Vodafone has such a rich and diverse set of products and services, from IoT and Edge Computing, through to 5G, rich communications services, and beyond. Many of these products and services are already touching the lives of software developers worldwide.
What’s been missing, however, is one fantastic and frictionless channel to consume these capabilities - a single digital experience that makes the lives of developers looking to build with Vodafone far easier.
Our Developer Marketplace ambition was born out of that gap.
By designing and building this channel, we are delivering our vision for a world where external developers can easily discover, try, and onboard to Vodafone APIs.
Inside the company, our Developer Marketplace team is a small, lean startup with the goal of putting developers at the heart of Vodafone’s products and services. We’ve started testing the first build of our global developer marketplace at developer.vodafone.com.
What we’ve done so far
Within a large global enterprise, we must challenge many of our established ways of working and governance to fulfil our ambition. As with anything, change is hard, but with our global tech 2025 ambition, we’ve seen many in the company understand the need to work in a different and more agile way. This has been encouraging.
The first thing we did as a Developer Relations team was embed deeply with developer customers externally, as well as with our internal software engineers. As an area, we represent the voice of the external developer within Vodafone.
We held many sessions to understand our current pain points and our biggest strengths. This helped us prioritise exactly where to focus our efforts in the short and medium term to provide developers with a better experience.
It culminated in the launch of our closed beta in late summer 2022, a true celebratory moment. Seeing how well the initial (minimum viable product) MVP was received was inspiring but humbling too. There is still much we have to do!
We’ve taken this customer-obsessed approach to heart, both quantitatively and qualitatively. After releasing the MVP of the channel, we saw a remarkable improvement in customer sentiment. Much of this has been attributed to improvements in the overall developer experience, including clear, accessible OpenAPI specifications, and lowering the time to ‘Hello World.’
We’ve also seen some positive feedback regarding the beta site’s design and satisfaction around specific features and content, including the ‘Try it out’ Sandbox functionality and targeted ‘Use Case’ content. All of these insights have been invaluable as we move towards our next launch.
Making it easier for everyone to build with us
At the heart of what we’re doing is storytelling: sharing the story behind the network technology which connects millions of lives, directly with developers. This starts by highlighting the underlying components that form our technology with content written for developers, by developers.
Through the right education and enablement, it's incredible to see what's possible when bringing our advanced network capabilities closer to the developers building applications.
Engaging developers with the understanding of how our networks and platforms operate is the first step in bringing them alongside us as we showcase a range of services that make it easier to build with us. We’ve now started to partner with a number of developer-first organisations to extend the reach of our message, and we’re only just getting started!