Let’s say you want to respond quickly to a customer who has an outage. You might have these questions: What support contract is the customer on? What Service Level Agreement (SLA) is provided? Does the customer have credit and/or service issues? Where are the contact details? How about a previous history?
You know you have all of this information…somewhere.
But how do you utilize it to your best advantage?
To answer these questions you may need to reference more than just SatManage, as the data most likely resides in different systems. Your operation team would react quicker if there were automated workflows and integration between internal and external IT systems.
What It Is
Simply put, an API is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web-based software application. A company, iDirect in this case, releases its API to their customer base so that software engineers can design products powered by its service.
There are now over 6,000 publically available Web APIs that you can utilize with websites such as Google and Facebook receiving five billion calls (requests for data) per day. (Here is a fun one called the Anniversarator that guarantees you’ll never miss an important date again.)
It could be explained another way: it’s the Machine-to-Machine interface. With the example above, you can access a website in the standard way, but the API gives you the option of automating that and allowing other computer systems to gain access without the need for humans.
How to Use It
You may be thinking, “How is this related to iDirect, SatManage or my Service offering?”
Well, let’s get creative. It is all about integrating SatManage with other systems. I am sure many people have ideas of how this new tool can be used that I have not considered, but I do have some interesting projects underway already:
- Northbound interface: a customer using Auto Help Desk summarizes alarms and populating data into a higher level management system that has visibility of the complete earth station
- Integration with billing system: for work flow reasons, the customer credit status is used to alert the support team of how they should respond to activation requests and trouble tickets. Reduces the time spend previously exchanging emails and discussions with sales and finance
- Integration with a customer portal system: a customer with an existing customer portal system wanted to integrate SatManage data with terrestrial SLA/ portal information
Have any other ideas? Let me know!
Here’s [Technically] How it Works
I would be interested to discuss ideas with Service Providers and with application providers who would like to leverage this SatManage Web Services API. Feel free to comment below.