The global AT&T network is a tremendous information resource, one we are making even more useful to enterprises. By creating new Application Program Interfaces (APIs), we’re opening the network so businesses can easily access their information—and put that data to work.

In simple terms, an API lets you initiate a network function or collect network information with a relatively simple command. The network activity that comes next may be complex, but you don’t have to worry about it. It’s all defined by the parameters of the API.

For instance, let’s say you want to track the location of your service field force. You can do that through an API, without worrying whether the network uses cell-ID, network triangulation, GPS (global positioning system), or some other location technology.

The job of the API is to make such interactions easy, so you don’t get bogged down in the technical details. A software developer who is not telecom-savvy can use APIs to create programs that leverage telecom network capabilities.

Why would AT&T do this? The more companies and developers exploit the power of our network, the more we can grow our services. The real key, though, is what APIs can do for network users. Whether it’s location services, voice call control, video search, or managing what we refer to as “big data,” APIs can help companies use network power to streamline their operations and better serve their customers.

For instance, when a customer opens a service order, you could use an API to see where your service employees are, then direct the closest employee to handle that call. Or, let’s say you own a sports bar near the football stadium. On game day you could use an API to identify all of your customers in the area and invite them by message for a post-game special.

We are working with developers across the world to identify such needs and create new APIs. And the network, which was once operated like a closed system, is becoming more open—and more valuable—for all.

What APIs can you imagine benefiting your business and its customers?