LIVE FROM APPS WORLD LONDON: Representatives from Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Vodafone Group today discussed the need to engage with the app developer base, while acknowledging that this requires a change of mindset in order to become attractive partners when compared to platform companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Anne Arndt, senior manager for Partner App Stores and Enabling at Deutsche Telekom, observed: “Looking to the past, operators are not perceived as that developer friendly. What is absolutely right is that we need to change our attitude. In the past we were the gatekeepers, and now we really need to change to become a services provider for developers.”
Felix Malpartida (pictured), principal for Global Marketing & Commercial Strategy at Vodafone Group, noted that operators can offer access to a number of network capabilities, including operator billing support and location-based services. “Operators can really help you with distribution, that’s clearly one area, and we can help you use some of the assets we have as operators. And that you will only get from us – you will not get it if you go to Nokia or any other OEM,” he said.
With regard to making network features available to developers, Malpartida said that: “there are a few others that we are in the process of agreeing how we can expose them to developers, so that developers come to us.”
Martin Wrigley, director of Developer Services for Orange’s partner efforts, noted that developers are not being presented with an either/or choice when it comes to selecting operator or platform provider alliances. “You are welcome to go to them, and you’re welcome to come to us. You have a choice. You can do both, increase your market. We will offer you access to all of our customers, across lots of different platforms. They will offer you access to lots of operator’s customers across one platform. So it depends what you want to do. You pay your money and you take your choice,” he said.
Deutsche Telekom’s Arndt concluded: “We need to change our attitude, definitely. We really need to look at how we can help developers to get more successful and monetise their applications, and make our customers in the end happier.”