species with slight variation, like different species that will survive fails depending on their characteristics. The principle of Darwinian natural selection, with the survival of the fittest, can also be applied to APIs. Some API can be good for Real Estate usages, other for Parking Meters. APIs will survive or fail depending on how well they fit in their ecosystem. History also gives us examples that monoculture, that standardizes nature, brings diseases. The potato crisis in Ireland, that led to the great famine of 1845, was due to a parasite that attacked and wiped out all potatoes cloned from a single breed. Will API evolve or standardize? In biology, diversity is favoured, for survival in an ecosystem. Diversity brings stability. If you create an ecosystem with a diversity of APIs, you can lose some of your API but not all of them.”

#APIEcosystem #Standardization #BlockChain

Mike Amundsen, Director of API Architecture, API Academy: Bots on the net: the good, the bad, and the future

“Business loves the notion of bots to save money, increase reach, save time, increase quality of delivery. But consumers have a different view on their relationship with chatbots. Very few people think those bots will be a positive experience. According to a PWC study 17% only agree bots can be used as managers, teachers…. The algorithms we release today are likely to contain bias. Bias are related to the way we chose information and how the bot learns from others. The power of negative thinking impact us humans, and the robots we train. It is built in our biology because our brains, for survival reasons, are triggered on danger as a survival mechanism. Now, as we try to automate actions and reaction in robots those bias become even more important. We need to be aware of them and be prepared about what bots will learn and share with customers. We need to focus on how to do a better job to detect bias early and do a better training job.”

#Bots #Robots #AI #MachineLearning #Algorithms

Ruben Verborgh, Prof. at Ghent University — imec and Solid Developer Advocate at Inrupt: The impact of decentralization on APIs and clients

« Solid is a project initiated by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, started at MIT. Solid aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in a more healthy competition between apps as well as improved privacy. (…) Companies today are competing based on their ownership of data, not so much on their innovation. As a result, people are losing control of their data and companies are engaged in harder competition between themselves and against giants like Facebook or Google who harvest much more data. In this context, Solid is a new way of thinking about data, applications and APIs. Developers tend to think about collecting data first, while Solid aims at decoupling the data from the application. As a result, since the data and the app are stored independently people will be able to move their data and switch services more easily.”

#Privacy #Data #Solid

Fouad Husseini, founder of OPIN: Open Insurance Initiative, drive innovation and interoperability with InsurTech and other third parties

“OPIN aims to be the largest open API project in the insurance industry. OPIN’s objective is to allow the flow of data between insurers, customers and third party, as well as make data portability possible. What is ultimately at stake is to drive innovation and interoperability with InsurTech start-ups and established insurance companies.”

#OPIN #OpenInsurance #InsurTech

Lorenzino Vaccarini, senior researcher, Joint Research Center (JRC), European Commission: The APIs4DGov study: Digital Government APIs, the road to value-added open API-driven services

“APIs facilitate a digital society and digital businesses by connecting people, businesses and things. They enable new digital products and business models and create new business channels. Public Administrations are in continuous need to adapt to the changing environment in order to improve government accountability, social inclusiveness and partnerships, and are seeking how to best use emerging technologies in this process, i.e., how to realise digital government. Digital government APIs support an open government environment and help creating new public services, new delivery models and new service delivery channels with the aim to better serve citizens and enable new business models. Standard APIs support reusability and are an enabler of interoperability. Reusability in any form improves quality because it extends operational use, as well as saving money and time. This makes it a major contributor to the development of a digital single market in the EU. Within this context, with the purpose to gain further understanding of the current use of APIs in digital government and their added value for public services, the European Commission’s DG CONNECT together with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) launched the APIs4DGov study. The main objectives of the study are: — to assess digital government APIs landscape and opportunities to support the digital transformation of public sector; — to identify the added value for society and public administrations of digital government APIs (key enablers, drivers, barriers, potential risks and mitigates), — to identify recommendations and best-practices concerning the deployment of APIs within governments.”

#APIs4DGov #EuropeanCommission #DigitalGovernmentAPI

Environment & Society

Following in the tradition set during previous APIdays event, the last keynote of APIdays Paris 2018 was dedicated to environmental and societal concerns. We have been honoured to invite on stage Jean-Marc Jancovici, president of the Shift Project, newly appointed to the High Council on Climate.

Our global IT system, energy saver or climate destroyer?

“Energy has shaped all our modern world, and among other things pushed people out of the countryside and manual work to cities and offices. Slashing the world greenhouse gases emissions by 3 by 2050, which is a must have to have a chance to meet the 2°C objective, would affect all aspects of our lives. In this context, is the IT revolution good news, or just making things worse?”

We will soon publish the summary of this keynote and additional elements shared by Jean-Marc Jancovici in an interview with a member of the API community. The shocking truth is that “IT is not a greensaver”. “A sustainable economy is not achievable if we are not aware of how much energy drives our economy and of IT’s impact in the production of CO2. (…) The footprint of IT (servers, terminal, and electricity to operate) represents 4% of the world’s emission and increases by 10% per year. No other industry is less unsustainable. What should we do now, next week or in 10 years to contribute to a sustainable future: spread knowledge about this issue. Like in software development, we need to have a correct specification of the problem if we want to solve it. And this is urgent.”

#Sustainability #Environment #ClimateChange


During those two days of APIdays Paris we heard from different speakers that the API society will need a new set of skills to become a reality. Developers are at the centerpoint of this movement if they manage to acquire the soft skills required to listen to clients’ needs, convince them to use their API and business skills to detect new ideas and opportunities. The collect and analysis of data is key in this process, in part to feed AI and bots to automate tasks. But what if we stopped to think about collecting data from the start but instead started providing great services and then using permissions to users convinced by our products?

We hope we helped you “up your API game” and plant the seeds of your next big ideas!

We look forward to our next community “stopover” on this API journey!

The APIdays Paris Team

This article first appeared on Medium

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Founded in 2012 in Paris, apidays has organized 45+ events in 10+ countries, gathering over 20,000 attendees and 2,000+ speakers. Its aim is to democratize and evangelize the opportunities and the use of APIs for corporations and businesses to fully enter the next wave of the digital transformation, the era of automation.

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