Case Study:
Creation of an integrated
digital ecosystem using APIs
for a UK Telco major

API Management for Telecos

Business Challenge

One of the largest Mobile and Landline operators in the UK was looking for new channels to engage with partners and businesses. Creation of an integrated ecosystem or a platform for engagement, along with a robust API Management strategy were seen as ways to realize this objective.

The API Management strategy had to ensure that APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) were created, published and managed at volume in a secure, scalable and controlled environment. The developers (both in-house and third party) had to be empowered enough to create useful web and mobile applications that interfaced with back-end systems and subscribers.

Business Benefits

  • 354 Live APIs
  • 3X increase in API consumption
  • 2 billion transactions in 2018
  • 40 Partners onboarded

Solution

Governance

As a first step, an API Governance Team was constituted to frame the appropriate guidelines, standards and to define the roadmap for the API Management Program. An “API Farm” team was then setup by the operator in collaboration with THBS, for better management and monetization of APIs. The API Governance team structure is as below:

Business Domain Owners
Products   Team
Governance Steering committee
API DAs, Integration EA, Data EA, API Governance Lead
Internal App Developers
Client APP Team
Architects/Consultants
Integration Consultants (THBS integration team, Integration EA, Project Solution Architects)
IT Asset Owners
Third Party / Client
Core API Team
API Product Manager
API Factory
API Operations

The Governance materials drafted as part of initiation and ongoing phases of the API management program along with the artefacts required during the different phases of the API lifecycle are captured below:

  • User Story Capture Guidelines
  • Restful API Design Guidelines
  • API Management Principles
  • Design Review Checklist
  • API Rest Resource Patterns
  • API Versioning Guidelines
  • API Design Template
  • API Development Review Checklist
  • NodeJS Development Guidelines
  • Developers Documentation Guidelines
  • Build and Packaging Checklist and Guidelines
  • Deployment Process Guidelines
  • Development Process Audit Checklist
  • Root Cause Analysis Template
  • Monetization Implementation Guidelines
  • OAT Guidelines Document
  • OAT Review Checklist
  • API Monetization Implementation Checklist
  • Process Audit Checklist
  • Text Case Execution Checklist
  • Environment Validation Checklist
  • Security and Pen Testing Guidelines

Implementation

THBS adopted a “Factory Model” to create, develop, test and deliver APIs at scale – based on the guidelines from the Governance team. The Factory model ensures consistency in delivery and predictability in-terms of timelines and costs. It runs on the principles of an Agile model, specifically - the Scrum methodology. Estimations are done based on the T-Shirt sizing model (small, medium, large and Extra-large), based on the complexity of the functionality involved.

The THBS API Factory team worked with several critical programs and cross-functional teams as part of API Management Delivery. Delivering 50 plus APIs for the Self-Service Mobile Application within a 6-month period was one of the highlights of this collaboration.

Spurred by the successful delivery of the initial APIs, this initiative was further expanded within the client enterprise as part of the newly formed Digital Transformation Strategy. There was a mandate to use a common integration layer across the business, to ensure that all subsidiaries / CFUs maximise reuse and gain benefits through cross-CFU usage.