Mutualistic Relationships and APIs

In science, everything gets analyzed and categorized. From separating animals into different classes, families and species to dividing elements into different groups, scientists are a little gung-ho about characterizing just about EVERYTHING. This love for sorting things even extends to relationships between organisms.

Scientists study organisms’ interactions and dub them parasitic, commensal or mutualistic. Simply put, if one organism benefits at the expense of another, their relationship is deemed parasitic. If two organisms co habitate without impacting each other, the relationship is called commensal, and if the two organisms’ interactions benefit both organisms, the relationship is identified as mutualistic.

Humorously, the same terms that scientists coined to categorize relationships in the the wild kingdom also apply in the corporate world. In business, parasitic relationships are probably the most common. Competition pits companies against one another — each one vying for a share of the market. Sometimes, the market is so large, or the companies are disparate enough that competitors can coexist without being detrimental to each other. This relationship is an example of commensalism. As rare as a commensal relationship is in business however, a mutualistic relationship is far more valuable and irregular. Most companies try to suppress the growth of other companies in order to continue their own fiscal growth, leaving very little room for mutualistic relationships.

And yet, in today’s modern age, change is upon us. Especially in the high tech industry, collaborative efforts between companies are springing up everywhere. The catalyst for this change: Open APIs.

An application programming interface (API) is a part of a software program that enables other programs to interface or communicate with the initial program. Opening up API codes to the public allows entire communities of developers to build supplemental programs and applications to integrate with and strengthen the initial program.

It is through use of APIs that YouTube video content can be shared on websites like Facebook, and The New York Times is available on the Kindle.

The mutualistic element of open APIs is that the initial program can be expanded upon at a minimal cost. Simultaneously, the secondary developers can monetize on the original program with their add-on interfaces. So, not only does the initial developer get a stronger, more robust program to offer to the public, but the creators of the API-based programs can also capitalize on the initial program. These secondary developers turn a profit by tapping into the already established market share etched out by the initial program.

In the case of open APIs, this mutualistic and symbiotic relationship actually extends beyond the developers to the consumers. Because costs of increasing the scale and functionality of the original program are kept low, the initial program and all of the related interfaces can usually be obtained by the consumer at a low cost. So, not only can the consumer procure a robust system, but the initial application and all of the related platforms are made available at a relatively marginal cost.

We are dedicated to keeping our PSA’s and CRM’s software features contemporary, functional, and easy-to-use. As technologies continue to rapidly evolve, providing us with more efficient ways to manage tasks and an increasingly mobile lifestyle, our PSA software advances too. We are committed to giving our users access to performance enhancing, time saving technologies that keep up with the times. We look forward to continuing to highlight more of our features, including additional mobility modules, in the future.

The result of opening our API to the public is that our users get the benefit of having an extensive research and development (R&D) team working on their professional services automation (PSA) software! Anyone can access our API and help grow the functionality of their business management solution to meet their exact needs and requirements. This reality allows our system to constantly evolve into a stronger system.

So, while scientists might get a little carried away with categorizing just about everything, they did get one thing right. There are relationships between multiple entities in which all entities benefit. Mutualistic relationships do exist, and surprisingly enough, they exist in business and they exist with us at our company.

To learn more about our PSA and CRM software open API, including its new enhancements, please contact us.

Until next time,
Success Team

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