An API Management Solutions Leader

An API Management Solutions Leader
An API Management Solutions Leader

Today, Forrester Research, Inc published The Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions, Q3 2020, and I’m pleased to share that Axway is positioned as a leader.

There are a few things I’d like to share about this result.

Axway as your Partner

We’re one of the largest independent integration vendors left standing. And while maybe we’ve not always been so good at “tooting our own horn” we’re very good at executing with our customers. This is reflected in our NPS score and its trajectory over time.

I like to simplify things when I talk about Axway.

There’s what we do with our customers, and what we do with our products. Our customers reflect our ability to execute, our products reflect our vision.

The way our NPS score has been trending upwards is a measure of our customer success.

We believe being named a leader in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for API Full Life Cycle Management (link) and a leader in The Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions, Q3 2020 is a measure of our technical organization’s success. Interestingly though, as I write this, it’s important to realize that both of these recognitions as a leader reflect, in our opinion, both technical prowess and customer success.

We’re delivering both for our customers and our products over the longer arc of time. The trajectory is important because it shows momentum in the right direction, not just a good score on a milestone moment.

I think about the book finite vs infinite games, and I believe people often make finite decisions on infinite playing fields. They get it wrong. You need the company that can solve the problems you don’t know you’ll have in a year or two. Not the one who can solve yesterday’s problems with today’s technologies. That’s what the trajectory tells us.

What I believe we’re getting right

There are three things that are defining Axway’s leadership.

  1. The Open Everything methodology
  2. A Unified Catalog
  3. Abstracting away the integration pattern from the collaborative creation happening with software

Open Everything is a call to action. It’s a way to maximize the possibilities available when you open your digital capabilities for innovation.

I often talk about looking at a company’s philosophy when partnering with a software vendor. The products are a moment in time, and again, it’s the trajectory driven by the philosophy that matters. I never understood why a specific version of a feature in a specific use case mattered so much. It’s just software. If a feature is critical, it can be added.

But how it integrates into the whole, how it unlocks potential, how it performs over time… that’s due to the company’s philosophy when architecting a solution to meet the job at hand. That’s more important than a feature.

I like this quote from The Forrester Wave to highlight this point:

Reference customers gave high marks to both vendor and product. Axway’s solution is well-suited for buyers that see APIs as one part of broader B2B relationships, as well as those with multivendor microservice environments.¹

Axway’s Open Everything is a reflection of how we think about digital transformation, the Omniexperience imperative, and unlocking citizen developers. It’s how we’re executing with our customers to drive their competitiveness across industries, from banking to healthcare and supply chain.

The next two elements are more product-oriented and reflect our score of 5 out of 5 for product vision and planned enhancements.

The AMPLIFY Unified Catalog turns the value of integration from the availability of integration artifacts to their use. A shift of the value proposition from valuing production (measuring the question: ‘how many APIs do we have?’) to consumption (measuring: ‘how are available APIs being used to innovate?’).

In fact, the word “unified” refers to a few different things:

  1. The catalog can handle all different kinds of integration artifacts — APIs, iPaaS (HIP) connectors, Integration Builder flows, and more. The consuming developer doesn’t care ‘how it works,’ they care ‘what it does and how it’s used’. So, whether it’s an API, Connector, Flow, or something else – developers can see how it’s used, its SLAs, policies, analytics, and more. And, artifact owners see how their products are used so that they can make them better over time.
  2. The catalog connects into a wide variety of gateways (yes, even competitive API Gateways) and platforms (like Axway B2Bi) to open your infrastructure and create a governed platform for rapid innovation.

The Forrester Wave has a good quote I’d like to share on this particular point:

…Axway’s service mesh integration and support for non-Axway gateways (e.g., Amazon API Gateway) extend the solution’s reach and address combined API and microservices strategies.¹

Finally, with AMPLIFY it doesn’t matter what pattern solves your problem today. The key thing is having a unified understanding of your integration capabilities across patterns without limiting future opportunities because of a limited solution choice today. With support for Mesh and Microservice architectures, deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid – with licensing model as software, SaaS, or usage-based – Axway is taking the complexity out of making decisions based on future requirements that can’t possibly be known at the time of decision.

Whether you’re moving messages or files (request-reply, streaming, or event-driven) across a variety of security and compliance environments, AMPLIFY can meet your needs. This is so powerful because it takes architectural limitations out of the critical path when trying to solve for business outcomes.

A moment in time

As I reflect on this achievement, I consider the last 15 years or so in this market space. To summarize it (very) broadly, APIs grew in popularity and there was some product innovation around security, application performance management, and catalogs. Mostly security was the value proposition that stuck.

After the API security gateway market matured, the value proposition that emerged was API collaboration. The market shifted to the API developer portal and a focus on full-lifecycle API management and integration into the developer workflow (in some parts to become known as DevOps).

So, the shift from integration and middleware to APIs and security, then to collaboration were turning points. At each point, new innovators arose to help define the new market as the shift occurred.

I believe we’re at a new turning point in the integration space. As one of the largest independent integration vendors left standing, Axway’s technology and ability to execute are well-positioned to help customers open everything and build their digital future with AMPLIFY.

And, it seems, the analysts all agree too.

View The Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions, Q3 2020.

¹The Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions, Q3 2020, Forrester Research, Inc., August 4, 2020

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