Trust and why security is a smart move

Written by on November 18, 2015 in Opinion with 0 Comments

Secure Online Cloud Computing Concept with business manThe evidence is gathering that operators are beginning to get innovative. It is not before time, but we must spare a thought for the incredible drag that can be caused by internal politics, silos and ancient processes. Some of the innovation that is appearing through the cracks is around roaming – Three, and others, have been offering their customers charge free roaming for some time. Now, though, security seems to be innovative too.

As we have said before, trust is an asset for operators, and most customers trust their service provider before their bank, or DSPs. So, why not leverage it? With daily news of cyber attacks, hacks and other dark arts, there is a perfect opportunity for security companies to step into the breach. And, more and more, security specialists are attracting larger and larger investments.

Operators can provide ‘security as a service’ either at a consumer level, or wholesale.

Swedish operator Telenor has seen this opportunity, and addressed it from a ‘parental help’ point of view. A surprisingly small minority of parents discuss the online world with their children, which is strange in the digital age. As Lina Sundqvist, responsible for customer safety at Telenor Sweden says, “we always ask our children where they are going as they leave the house, but many parents don’t know the whereabouts of their kids online. The dialogue between parents and children is crucial.”

The other approach is at the wholesale and/or enterprise level. As Teresa Cottam points out, an operator can make a completely valid and conscious decision to provide connectivity, but add value to it, doing what they do best. This includes “security, differentiated quality of service, ID management and authorisation services, amongst others.”

Such an example is Level 3. Its vision is “to connect and secure what it calls ‘the Networked World’. As such it has a clearer focus than many of its rivals..”

Cottam likens this approach to that of the clever companies during the Gold Rush. The miners very rarely found enough gold to go home and retire. Those that provided the shovels, clothes, housing, roads and trains made fortunes.

We will see innovation emerge in various guises over the next few months, some with be in the form of innovative partnerships with Digital Service Providers (DSPs), some will be in areas such as roaming. And others will leverage their trust asset and become the trusted partner in an uncertain digital world.

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Alex Leslie

About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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