BlueVia is Telefonica’s API program where developers get paid to use Telefonica’s APIs. We’ve seen a number of case studies promoted within a few months of its launch, see slideshows at the end of this article. Developers are making money through using BlueVia’s APIs.
BlueVia has announced a partnership with Microsoft to create the BlueVia SDK for .NET, which enables the BlueVia APIs to be easily integrated and tested across Microsoft’s 6 million developers. The BlueVia SDK for .NET is a set of drag and drop controls and templates for Microsoft’s Visual Studio, making BlueVia powered app development simple for any .NET developer who wants to build applications for Windows Phone 7, Windows, Internet Explorer or Xbox. It enables real-time, programmable voice and data communications that can connect applications to social-networking capabilities; and controls that tap into Windows Live Services for user identity, network presence and contacts.
Comments have been made by some in the old-school, ill-informed press / analyst community on why Telefonica should wait for WAC. I’ve discussed previously in the MWC 2011 Summary the problems with WAC:
“It’s taken WAC one year to argue over board seats and repackage existing specs with optional statements. JIL (Joint Innovation Labs) started in 2008, and WAC adopted JIL’s specs, WAC is really 3 years only not 1 year, so the lack of progress is an embarrassment for the industry. WAC had a rough reception at the show, they’ve not managed PR well, generally through behaving like they have some government-granted monopoly, which unfortunately isn’t the case. They’re 4+ years behind the competition and need a much more humble approach in asking forgiveness for the sins of the past against developers and sharing the love. WAC need to talk with developers and BlueVia on how to work with developers. The WAC operator panel was a little embarrassing, with no real discussion on the actual business model and processes. Previous weblog articles have discussed that JIL/WAC’s widget obsession makes monetization tough, it’s hard to monetize bookmarks. The lack of progress on processes, business models and templates should not be acceptable to the sponsoring organizations – change is required immediately in both the leadership team and approach of WAC.”
In a developer survey I’m currently running a common comment made about WAC from the developers interviewed to date is, “Irrelevant, community is focused on communicating to themselves not developers.” This is damming criticism and backs up why Telefonica needs to innovate not politic. Having multiple APIs is not that much of a problem when they’re open and paying the developer; look at all the open APIs on Programmable Web, developers don’t have a problem there. Of course, you need scale like Telefonica to do your own thing, just like Verizon and AT&T, if you’re an operator with <50M customers it will likely make sense to partner up with a thought-leading operator group than re-invent the wheel.