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Transforming Organizations: API Adoption and (Internal) Developer Advocacy

Interview with Raymond Peng (Google)

Jul 29, 2021

Raymond Peng is a Senior Cloud Value Advisor for API Strategy & Platforms at Google. He works with various companies to help kickstart, accelerate and scale up their API programs and businesses.
In this episode:

What does Coca Cola’s product and marketing philosophy have to do with APIs and how can investing in homegrown API management be a bad idea?

In most organizations internal adoption and knowledge sharing is also crucial for success in addition to creating APIs. In this episode Raymond and Kristof discussed why internal advocacy and knowledge sharing has to be part of a successful digital transformation journey. They also shared why API programs should be built with the developer experience and growth potential in mind from the start.


Also available on Anchor, Google, and Apple.



1:35 Raymond is a Cloud Value Advisor

1:43 helping customers to scale up and kick off with APIs

2:10 continuous engagement model

3:00 developers build sound features but they are not used to care for promotion. Marketing has to be involved

5:00 building ecosystems of people: to share information in an organization is almost social engineering

5:40 organizing meetups to bring about internal change in the organization

7:30 you need a team of people to speak to different audiences. It’s a lot of complexity

8:23 internal developer platform to restructure IT landscape in the organization

9:10 key factors of digital transformation: timing and leadership

10:20 real leadership borns when you have to defeat internal blockers and earn the leadership and step up

10:50 almost needs internal entrepreneurs to build an API program

12:35 true leadership: see the opportunity, capitalize on it, rally people around you and execute - this transcends departments

13:24 today it is a good time to step up and drive change

14:00 it’s people/users who make a technology successful

15:40 APIs can have very different roles in an organization depending on maturity level: from oldschool point to point integrations to business driving game changers

16:30 Stuck in the technology trap

18:00 innovation happens in different pockets: think about adoption internally again

21:00 API project –> API product → API program

23:10 Coca Cola analogy: is it a beverage company or the most famous marketing company in the world? Coca Cola invested a lot into marketing the feelings and experience.

24:10 starting point has to be the vision

25:40 the “bright spot” marketing is not enough: you have to keep marketing and advertising otherwise people forget

26:40 marketing is not a campaign: it is a continuous communication to your audience on multiple channels and levels

27:30 developers have to think as marketers: they have to do internal marketing

28:30 divide and conquer: one global message is not enough in the case of a global company. You need to address audiences

29:50 internal developer advocate?

33:50 core question: do you have the knowledge to teach sg in the organization? Do you have the empathy?

38:30 internalization

40:50 rescuing people pushes them into further dependency. It is against full hearted way of working

41:30 Raymond started as a web designer and that’s how he got engaged with UX

43:40 UX is like fashion: you have to keep up with the time

47:20 People’s expectations changing fast with time

48:00 how user expectations changed regarding documentation and APIs

50:20 why homegrown API management can be a bad idea? (Scalability, security, maintainability).

55:20 do organizations still need to be convinced about the advantages of APIs? With major investments you have to make a business case.


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