Guest Blog Post by Sander Biehn, AT&T
When talking about his most important discoveries, Sir Isaac Newton admitted he could never have done it alone. He quipped, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” What he meant was that he had used common and well understood theorems and formulas on which he built his new ideas. In that way he had stood on the shoulders of others to get a better view of how to apply existing knowledge to his new ideas.
Today’s enterprises are taking a chapter from Newton’s book as they begin to mobilize and virtualize their business. Whether it is by using a cloud service to house their application, or by using common programming tools and interfaces to build and manage the application, businesses are beginning to rely more on common infrastructure to do most of the work. By doing so, enterprises can more quickly and easily deploy their applications.
I think IT is embracing platforms because of past trials of going-it-alone. If you consider the world of Enterprises Software, impediments to rapid progress due to proprietary code are well known in the banking and transportation verticals. New platform-based cross-carrier services are welcome additions to avoid future complications in a rapidly changing environment where the pace is just too much to keep up with on one’s own.
When it comes to new application development there is an enormous benefit in working on platforms. Here are a few of the reasons and examples of enterprises using the pre-existing building blocks of a platform to quickly deploy new technology.
- It is versatile: Cloud computing is a platform that takes the guess-work out of sizing a new application. In the cloud, computing and connectivity can shrink or expand to fit the needs of the application and ensure acceptable performance. Likewise, with the cloud's economic model you only pay for what you need and you never need to invest in new hardware when the application becomes too big. Getting funding and becoming profitable with new applications is easier with a cloud-based strategy of starting small and then growing.
- It is easily upgraded or changed: When a M2M application for remote machine diagnostics needs to be repurposed to start collecting on-site big-data analytics, the platform can adapt without having to be re-written. By building on a carrier’s mobile platform such as AT&T M2M Application Platform powered by Axeda, dozens of plug and play sensors and software APIs can be added to the application so it can evolve without long delays and expenses in 'updating the code'. Additionally the latest firmware is pushed from the network for quick updates to a globally deployed M2M network.
- It covers the details: A major advantage of working on a platform is the suite of pre-existing tools to manage, expand and upgrade the application. For example, creating a helpdesk for a new M2M application is often an overlooked detail when writing a new home-grown application. Platforms, like AT&T’s Control Centre using Jasper Wireless, provide the necessary management tools for application tracking, application usage, performance, and even a monthly billing system.
What success stories do you have about working with a common set of tools? How is the idea of a platform helping your business navigate mobile application build-out for either B2C or M2M?