We are really excited to tell you about our next steps in developer engagement and discovery: our first Early Access program and the public launch of our Edge Navigator use case research tool.
We’ve had quite a lot of developer interaction already as we’ve shared through our edge use case examples. We’ve also been very fortunate to work with Samsung and Deutsche Telekom (DT) in understanding how edge computing can bring value to device makers and mobile operators, and with Niantic (creators of Pokemon Go) demonstrated how edge services can help scale their multi-user augmented reality games. And we’ve had a chance to work with some of DT’s largest customers and explore how edge services can improve key applications.
Our Early Access program is new and quite different. For the first time the program focused on MobiledgeX technology. We’re going to select developers to work with us for six months and explore the edge together. We’ve always believed that many of the best ideas would come from people who knew applications well and could best see how the edge could make it better.
The Early Access participants will have free (and abundant) access to live edge infrastructure, consultative support and guidance from a multifunctional team of edge experts, promotional opportunities as well as a chance to work with a set of fellow “edge travellers”. Our goal is to target developers across Europe, North America, and Asia during the course of this year.
Along with the Early Access program, we’re also enabling public access to our edge use case research tool, Edge Navigator. This tool is a populated framework for examining and comparing the opportunities enabled by the edge. The tool enumerates the market segments and sub-segments that have been seen as edge opportunities and then lets each sub-segment be scored first in terms of the perceived market size and then the perceived degree to which it is improved by the use of the edge. This kind of exercise is broadly used in strategy, planning and budgeting. You can think of it as embracing the famous criminal Willie Sutton’s reason for robbing banks — “That’s where the money is!” This model tries to do that for edge opportunities — it sizes them based on existing market sizes and an estimate of edge impact.
Like most people building this kind of tool, we’ve built in all available primary research we could get our hands on, and then added our expert understanding of the edge on top of that. However expert we might be in the “edge” as new technology and markets, we’re not experts in many of the applications, so it makes sense to us that the tool can be improved as a community effort, so we’ve enabled that. Users are free to change the parameters in the tool and see what difference it makes in the scoring and prioritization of the various sub-segments. Over time we’ll make it easier for the community to share that experience and hope the model will eventually be fully crowdsourced.
Getting back to developers and early access, we hope this opportunity sizing tool will help developers understand where the money is and how the edge might help them specifically, based on their application and market interest and expertise.