Application programming interfaces (APIs) are solving a multitude of challenges for businesses today. For those unfamiliar, APIs serve as critical stitching that links company and partner resources together. Without APIs, businesses remain stagnant. With APIs, businesses can capitalize on opportunities to scale, improve efficiency, increase profitability, and perhaps even deliver a better work-life-balance for all.
Some of the most perplexing challenges businesses face today center around finding ways to automate workflows across all aspects of their operations. Questions that need answers include:
- How do we scale and improve operational efficiency?
- Is there an opportunity to create new revenue streams through automation and interoperability?
- What can we do to accelerate time-to-market?
- Am I getting the best performance from current resources?
- What are the important factors I need to consider when collaborating with partners, vendors, customers and internal stakeholders within an ecosystem?
The answer to all these challenges may be APIs. There’s something for everyone in this blog—business leaders and developers—from examples of how businesses improved their operations via public Equinix APIs to low code/no code-type capabilities developers and teams can use to drag and drop functionality into existing applications. We’ll also share how Equinix APIs can transform our customers’ experience with Platform Equinix® by providing a way to optimize existing processes and workflows, while also serving as a driving force for new business opportunities.
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How APIs enhance common customer experiences
While you may not realize it, APIs exist in your everyday life. From Spotify suggesting a song (based on a user preference) that maps to your current library, to Venmo allowing you to send payment from your bank to someone else’s, to the simple example of using your Google username and password to log into a third-party site. All these experiences are made possible by APIs.
So, how does Equinix do all this for their customers and more?
Use Case #1 – Automation and Personalization
Consider an everyday ritual that you could automate and how it would simplify your life. For example, what if never having to make a cup of coffee again happened to be a game-changer for you?
Automating daily activities or tasks is something that resonates with Equinix partners including cloud service providers, network service providers and telecommunications companies. By using Equinix’s APIs and its extensions, such as Terraform, our partners have found ways to manage their infrastructure and automate the provisioning aspects of Layer 2 virtual circuits on Equinix Fabric™. Ultimately, doing so reduced manual effort and minimized errors internally and with their end customers, service providers and partners. Automating these processes allowed these organizations to focus on innovation and growth, introduce new revenue streams and forge profitable relationships. By using Equinix APIs, these companies can remain focused on their competencies and leave it up to the API to handle the repeatable steps. Learn more about the types of use cases that you can automate with Equinix APIs.
Use Case #2 – Partnership and Interoperability
A cloud hyperscaler was conducting business with over 250 vendors, which made it impossible to be a portal expert on each of the vendors’ websites. They needed a solution that simplified how they scaled their business. Equinix collaborated with this partner to develop an integration plan that used Equinix Messaging Gateway (EMG) to connect their organizations through messaging queues. This event driven API-based solution allowed the hyperscaler to leverage their in-house (proprietary) application to perform most of their interactions with Equinix, including Equinix Smart Hands™ orders, Inbound/Outbound Shipment tickets, Trouble Tickets and Work Visit orders. Using EMG’s API-based asynchronous messaging reduced the volume of two-way communication between Equinix and this partner by 15% and increased operational efficiency by 12%.
Since this cloud hyperscaler adopted EMG, other cloud, enterprise and SaaS companies have onboarded and harnessed the power of this solution—even creating new use cases with cross-connect functionality, billing and notifications for network products, and Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers maintenance. Development continues. Read more about how Equinix Messaging Gateways can add value to your business.
Use Case #3 – Optimizing for daily operations reduces complexity
Businesses need a way to create an “easy button” when it comes to managing forecasted tasks that create unnecessary complexity for their workers. These companies know specific types of requests will materialize as they are commonplace in their operation. If these requests are not addressed in an effective manner, operations will be disrupted on a daily basis.
One of the largest grocery stores in the U.S. had a similar scenario. They needed to modernize their operations and infrastructure to avoid duplicating work performed across multiple systems—especially with respect to demand created by the pandemic. These error-prone challenges included:
- Decentralized asset management across systems and vendors
- Security challenges of managing user identities in each of these vendor or partner applications and across multiple applications
- Inconsistent views and dashboards
- Different operational processes at each vendor or partner organization
We assisted this organization with incorporating Equinix workflows and processes into their proprietary application to coalesce and manage digital workflows of both organizations for operations including Shipment Workflows, Identity Access Management and Inventory Management.
Equinix provides several resources for getting started with APIs on the Equinix Developer platform, including:
- Developer Environments
- Playground (A test environment with static data that developers can use to learn, understand and test drive Equinix APIs without being an Equinix customer.)
- Sandbox (A global mock test environment to simulate the behavior of the Production environment. It uses synthetic data in its responses and can only be accessed by Equinix customers. Customers can use this environment to experiment and integrate with Equinix APIs before moving to production.)
- Production (The live environment)
- API Documentation Knowledge Center
- API Tutorial Videos
- Developer Forum