REDMOND, Wash. — March 28, 2011 — Today marks an important day — Telefónica and Microsoft have announced a collaboration to bring Telefónica’s new global developer platform, BlueVia, to Microsoft’s 6 million-strong .NET developer community, to drive application innovation and meet growing user demand for new applications and services across multiple devices.
With the combination of virtually unlimited processing and storage in the cloud, the multitude of computing devices in different form factors, and ubiquitous high-speed networks, technological advances are impacting every aspect of our lives and consumer appetite for innovative applications and services on mobile devices, PCs, TVs and games consoles is bigger than ever. There is a shift to services and the Web, which is permeating every aspect of how we think about applications, computing and software development. Microsoft’s collaboration with Telefónica is evidence of the huge opportunity to deliver on ever-increasing user expectations of experiences that are connected, immersive, easy and intuitive to use, cheap (up to and including free), and of course social.
The BlueVia SDK for .NET offers a range of rich developer tools, including .NET, Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010, enhanced specifically for the design and creation of applications that integrate with Telefónica APIs, such as SMS, advertising, mobile billing and contextual user information, all exposed through the BlueVia platform. Importantly, Windows Azure is a key component of the SDK, allowing for the creation of Internet-scale applications with no initial investment in infrastructure required. The openness of Windows Azure was also a major attraction for Telefónica — developers with expertise in different programming languages, such as .NET, Java, Ruby and PHP, can host their applications on Windows Azure and deploy those apps to Windows Phone 7, Windows 7-based PCs, slates and netbooks, Internet Explorer 9, Xbox 360 and other device platforms. Controls for Windows Live enable developers to access key functionality, such as user identity and contacts, to allow for the creation of real-time, programmable voice and data communications services that leverage social-networking capabilities.
The combination of telco functionality from Telefónica and Microsoft’s experience in Web development and cloud provides a unique approach to driving innovation in applications and services in a simple and frictionless way. Web developers are looking for new ways to capitalize on Web/mobile convergence and want to create communications-enabled applications as if developing any other rich Internet application. However, these kinds of network capabilities have previously been hidden by telcos, making them out of reach for most developers.
Developers are also making platform choices based on the fastest, easiest path to economic opportunity and the sustainable health of the application ecosystem. The Microsoft and Telefónica partnership serves up these key must-have ingredients. BlueVia offers new revenue opportunities for developers with innovative plug-and-play business models, such as 20 percent revenue share of SMS traffic generated by an application, and access to Windows Phone 7, Windows 7 devices, Xbox and Internet Explorer 9 through Windows Azure.
Developers are clearly excited by the opportunity presented by the BlueVia SDK for .NET. One of these developers is Medianet, which has developed TAXISTOP, a passenger booking and fleet management application, using Silverlight with BlueVia APIs like SMS, advertising and mobile billing while cutting development lead times by 30 percent.
“Developers have been waiting for an opportunity to integrate network operator services within our apps in a robust and seamless way for over a decade,” said Gideon Clifton, CEO of Medianet. “Third- party solutions have never delivered due to the historic lack of understanding by operators of the developer opportunity,” Clifton adds. “Telefónica and Microsoft have corrected this, and we are excited to integrate their tools to deliver our TAXISTOP application to millions of passengers.”
Independent software vendor Schakra has used the BlueVia SDK for .NET to create GoGoStat Connect, an app for managing how different people reach you at different times or in different locations and situations, whether through phone, text, social media or e-mail. GoGoStat Connect is built for Windows Phone 7, hosted on Windows Azure, and uses SMS from BlueVia to blend social media activity with mobile communications and Web services. The GoGoStat Connect app will be free to end users, with Schakra earning revenue though Telefónica’s revenue sharing business model.
Build your own communications preferences with GoGoStatConnect
“The business model supporting BlueVia is novel, and I hope this finally turns it around for the industry,” said Bala Balabaskaran, vice president products and chief architect for Schakra. “Personally, I’ve been involved in at least three different telco developer programs, but the business model was just not there for developers. Telefónica’s program is truly innovative.”
Cooliris, a Silicon Valley based and VC-backed technology start-up specializing in immersive experiences on Internet-enabled devices, has created LiveShare using the BlueVia SDK for .NET. LiveShare is a new, live and hyper-personal way to communicate within shared groups using media streams on mobile and web. The LiveShare app is designed to fully leverage the capabilities of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure, available through the SDK, along with SMS from BlueVia, for unique media sharing experiences at scale to Telefonica network users worldwide.
This evolving technological world of clouds, devices and networks opens up the potential for state-of-the-art applications that connect us globally. The telecoms industry is facing interesting times with increasing competition and erosion of traditional revenues as new services emerge. Telefónica has recognized the creative talent pool working in the developer community and the importance of partnering with strategic players like Microsoft. Today’s news signals both companies’ commitment to innovation through the developer community. It presents a significant opportunity for millions of users worldwide to benefit from connected experiences, brought together through the cloud.
Developers can access the BlueVia SDK for .NET via the BlueVia portal at www.bluevia.com.