Biztech Jan 22, 2010
Public private partnerships have become something of a trend these days. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), one of the biggest government-owned telecom companies, has jumped onto the bandwagon by collaborating with F-Secure, which provides security-as-a-service (SAAS) globally. The deal encompasses the provision of the MTNL PC protection package to MTNL subscribers. The offering will be priced at Rs 2 per day for the basic pack.
PPP Model: The Way Ahead?
Talking about the alliance and this new trend in the industry, J Gopal, Executive Director, MTNL Mumbai, said, "Initially, we all used to think that we have the resources and the proficiency to do everything on our own and don’t really need private companies to help us out. But in due time we have realised that we do not have the capital or the skills to cater to all the needs of our customers, which keep changing with time and innovation. Also, our association with F-secure will help us get additional revenue as this alliance is based on a shared revenue model and will lead us to customer satisfaction as well".
From a private vendor’s point of view, Kimmo Alkio, CEO for F-Secure, says, "Government is the biggest sector in India. So to have a partnership with these giants is one of the major focuses for a lot of IT companies". Explaining the need for such alliances further, Gopal said that offering Value-Added Services (VAS) to one’s customers has become a necessity in today’s day and time. "A company can have an edge over its competitors only through VAS," he said. Alkio agrees and adds that innovation of new technology is the reason that companies need to keep adding to their packages. "We all need robust environments for our digital worlds," he said.
Constant innovation and addition means that a product evolves to being a one-stop-shop, which is what the customers are demanding these days. Gopal agrees to the theory and adds, "VAS has become even more important these days because the tariff rates are falling, which means the revenue is falling as well. These kind of added services help a company in getting added revenue, thus, balancing the act. And of course, the customer is saved form the trouble of going to 10 different places to fulfill his needs."
For F-Secure, an alliance with MTNL also means adding another feather to their hat. F-secure already has alliances with Airtel, Tiacona, Tata Communications, etc. By associating itself with MTNL, it has now partnered with four major telecom service providers in the country.
Targeted at MTNL customers based in Delhi and Mumbai, the facility is aimed at offering Internet security through the broadband network. The MTNL and F-Secure partnership will provide customers a very high level of security including proactive protection through F-Secure’s unique DeepGuard technology. It is a real-time protection network for consumers that enables global protection within 60 seconds from the first confirmation of a new threat. The underlying foundation in this mechanism is the F-Secure DeepGuard 2.0, a technology that uses ‘in-the-cloud’ computing to provide instant protection against new threats.
Growing Security Concerns
Talking about the need for real-time filtration of data, Alkio says, "With the growing popularity of Web 2.0, real-time filtration of data has become very important. Web 2.0 is going to gain importance in the future so the significance of real-time filtration will only rise in the times to come".
Alkio further adds that security is more often than not ignored by most. Gopal agrees and says, "The reason that we are giving the basic pack at such a nominal rate is that people should not feel the pinch of taking the money out of their pockets for protecting their data. Also, this will help us fight the piracy problem associated with most anti-virus software".
According to a survey by F-Secure, just over 20 percent realise that appropriate online behaviour on their own part also plays a big role. Respondents in India (70 percent) relied on the security software they had purchased or the security service from their Internet Service Provider.