The New Enterprise: Big Data, Mobile and SaaS = The API Economy

Mark Boyd
Sep. 25 2013, 11:00AM EDT

MuleSoft’s Fall Summit series will be hosted across October in 5 North American cities (Denver, Toronto, Washington DC, Atlanta, San Francisco) and 3 European locations (London, Paris, Stockholm). Subtleties in the framing of the event agenda point to the ways the maturing API economy needs to position itself in a wider business environment. ProgrammableWeb spoke with Katie Doyle, Director of Marketing at MuleSoft to discuss what participants can expect.

Hosting a summit event series to support and grow your developer and end customer community is a strategy used by most API Management Platforms. Earlier this year, Janet Wagner from ProgrammableWeb reported on the Apigee event series and more recently, we covered Mashery’s Business of API events in our event trends roundup. According to Katie Doyle, Mulesoft’s summit events are about:

“Bringing together our integration community and sharing our vision of the future, confirming the challenges our customers are facing, and providing the tools and information to stay ahead of those.

There is a great amount of interest around the world in APIs: yet companies are still thinking ‘where do we get started’.”

In a recent interview with business analyst and author of the "6 Reasons why APIs are Reshaping Business" presentation, Cyril Vart told ProgammableWeb that to engage business in API strategies will mean framing the conversation in terms of the connection between big data, mobile and the cloud. MuleSoft’s answer is to frame the event discussions around “the New Enterprise”. Doyle explains:

“The New Enterprise is an anchor for discussion: it encapsulates our vision of what’s happening and what companies need to do to be successful.

  • There is an explosion in SaaS implementation so the endpoints that need to get connected are greater than its ever been.
  • The amount of data that’s available for companies to leverage has grown exponentially.
  • And companies are seeing a fast-growing partner community that expects to communicate with them over mobile devices.
  • Integration is something companies struggle with but the level of complexity, the challenge is more difficult than it’s ever been.

Summit is all about how do you approach the world of the New Enterprise and how do you map a strategy that is flexible enough for future needs.”

Like other API events this year, organizers are seeing their audiences evolving to include more business representation. Mashery went so far as to target business specifically in their event series, while APIdays organizers are aiming for a 50/50 balance between API developers and C-level business at their event in December. Doyle believes MuleSoft is already there:

“Our Summit history has been very developer focused, but that has changed a lot in the past 12 to 18 months as the drivers to connect has become more strategic.

So now our audience has changed a lot. 60% are developers and practitioners and 40% are Directors, VPs, and C-level Execs think of the long-term view. Developers tend – and need - to think at an atomic level, while the C-level are thinking about the backbone. It has created challenges for putting together a successful event, its made us think differently about building an event with thought-leadership and strategy discussions and breakout sessions focused more on respective audiences.”

Note: MuleSoft is the parent company/owner of ProgrammableWeb.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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Intriguing.. for the reason that we can't pinpoint who owns mobility in the enterprise and big data is adding more confusion no matter how we think of user experience in implementing SaaS. But surely, we'll get there and solve the giant jigsaw puzzle making up the API economy. For now, let's hope that data will slow down its exponential growth like some digital Milky Way.