BlueVia Shows Us How to Do It! (Yet Again)

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.




4 thoughts on “BlueVia Shows Us How to Do It! (Yet Again)

  1. Anonymous

    Much as i agree with a lot of things in this post:
    – “it’s hard to monetize bookmarks” as an attack on WAC suggests that the author doesn’t know what a web app really is.
    – Congrats to Bluevia for making Alan Qualye fall for your marketing. You are bundling MS tools with your SDK. Yeah really thought leadership.

  2. Alan Quayle

    Thx Anon 🙂
    The statement “its hard to monetize bookmarks” is from a customer perspective. The Facebook app on a smartphone and bookmarking the iphone Facebook webpage provide a similar experience. On the iPad its even closer between an ‘app’ and a ‘webpage’. And with all the APIs now exposed into the browser, and the browser storing the logic for the widget (or webpage) so you have off-line mode really working on the browser, whether you want to use the term web app or web page its just a matter of agenda. That’s how customers are going to see it. Hence as the market matures and people wake up to the fact its just next generation web-pages – monetization is going to prove difficult – just look at the challenges Apple and Android have in stopping the race to zero in their stores, widgets will accelerate that race to zero.
    The attack on WAC as you call it, is not on that point, rather my concern is its slow progress and insular communication as highlighted in the current developer survey I’m running. Change is required, and as I an independent I can point out what many people are thinking but can not say because of organizational politics.
    On BlueVia, they are innovating. Granted compared to Google. Amazon, Skype and many start-ups it is baby-steps; but compared to many operators they are doing things differently and need support else we risk stifling innovation further in the telecom industry. I agree technically its insignificant to bundle with the MS tool. But that’s not the point I raise. Microsoft has an impressive developer community across a range of devices, xbox users are fanatically loyal, just look at the record sales of the kinetics – 10M in a few months to be the fastest selling consumer electronics device and becoming a Guinness World Record holder. Being part of this community is exactly what operators should be doing, Rogers in Canada are also doing a similar thing.
    Its easy to berate operator innovation, but where things are happening we should support, and where things are not happening, or being misrepresented to the industry, its the role of independents such as myself to state what many people think but can not say because of internal operator or supplier politics.
    Again thx for your comment, I hope I’ve helped you understand better my point – we must look at things form the customer not technology perspective.

  3. Anonymous

    To be clear I am with you on the insular (and poor communication from WAC marketing.) No quibbles about that. WAC marketing fundamentally doesn’t get it when it comes to developers. And this is sad because it is easy to come across many operator members of WAC who demonstrate that they fully get it (e.g. Telefonica and Vodafone.)
    But I still hold on to the view that you are making a mistake about “bookmarks”. And I am coming at this from a customer point of view (and also the technology one.) The end customer will find it hard to tell the difference between a web app and a native one (for many applications) when the web app is well designed. Now I grant you that there aren’t many web apps (for a whole host of reasons) let alone well designed ones. And these waters are muddied by companies that are attempting to make a quick buck by cutting websites down in size and selling them as web apps (or “widgets”). This is what I thought you were getting at when you were talking about “bookmarks”.
    When it comes to Bluevia SDK bundling MS tools – good luck to them. MS isn’t changing its tools. I haven’t seen much evidence that Bluevia is or will get much traction outside Spanish speaking countries. I don’t see any special reason that this will change because of MS.
    I don’t know anything about Rogers so can’t comment about their programmes.
    I certainly value and appreciate your honest opinions, and please do continue!

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