RiskMetrics API powered by WebServius wins Entrepreneurial Insurance Award

RiskMetrics, provider of data in the business insurance industry, has won the prestigious Entrepreneurial Insurance Award with Insurance360, its WebServius-powered API offering at the MarketScout Annual Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium. The Alliance reviewed hundreds of nominations before selecting finalists which included solutions from LexisNexis, Risk Metrics, Vertafore, CNA, Insuritas and others in the technology category.

For more information, see the embedded video (starting at 2 min 8 sec.) or see these articles (link 1, link 2, link 3).

Zacks Investment Research launches financial data API

Zacks Investment Research, a leading investment research firm based in Chicago, has launched the Zacks Data API on the WebServius API management platform. The API allows financial applications and websites to easily integrate with Zacks’ latest consensus data, including earnings estimates, revenue estimates, analyst recommendations, target prices, and long term growth rates for US and Canadian traded stocks, as well as a selection of fundamental company profile data and end-of-day stock price data for US traded stocks.

“I believe this new cloud-based data delivery method will be a catalyst for new innovations in how consensus data can be used to find good stocks to invest in,” says Bryant Sheehy, Business Development Director at Zacks.

Zacks Data is a great example of our complete end-to-end solution, which includes the design and deployment of the core API using our rapid API creation process in addition to providing ongoing API management and monetization capabilities.

Featured Self-Service API: SpellChecker.net

SpellChecker.netOne of our most powerful features has always been the self-service capability for API providers. It can be used to turn any algorithmic functionality (such as image processing, text processing and more) into an instant revenue source. All you need to do is create an API wrapper around your particular functionality, create a WebServius account, set some pricing rules, and you are fully ready to sign up buyers.

In this post, we would like to highlight one such customer, SpellChecker.net - the algorithmic functionality they’re offering in this case is, of course, spell-checking, and the company is a leader in spell-checking technology for multiple languages. In fact, you may have used their products without even knowing it when using a spell-checker in many web-based applications such as content management systems, email marketing tools, and many others.  The SpellChecker.net API, managed by WebServius, is the next logical step: it allows spell-checking technology to be easily integrated into any application on any platform with great ease and flexibility. SpellChecker.net have integrated their API with WebServius and have set up their free-trial and pay-per-use plans in a completely self-service fashion, without any involvement on our part. Congratulations to them on a successful API launch!

Data 2.0 Conference

On April 4, 2011, WebServius will be presenting at the Data 2.0 Conference in San Francisco (http://data2con.com). The conference brings together experts on data analysis, distribution, visualization and more, and is an attempt to understand what the future holds now that more business, government and social data is accessible than ever before. In fact, Data Accessibility (defined as making data available through flexible mechanisms such as APIs and pay-per-use licensing) is one of the 3 core themes of the conference, and is particularly close to the WebServius vision of democratizing access to premium, valuable data. We are looking forward to some exciting and industry-shaping conversations.

GoldenWare launches FlightLookup API

GoldenWare Travel TechnologiesGoldenWare Travel Technologies has launched the FlightLookup API on the WebServius API management and monetization platform, allowing comprehensive airline flight data to be easily integrated into apps and websites. The API provides information on flight schedules, airport timetables, flight metadata, codeshare information, flight routing and airport terminal information for commercial airline flights. A free trial is currently available.

GoldenWare Travel Technologies is the leading electronic distributor of information to current and next generation platforms in the travel industry.

Data monetization solutions: build or buy?

Our CTO has recently answered an important question on Quora about build-vs-buy for data monetization solutions and we thought it was worth repeating here:

Monetizing data is a difficult technological and operational challenge. If your goal is to unlock your data’s full revenue potential, you need to be able to reach all possible data buyers and reach them efficiently, but doing so with an in-house solution takes a lot of effort:

For example, buyers who are looking for data that can be integrated into their own applications may prefer the data in the form of an API. Creating a best-practices API that conforms to all necessary standards (e.g. REST, XML, JSON) and has the right authentication / API key mechanism, the right metering/pricing mechanism, the right level of documentation, etc, is a difficult task in itself.

Other data buyers may be looking to download data in bulk, either in whole or in part (for example, to be analyzed in a spreadsheet). Here, one needs to create an online tool to select, pay for, download, and often re-download the right subset of data; The tool must have sufficient usability for non-technical data buyers, and must support all necessary data formats – again, a difficult set of challenges.

Regardless of how the data is delivered, a data vendor needs to provide a mechanism for data buyers to sign up and pay for data online in a self-service way. Mechanisms are also needed for data vendors to validate buyers and prevent fraud, to view reports/analytics on data purchase activity, to set up data pricing rules (which may often be fairly complex) or other access plans such as free trials and promotions.

Finally, there are the operational challenges: payments need to be processed from data buyers, payment issues need to be resolved, technical support must be provided (which is especially difficult in the case of buyers who access data via APIs), SLAs must be maintained, data needs to be hosted and continuously updated.

WebServius, as well as a number of other companies, set out to solve all of the challenges above. There are economies of scale at play here, and it is far more efficient for these challenges to be solved once for all data providers on a particular platform, than for each provider to reinvent the wheel.

For data vendors, we set out to offerr a true end-to-end data monetization experience: If you provide us with access to valuable data, we will provide you with a way to monetize it in a variety of compelling ways (APIs, bulk data download, etc.), without you having to worry about any of the difficult problems above, and with you staying in full control of the pricing, branding and terms.

An analogy here is the sale of physical goods: If you are selling physical goods online, it is often much more efficient to leverage an existing platform (Amazon Stores, Amazon FBA, eBay, etc.) than to build out an entire e-Commerce solution from scratch. I see WebServius and some of our competitors as the “Amazon/eBay of data”.

WebServius highlighted in Wells Fargo report on tech trends

Wells Fargo Securities (investment banking and capital markets arm of Wells Fargo) has released an equity research report titled Tech 2011: The Shape of Things to Come (PDF), which identifies the top ten industry-shaping ideas impacting the tech sector.

The report focuses on the ongoing technological disruption in both consumer and enterprise markets – with major structural computing changes in mobility, cloud computing, and datacenter transformation rapidly transitioning from early to mainstream adoption. It specifically notes efforts by companies like Oracle, IBM, Dell, Amazon and Groupon in positioning themselves to take advantage of these “big trends” driving the tech market, and highlights the leading role of WebServius in enabling one of these top ten trends, Software as an Answer / Data as a Service (DaaS):

“We think one of the next big trends in cloud computing is data as a service (DaaS). DaaS is a concept where data can be provided as an on demand service regardless of where it resides.

For example, Amazon is now offering a data monetization service through a very interesting privately held company called WebServius. WebServius has a monetization system for data vendors to help them sell rights to interesting structured or semi-structured data.”

A diagram included in the report helps readers further visualize the essential role of WebServius in enabling DaaS and spotlights the way some of our data vendors use WebServius platform to reach data buyers.

The concept of DaaS – whereby data can be delivered as an on-demand service and answers can be provided to specific business questions in real-time -  has always been at the center of the WebServius vision. We view this report as further evidence of the ongoing disruptive change in how valuable data is sold and delivered, as well as a reflection of the rapidly expanding business opportunities this transition brings.

Click here to download the full report.

WebServius DaaS Diagram

WebServius featured as Amazon AWS Case Study

We were recently featured as an Amazon Web Services Case Study (as well as on Jeff Barr’s blog), which highlighted our integration with Amazon’s SimpleDB service and the potential for new revenue it unlocks for owners of valuable data. Using the WebServius management and monetization platform, any data stored in SimpleDB can be securely exposed as both a paid API and a manual data download tool that lets customers download data in spreadsheet form based on customized searches. All of the billing, authentication, and user sign up processing is handled by us, making this a true turnkey solution.
 

Read the full case study: http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/webservius/

Jeff Barr’s blog post: http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2010/12/webservius-monetization-system-for-data-vendors.html

Introducing the Data Download Tool

Our primary mission is to allow data vendors to increase revenue by selling data in powerful new ways. So far, we have done this by enabling vendors to easily expose their data to application developers through on-demand APIs. However, an equally important scenario is selling data to business end-users, and we are proud to announce a new product addition that allows data vendors to do just that with the usual WebServius ease and flexibility: the Data Download Tool.

A data buyer can now come to a WebServius-powered page (which can be white-labeled), and select any relevant criteria (e.g. “download list of all dentists in San Jose with offices larger than 700 sq.ft.”, or “download list of dividends over $2 issued by US companies in the media vertical between 1997 and 1999″). The tool will display the number of matching records and their price, and will allow the data buyer to instantly pay for the data and download it in a format compatible with Microsoft Excel. This feature is an extension of our Amazon SimpleDB integration, and it is therefore quick and easy to enable both API access and Bulk Download access for the same dataset.

The tool is currently in beta and significant usability and UI improvements are coming soon to make the functionality even more flexible and easy to use.

Contact us if you are interested in a live demo.

Data buyer's view

Vendor's configuration screen

Customer spotlight: WiseTrend OCR

Powered by the WebServius API management and monetization platform, WiseTrend’s OCR Cloud 2.0 API is the easiest way for developers to integrate with OCR functionality without any up-front costs or commitment. Unlike some other OCR APIs, it’s based on the extremely powerful ABBYY engine, capable of recognizing even low-quality images (such as those from mobile phones).

WiseTrend logo

Many image processing options are available to adapt to specific scenarios allowing you to optimize for printed documents, forms, and more. Other features include barcode recognition and support for over 100 languages.

A great example of OCR Cloud 2.0 in action is the recently released FotoNote app for the iPhone (pictured below).

   

 

If you’d like to learn more about this API, click here.

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