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Building a Developer Ecosystem

- December 3, 2015 - 3 Comments

This is part of a series on the evolution of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud platform, exploring the technical and design principles behind its unique architecture.

So far in this series my colleagues have talked about various elements of our Cisco Collaboration Cloud platform. Rowan mentioned its origins and the problems we’re trying to solve. Jonathan discussed our approach to architecture for a platform that delivers innovative experiences for companies of all shapes, sizes, and deployments. And Jens hit home on user experience (no surprise from the guy who owns all of our user-facing apps).

My platform is about the platform itself. I believe that simple and open APIs unleash the power of a platform in ways that accelerate workflows and business processes, that result in driving user engagement.

I’m the new GM responsible for the Cisco cloud collaboration API strategy. My team cares most about three things when it comes to evolving our platforms for developers:

A Great Developer Experience: First and foremost, our goal is to make our APIs easy-to-learn and use. Developers want APIs to be comprehensive, yet simple so they can focus on their own applications rather than the complexity of a platform. We’ve gone to extreme lengths to make our APIs elegant, abstracting away the complexities of the underlying platform.

But even the smartest coders need help so our Tropo APIs are surrounded by handy quickstart guides, sample codes, and examples written by our support team, who are developers themselves. Our APIs are hosted on a free, open portal and enhanced by Cisco DevNet training and sandbox resources. Most important, we’re always available to chat. You can easily engage with us through a variety of channels including industry events and social media.

Amazing Support: Developer experience is not just about great APIs, but the entire experience. This means providing responsive support from people who know our APIs. Since our early days as Tropo, we’ve delivered 24×7 support for developers by developers. We will continue to do that as we expand our offerings across the Cisco Collaboration portfolio. To us, being available to loyal developers, anytime, is a must.

Business Value: We don’t release something unless we know it will provide business value. Business-class platforms must deliver business-class solutions. So we work with developers, partners, and customers to validate that our newest APIs solve a real business need. To reinforce this tenet, we’re adding a demo portal to Tropo.com. Here, developers can learn about key use cases — and dream up even better applications.

We are sure to remember who this platform is for. Developers. But there is a much broader ecosystem that can benefit from a first-class cloud collaboration platform. How?:

  • Enterprise innovation teams can improve business processes and customer engagement. It’s no longer a question of, “How does your solution fit into my environment?” It is now the requirement: “Your solution has to be flexible enough to accelerate my unique business imperatives.”
  • For partners, it’s about delivering differentiated and vertical-specific solutions tailored to customer needs. And of course, generating new value and revenue sources along the way.
  • And for users, it’s about simple DIY tools that let them integrate and automate workstreams and business services.

Next week at Collaboration Summit, we’ll make an important announcement in the developer space. We look forward to sharing that information with you and getting your feedback. We’ll promise to stick to the guiding principles I’ve outlined here so developers will have an amazing experience and a broad set of users can relish in the benefits of amazing innovation.

Join us for next week’s announcements at the Cisco Collaboration Summit. Watch the keynote to hear from SVP Rowan Trollope and Collaboration CTO Jonathan Rosenberg. Register today and watch on December 8 at 9:00 a.m. PST.

Learn more about Tropo’s acquisition by Cisco earlier this year.

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3 Comments

    This is so important, and I can't wait to see the innovative results. The door to helping organizations achieve some of their business ojectives is wide open. Just think - it can impact industries and functional lines of business. I look forward to hearing more about the outcomes.

  1. Great post. Excited about our Whitepages Pro/Tropo partnership and how our API collaboration brings the best phone data to this fantastic Tropo platform! What an exciting time to be a developer and in this vertical...so many possibilities.

    I couldn't agree more.. A fantastic developer community allows you to save on development Dollars, allows partners to add value and and customers to be more successful !

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