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OPEN Thoughts

It was only six months ago that Akamai opened its core technology, revealing the Open Platform Initiative strategy. The main idea was to enable everyone; every developer, every customer and every partner, to access Akamai technology and benefit from its amazing power. You may arguably say that this was a small step on a long path. But let's look back and see how much we walked, using the evolution of technology as our context.

As technology has evolved, there were milestones that changed the way we use it in our lives, milestones that changed and improved things forever. More importantly, technology plays a key role in the way we all behave, communicate, learn, share and spend our leisure time. Technology is now part of our lives, as it was never before.

Think about yourself 20 years ago. Think about things you often do now but you never did then. Do you read the news or consult the weather forecast online? Do you use your computer or portable device to watch a movie or your favorite TV show? Have you ever downloaded a song to your laptop or cell phone? Have you ever shopped online, or at least discovered more about the place you are traveling to on your next holiday trip?





Do you go online to compare the price of the same article between different retailers, or have your purchased items online? Do you communicate with your family, friends or even with people you don't know through social networks, sharing platforms, instant messaging tools or online video services? Have you ever learned how to play a song on the guitar, or how to cook a delicious dinner thanks to online tutorials? You name it. Whichever question you relate to, you didn't do anything like that 20 years ago. (On the contrary, if you look at my picture, you could tell that 20 years ago I could also comb my hair, but that's another story).

What is my point here? My first thought is that for most of us the Internet has improved our lives. Forever. We are more powerful nowadays; we have more tools at our disposal, and we are in better communication with our loved ones. The access to information has been, if I may say, democratized. And the Internet enabled this world with fewer frontiers. This is one of the milestones I was referring to. With what can it be compared? Probably Gutenberg's printing press, the advent of radio and TV, and nothing else.

So, my second thought is: how did Internet become so popular, so common, so natural and usable in our lives? Some of you may not remember that 15 years ago, the net was called world 'wait' web, clearly alluding to its exasperating slowness, but it was so then. And it was Akamai that helped the promise of Internet come true. Akamai technology resolved the design problems of a network that had not been conceived, but was starting to be used, as a global platform to share information. Akamai made the Internet fast, reliable and secure. In other words, Akamai made Internet usable, and improved it forever, making it accessible to everyone. This was another milestone.

This leads me to my third thought. What could we do to make the Internet even better, by extending Akamai's enabling capabilities? First of all, we needed to understand how the Internet and its applications and uses would look like in the future. Let's be clear, we can't be sure. But we what know is where the power of the new generation of the Internet dwells: in the hands of everyone, every person and every company that wants to contribute. And that's what we did: we have built the foundation for this to happen.

The Internet provided global access to global information -but it could be done better. Akamai granted global access to the Internet -and we could do it better. This better is the Open Platform Initiative, which provides access to Akamai technology, strengthening the bridges between thousands of companies, between millions of developers and the new way the Internet is moving towards. We set the first stone of a long journey; the next milestone. Since October 2013, during this first six months of experience, and though the API framework was released in beta, we have seen:

  • 50+ companies successfully self-provisioned API Client Authorizations to use Akamai Open APIs as part of broader projects and better applications, including world class companies in: banking, food, software, entertainment, government, technology, etc. 
  • 10+ companies are using APIs from the OPEN Catalog in production applications. 
  • During the beta period, the OPEN Platform serviced more then 25M calls and delivered more then 67 billion bytes of data. 
  • +1,500 customers taking control of their online assets by using Property Manager in more than 8,000 web domains.




Like I said, this is only the beginning. We have learned that what we were guessing is right. The new generation of the Internet will enable collaboration and integration, require self-serviceability and consumability, and benefit from automation and global visibility. This is where we are now; eager to embrace the new architects of the Internet and to help them to make a better network.

Spring 2014: after a successful period in the beta laboratory, developer.akamai.com goes into General Availability. This, in conjunction with the new tools in Luna Control Center, will continue to be the basis of the new age of Internet.

Miguel Serrano, Senior Product Marketing Manager

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