{"API Evangelist"}

Expanding My API Partner Research Into Its Own Project

As I explore through API portals, looking for the successful approaches to APIs, I'm increasingly seeing formal partner programs, resulting in me expanding the topic as its own research area. My objective is to keep track of how the APIs I track on operate their partner programs, resulting in the list of organizations I reference in my research. I also want to try and identify what some of the common building blocks of API partner programs are, in addition to the news stories that I have curated about partnerships--which is the fuel of my research.

I have recorded 31 separate partner programs, which I found through the course of my API monitoring and research. 

These are all companies who have formal partner efforts that provide a higher level of access to their API. There are many companies who feel their developer programs is a partner program, but what I am looking for is a partner program that looks to certify developers, and give them more benefits through deeper participation with a platform.

After looking through these companies I've recorded a handful of what I'd consider to be some of the common building blocks of these API partner programs. 

Program Details

  • Landing Page - An official landing page for the partner program.
  • Program Details - Short, concise information about the program.
  • Program Requirements - Information about what the details of the program are.
  • Program Levels - Details about what the different levels of the partner program are.

Partner Showcase

  • List of Partners - A list of partners, usually name and logo, maybe with some description.
  • Partner Stories - Stories of the partners and how they use the platform.
  • Partner Search - A keyword search for discovering partners.

Partner Program

  • Application - The actual application for becoming a partner.
  • Private Portal - A private portal for partners to login to.
  • Certification - Official certification showing that a partner is officially approved and vetted.

API

  • Quota Increase - Increasing the rate limit for existing APIs.
  • Additional APIs - Provide access to APIs that are only accessible to their partner tiers.
  • Read / Write APIs - Access to not only read, but also write, update, and possibly delete access to aPIs.

Early Access

  • Early Communication - Allow for partners to get early access to platform communications.
  • Early Opportunities - Access to early platform opportunities meant just for partners.
  • Beta Access - Allow for beta access to new platform products.

Legal

  • Agreement - The legaleze for the partner program agreement.
  • Privacy Policy - What is the privacy policy for the partner program.
  • Code of Conduct - A code of conduct targeting partners, explaining what is expected.

Marketing Activities

  • Blog Posts - Provide blog posts for partners to take advantage of one time or recurring.
  • Press Release - Provide press releases for new partners, and possibly recurring for other milestones.
  • Facebook Post - Post updates to the platforms Facebook account.
  • Twitter Post - Post updates to the platforms Twitter account.
  • Google Plus - Post updates to the platforms Google Plus account.

Support

  • Discounts - Provide discounts on direct support for partners.
  • Office Hours - Provide virtual open office hours just for partners.
  • Training - Offer direct training opportunities that is designed just for partners.
  • Advisors - Provide special advisors that are there to support partners.

Content

  • Quotes - Allow partners to provide quotes thath can be published to relevant properties.
  • Testimonials - Have partners provide testimonials that get published to relevant sites.
  • Use of Logo - Allow partners to use the platform logo, or special partner platform logo.

Communication

  • Blog - Have a blog that is dedicated to providing information for the partner program.
  • Spotlight - Have a special section to spotlight on partners.
  • Newsletter - Provide a dedicated partner newsletter.

Financial

  • Revenue Sharing - Offer revenue sharing for partners.
  • Reseller Discounts - Offer reseller discounts from referrals they make.

This is just a start, after I spend more time looking through these programs, and learning more, I will evolve further. As I do with my other areas of research I will publish all of this as a white paper when I can. You can stay in tune with the API partner related news I find on the research site under news, the official company partner programs I've flagged under organizations, and the common elements I have recorded under building blocks--it will change as I have time, so check back regularly.

Next, I think I will look at the types of partnerships that these platforms are offering, and study the relationship between their partner programs, and their general API access. If I can, I will also track on which partners are showcased as part of each program, to try and get a vibe for which companies are working hard at establishing partnerships across the space. There is quite a bit of curated news to still go through and make sense of all the partner related activity I have been coming across for the last couple years. It is always hard to get my research up to speed with how much information I have curated over time, and the more I research, the more information I seem to collect. 

If you know of any partner programs I don't have listed, feel free to let me know.