In recent blogs we have discussed the human element of changing organizational relationships: the opportunities afforded by peer based solutions to harness excess capacity, and their implications for more where, how and how often individuals "work". Today's blog explores one of the key technology dimensions underpinning these trends: APIs for cloud based applications and services.
What are APIs? Time saving tools organizations can use to achieve transformative change in their organizations is one good answer. If "cyber knowledge" has replaced "tribal knowledge" as the source of truth, the Internet tells us that widely known organizations such as Salesforce, Expedia, eBay and many others generate substantial revenues, and have spawned entirely new ecosystems, by making their applications, through their APIs, more accessible to innovation and value creation.
In their recent article on The Strategic Value of APIs authors Bala Iyer and Mohan Subramaniam discuss the importance of application programming interfaces (or "APIs") -- not simply for technology companies but for all organizations, as a strategic tool to drive the external exchange of information, to create new value added product and service offerings to complement their current core businesses, and to enable entirely new ecosystems for innovation and value creation.
Accenture commentators Teresa Tung and Michael Blitz offer a similar view:
The smartest businesses have worked out that APIs – which used to be technical artefacts – are now hugely valuable strategic business tools. Not only do they enable an organisation to make its underlying data and functions available for general use, driving efficiency and agility across the enterprise and partner ecosystem, but they can also be open to developers, both internal and external, who can harness this familiar web-based technology to build new and innovative business uses.
The result, not surprisingly, particularly in the world of cloud based services, has been an explosion of interest in this area, despite the challenges of making a successful go of an API enabled business strategy.
It is thinking like this that led us at Organimi to wonder what kinds of innovative applications and business opportunities might be created by making our Organimi API available to customers....and what the related challenges would be for us to try and support the needs of a new audience of users looking to create new integrations, applications and business opportunities using our Organimi organizational chart infrastructure.
Some examples we thought of areas to explore?
Microsoft Office and other enterprise productivity applications
Microsoft Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel are common business productivity tools. How can Organimi org charts be more effectively - and interactively - connected to those applications?
Most organizations that have moved beyond their basic mail server (MS Outlook / Exchange or Gmail being two common examples) have a standards based directory structured IT services strategy to meet many of their business needs - from finance and communication through HR. The LDAP protocol, and Microsoft's Active Directory, are two common examples. How can Organimi org charts be dynamically linked to and updated from these organizational directories?
One of the most common user requests we receive from larger clients is a requirement for pre-packaged connectors linking Organimi org charts to their internal or third party HR systems, such as Oracle, Workday, SAP, or tools from ADP, Ceridian or other vendors. How can Organimi org charts add value to those applications and systems?
Salesforce.com and Other CRM Solutions
Sales reps and sales organizations are frequent creators and users of org charts - for everything from prospecting through account management. Org charts can play a critical role in integrating data from different sources, and bringing it all into a coherent view of an external account and relationships. How can Organimi best address these requirements?
Creating Embedded Org Charts for Your Client Deliverables
In today's business environment, maintaining client relationships means continuing to raise the bar on delivering increasing value. For many professional services organizations working in technology, outsourced and managed services, recruiting, talent management and other service delivery domains this means identifying opportunities to help clients identify and close organizational and operational gaps. Organimi organizational charts are well suited to this task, providing immediate and self-evident value to clients while enabling a more transparent view of their organizational designs and operations to support your own teams as well. How can an API based approach to integrating Organimi into your inventory of client solutions add value to your clients, and to you?
At Organimi, we think about org charts, photoboards and directories - all the time. It is what we do, and we hope we do it well. In the world of cloud based services and applications - increasingly connected seamlessly by APIs - we think this is a good and useful role to play. If we create, manage and maintain a robust and reliable API as part of that process, we think we will create some exciting opportunities for others - developers and IT organizations - to build new and interesting applications using these capabilities.
How about you? What do you think?
As always Organimi is driven primarily by client feedback in making new product features and capabilities available. We're always experimenting and trying to bring relevant innovation to our clients and the market generally.
With close to 1,000 customers now on paid plans, and thousands more experimenting with our free version of Organimi, we feel we are on the right track.
We see APIs as a logical next step for us to take. We hope our customers will agree, find our API documentation well put together and the API itself robust, and help us explore unique and innovative new applications for Organimi that drive increasing transparency, connectedness and efficiency in work environments for all organizations.
We invite you - if you are interested - to experiment as well!
These are a few of the more common examples we hear from our clients. Developers in your organization or working with you may have other more imaginative ways to leverage the Organimi APIs to make your org charts, photoboards and directories actionable - inside the organization and outside of it as well.
If you are interested in learning more, and would like to participate in our beta program, to see how Organimi APIs can add value to your organization, and help you create value for the organizations you deal with.
Our beta program starts in September. We hope you will give it a go - so plug and play, play, play.
To participate, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click below and register for the Organimi API Beta Program at our support page.
As always, thanks for reading.
The Organimi Team