The story of Ana is a tale of a small business owner who succeeds because of
APIs. This story provides a real-life example of transforming a business to
digital. The story is captured in the following video, which, despite being
created in 2012, still accurately depicts how APIs fundamentally change every
aspect of business. Ana proves the many benefits of the digital era
including reduced time to market, increased ability to innovate and reduced
barriers to entry. This video continues to resonate with senior executives and
speaks to the benefits of embracing APIs in the enterprise.
Ana is a fashion blogger. She currently curates a line of clothing and
accessories and sells them directly to her network of acquaintances, friends and
family. Ana is looking to leverage digital to increase her sales through the
- build a catalog of products, create a point of sale and offer convenient
- payment methods host events where guests can interact with her merchandise
- keep in touch with event participants and create some buzz through mobile (i.e. SMS, twitter)
Ana’s unique value comes from her personal fashion expertise as well as her industry
connections. She can offer both of these assets to aid customers in making
informed buying decisions.
At a 2012 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) conference, IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty
spoke about Magazine Luiza, one of the
largest retailers in Brazil and their use of referral marketing to build an
ecosystem of individuals directly selling to their friends and family. Their
expectation was to increase conversion sales by 50% though adopting this
approach. The potential business impact was huge as direct selling is a $136B
market. For example, Avon the cosmetics
retailer has 6.5 million direct sellers.
In a matter of days (five to be exact) we successfully developed a solution that
met all of Ana’s needs. A mere 450 lines of code integrated seven API-enabled
services and provided the key functionality that Ana needed. Not to mention, a myriad of other
services were available to go above and beyond Ana’s initial requirements.
In a future post we will describe the decision process used to select the core
technology, the services, and the delivery method used to realize Ana’s
Similar scenarios are happening everyday inside and outside of corporate walls.
Line of business users, developers and “don’t wanna be a developer” developers
are quickly discovering and assembling API-enabled services to realize their
These solutions create new engagement experiences for customers and, in many
cases, extend the reach of the enterprise. A culture of self-serve allows users
to explore to discover and try services, experiment at little to no cost,
extend to enterprise systems and ultimately embrace across multiple
enterprise divisions and solutions.
Tell us, who’s your Ana?