Monetisation and Value #SDPGlobal
There are many different pricing models that can be applied – per use, per transaction, by volume and so on. It may be that access to an API is free up to a certain point and chargeable thereafter (a good way to generate stickiness), but it's not necessarily something that can be viewed simply in terms of revenue, profit and loss.
While there have been some well-known trials, it's not clear how successful these have been in terms of generating revenue. Other operators with API exposure programmes seem to be keeping the results of their monetisation efforts quiet. But as Telecom Italia pointed out, if half of the traffic generated by APIs comes from internal users, revenue generation may not be the whole point.
And that's just it: the API can offer something of value to key customers that enriches and strengthens the relationship between provider and customer, creating a partnership in which they are tied together by strong bonds. In such situations, access to the API may not be something that can be monetised per se, but value can be created by ensuring that the relationship endures and the client does not churn.
We need to ensure that we don't just think about APIs in terms of € cents per transaction. The potential for value creation is significant, but it may not always be possible to capture a specific ROI. Instead, we need to think about the value that they can offer and the directions from which this can accrue: being flexible about value will help operators be more flexible for their customers and, ultimately, create more rewarding relationships.