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In a recent sit-down interview, Viji Alagarsamy, Director of Product Management, DaaS, took the time to share why she thinks Nexis DaaS is a standout from other data as a service providers. She gave us so much information, we turned her interview into a series of blog posts covering topics ranging from why her team embraces a “fail fast” approach to how her team goes above and beyond to create additional value for her clients.
Viji was an open book when it came to all things DaaS. And her passion for working alongside clients to develop data delivery solutions was on full display. In fact, she was only less than forthcoming when the time came to discuss the exciting project her team is currently working on: an enhanced DaaS developer portal. Her reluctance wasn’t out of simply not wanting to talk about the portal; rather, she was merely afraid of giving too much away too soon, like someone who had seen the latest blockbuster movie and didn’t want to give away any spoilers.
Fortunately, Viji was kind of enough to tease the project for us by answering a few of our questions regarding the enhanced portal. Here’s what she had to say.
Q: What was the origin of the enhanced developer portal idea?
The idea for the enhanced developer portal came about rather organically. The DaaS strategy is to grow and meet our clients’ evolving data and delivery needs by enhancing our data and—where required—developing new API and data analytic offerings and solutions. That’s baked into our culture.
It was during our work with several clients that we noticed the common need for a more modern and capable developer portal. And honestly, what started out as a project with a relatively small scope steadily took on more and more internal stakeholders until it became quite the undertaking. But one we’ve embraced!
Q: What exactly is the enhanced portal and what need does it fulfil?
This new portal fulfils the need for faster integration of our APIs within the customer’s workflow. Our APIs aren’t lightweight or superficial. They’re very capable APIs that become heavily integrated with a client’s systems and processes. The goal of this portal is to get our clients up and running much, much faster.
The portal serves as a single ecosystem to house our API documentation and resources in one place. It’ll be a full self-service portal that we’re designing to be highly intuitive for developers to access and use. We want our clients to easily explore our APIs and discover what they can do, so that they can leverage them quicker.
Q: You mentioned that the project took on a life of its own. How?
It all started with this little, what I call, a humble bet to see if we can make the existing developer portal slightly better and more modern for our clients. Once we started to draw out what that looked like, more and more stakeholders came into the mix. Every time a new stakeholder came in, the project evolved a little bit more. Now, the enhanced developer portal went from being a DNS portal to an all-encompassing API gateway.
And let me tell you, there are a lot of passionate stakeholders involved now. We’ve assembled quite the team of technical and product experts.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the phase you’re in now?
We’re currently working toward a minimum viable product. Honestly, we’re pretty close to putting something in front of five of our top customers to get their input.
Q: Who will ultimately be using this portal and what will that look like?
It’s a portal that will cater to all users, be it an anonymous user, a registered user, or the subscription user. Eventually, we’ll have sandboxes for pre-trials, trials, and subscriptions. We want people to really see what’s possible with our APIs, and we want to deliver an effective and easy way for them to do that. That’s why we’re also creating “Getting Started” guides and “Try it now” sandboxes as well.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve experienced during the project so far?
By far, the biggest challenge is having so many internal stakeholders. We have so much varied expertise and so many perspectives—all of them with valid viewpoints. And of course, all of us want to create the best portal for the customer. So it’s a matter of finding the balance between compromise while maintaining the best possible customer experience.
Learn more about Nexis DaaS here.