PARIS, Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is today launching a new consulting and professional services practice that will enable communications service providers to create new revenue opportunities and deliver new services to market faster. The practice will support a proven lifecycle methodology for application programming interfaces (APIs), providing operators with expertise and technology to streamline the creation, deployment and management of network-based services. Operators expose these services to internal and external software developers as APIs which allow data to be shared between applications, as well as enabling better management of the underlying service's value. Laura Merling, Senior Vice President, Application Enablement at Alcatel-Lucent, said: "APIs are the glue that ties together all the elements of the data economy – apps, the cloud and big data. But launching and supporting a dynamic API strategy is not easy - these programs need to be monitored, nurtured and directed as they evolve over time. Operators need to offer a program that lowers the barrier to entry for developers and creates a more supportive environment. Our methodology and related services are designed to address the pain points affecting developers when designing, implementing and integrating APIs." By strategically creating APIs which provide access to technology assets and content within their networks, service providers promote the development of innovative applications that support a range of goals including creating new revenue opportunities, improving operations and enhancing customer experience. A well-executed API-sharing program will attract developers and support them in the kind of vibrant community needed to achieve these goals. The new API consulting and professional services practice is built on the foundation of Alcatel-Lucent's uniquely qualified and experienced team of veterans in API implementation, strategy and operations. The recent YouConnect project in France is an example of the team's work. Coupled with the company's API lifecycle methodology, which is licensed under Creative Commons and freely available to the larger community, the new practice is designed to address the challenges developers face when integrating APIs and to help optimize an API program for success, while also providing operators with a repeatable model for innovation.