Whispir Speaks Up and Grows Software Adoption with Mashery
Fast, easy program and portal setup, increased adoption and revenue
Companies rely on many channels of communication that use a host of underlying technologies (email, RSS, SMS, social, voice), which are not designed to work together. Making them interoperable would require a lot of integration work and expense, and yet that is what Whispir customers were asking for.
“Our customers really wanted communications and collaboration infrastructure that acted like a ‘single pane of glass,’ where all of these technologies could be seamlessly integrated as a feature set within existing applications,” explains Product Architect Jordan Walsh. “They also wanted a customizable solution so they could easily add, delete, or modify this communications infrastructure, either globally or for each application.
“At first, our response was a series of one-off solutions that were hard to maintain and expensive to deliver. We needed a more cost-effective approach that provided customization capabilities and faster development and delivery of solutions. Key requirements were lower software maintenance costs and the ability for our customers to provide the same set of customization features to their customer base. A secondary goal was generation of an incremental revenue stream from exposing standard sets of customization features.”
The company decided to build an API solution that would provide customers a uniform way to customize the Whispir product; give them a fast, self-service approach to customization; and help Whispir understand how customers were customizing features.
When faced with the classic build vs. buy decision regarding API Management, Whispir decided it didn’t have the required expertise, and in any case, it needed a solution now, not later. The company was also reluctant to add complexity and additional capital and operating expenses to its IT infrastructure. They decided to purchase TIBCO Cloud™ Mashery® API Management so they could concentrate on growing the business and not be distracted by an out-of-scope project.
“Mashery was chosen primarily because of its simplicity of design and ease-of-use. It had all the necessary features, especially the out-of-the-box developer portal that would be easy to customize and brand,” says Mr. Walsh. Whispir reskinned the portal with minimal effort over a period of a few weeks. The total cost of ownership using subscription pricing was also attractive, and the dedicated local customer success manager would provide support and assistance for getting their API program going.
Fast, Easy Program and Portal Setup
The value of Whispir’s API was initially not well understood by most within Whispir, or by their customer base. To address this, the company hired a product manager, and using Mashery, formalized practices for API packaging and developer onboarding and management.
Because multiple versions of Whispir’s existing APIs needed to be consolidated, API design took about six months. Portal branding, and setup and production deployment of the Mashery management platform took an additional six weeks.
Higher Customer Adoption
Soon after Whispir turned on their Mashery platform and began to market its API, customer adoption took off. “The program has been a raging success,” says Walsh. “There’s been a 3,000% increase in API usage year-over-year, and over the past five months, there’s been 112% increase in API calls per day, with calls currently growing at a rate of 5,000 per day.”
Although revenue generation was initially a secondary goal, that’s no longer the case. “The Whispir API now generates more than 30% of product revenue, a percentage that continues to grow. This is a direct effect of using the API management infrastructure provided by TIBCO Cloud Mashery,” says Walsh.
“Customizations done via an API can be cost-effectively documented and supported,” says Mr. Walsh. “Our API allows developers to embed communications mechanisms such as email, social media, voice, SMS, and others, and seamlessly bridge between them in their targeted application environment.
“Using our API, any customer-developed application can be Whispir-enabled, providing an integrated way to move data, content, and communications streams into and across multiple communications channels.”
Whispir is planning to launch another API, focused on mobile applications. It will be used to provide new digital services as part of a multi-channel strategy. Some of the mobile use cases being explored encompass delivery of customer loyalty programs, and customized 1:1 marketing to deliver specific offers to customers based on purchase history, profiles, or other criteria.