APIs are only as effective as the enterprise API strategy that guides them. “Being an open platform company means that you have a business model and a technology model that come together,” explains Axway Catalyst Brian Otten. “To me, that’s what it really means to be ‘digital.’” And a key element of a successful strategy is treating APIs as products – which is greatly aided by an API marketplace. One global pharmaceutical leader set out to more tightly align APIs with business capabilities, and with the help of Amplify Enterprise Marketplace is streamlining data access, accelerating clinical trials, growing e-commerce revenues, and more. Here’s how.
Putting data to work
This leading pharmaceutical company operates around the world, with business units for human and animal pharmaceuticals, as well as a B2C e-commerce channel for animal health products. The company is sitting on a wealth of data but struggled to move past organizational bottlenecks that were slowing down their momentum.
“One of the biggest impediments to delivering quickly on new use cases was our centralized approach to digital service development,” explains a company spokesperson. “All requests passed through the enterprise data team and the standard methodology was to build custom data interfaces for each use case. This created a significant bottleneck, which led to delays in delivering digital products to the business.”
In fact, just 20% of new data-driven initiatives were completed within six months, in part because data scientists had to spend up to 95% of the workday acquiring and cleansing data. That left precious little time to work on building, validating, and deploying new digital products.
Shifting API thinking
As Randy Heffner, software industry analyst/independent consultant and former Forrester researcher puts it, “what makes the change in any organization is an executive epiphany.” Company leaders understood that API adoption would be crucial to accelerating their transformation, so they sought out an expert partner to achieve an efficient, scalable approach to API development.
Axway Catalysts, a group of experts from around the world with a passion for digital transformation and the API space, led a series of deep-dive workshops with the pharma company, and leaders realized they needed to think even bigger.
“By breaking out of the mindset of small, siloed API teams, we have totally reimagined the experience for both API producers and consumers.”
Powered by Amplify Platform and Amplify Enterprise Marketplace, the company is now pioneering a new API strategy: dedicated API teams lead marketing, sales, operations, and R&D functions, moving API development tools closer to business stakeholders.
At the center, the enterprise data team is part of the company’s API Guild — a group of API experts responsible for advancing the roadmap, onboarding new business teams, and scaling API-led services in a consistent, secure, and carefully governed way.
Brian Otten, VP of Digital Transformation Catalysts at Axway, explains the value of an API guild this way:
“Utilizing an API strategy at an enterprise scale needs more than a Community of Practice (CoP). A CoP is effective in introducing transformational technologies like API management but, they do not have a way to ensure they’re ‘operationalized’, especially with a ‘full lifecycle’ approach that starts from the stages of Demand and Ideation all the way to Promotion and Adoption.
Enter the API guild. An API guild is formed of API lead team representatives from all capability areas of the business. This acts as a springboard to embedding the practices of API as a product leading to true API product managers. Having this system in place ensures ownership, accountability, and the reuse of composable building blocks, helping organizations deliver more in less time.”
In the following video, Brian Otten dives deeper into the role of API Product Managers and how Amplify Marketplace gives them the tools they need to drive their vision.
Packaging data for a democratized approach
Marketplace lets you curate APIs in a contextual way that makes them more discoverable and applicable to business goals, and Axway’s open platform approach makes it possible to integrate multiple API gateway solutions and data planes with no new infrastructure or policies in the data path. Users get a unified experience regardless of endpoint type or location.
The company started creating easy-to-adopt digital products — bundles of well-documented API assets that address specific business needs. Because these digital products are delivered via a central API marketplace, the company can also avoid duplicated APIs.
The result? The right people get the right information, at the right time – when they need it. This has allowed the company to improve internal processes, boost operational agility, enable new sales channels, and unlock pharmaceutical insights.
“We are confident that this approach will help us ramp up adoption quickly,” adds the spokesperson. “Looking further ahead, the goal is to use Amplify Marketplace to enable the ‘citizen integrator’: complete self-service for API development.”
Opening up to support business transformation
Because a marketplace also helps establish consistent development practices, tightly aligning APIs with business capabilities, the pharma company is in a better position to cultivate a thriving ecosystem of industry partners—supporting its long-term growth strategy and strengthening its status as an employer of choice for top developer talent.
With Amplify Platform and Enterprise Marketplace giving this company the tools to package their data as reusable, composable APIs – and to treat these API as products – its leadership was able to build a comprehensive API strategy that threads together their technical, operational, and business goals.
“Through our engagement with Axway,” concludes the pharmaceutical company spokesperson, “we are transforming into an agile, data-driven enterprise, supported at every level by API enablement as a service.”
Download this solution brief to see how Amplify Enterprise Marketplace helps companies maximize API adoption for greater business value.