OTT Apps Are Bleeding Service Providers Dry
Service providers are bleeding! Over the last few years, service providers have had their lunch absolutely devoured by OTT (Over the Top) applications and services: When Skype (or WhatsApp, or Google Hangouts, or Facebook Messenger) allows users to make calls over Wi-Fi and data, for example, consumers pay less than a network would charge them for making an ordinary phone call. When users use the chat functions embedded in these apps, service providers can’t capture the revenue provided by text-messaging rates. When someone cuts the cord and switches to exclusively watching Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon Instant Video), then an entire cable bill’s worth of revenue is lost. As of 2014, telecom companies alone have lost $386 billion to OTT apps, and the meter is still running.
Unfortunately for service providers, OTT apps allow consumers to do an end-run around their ability to charge for services. In order to recapture revenue, service providers need to find new services and new revenue streams. One possibility is to offer information security services or hosted services.
How Are Service Provider Supposed To Cope?
Ordinary consumers and small businesses easily understand the benefits of VoIP apps and chat clients, as well as the related cost savings. With a service like information security, the opposite is true: home users and small businesses don’t have the vaguest idea of how information security works, and doing information security right is hugely expensive.
As opposed to large corporations which employ security experts who can help sift through the garbles of information available, SMBs and consumers are usually lost in this world. They know that they need to protect themselves – but how?
By contrast, most service providers tend to have a great understanding of information security, and they’ve already invested in the tools, training, and personnel necessary to secure their own enterprise. What if there was a way for service providers to take the same security solutions that they’ve already got, and provide it to their consumers in the same way that they’d offer other bundled services? Moreover, what if there was no additional cost involved other than the marketing?
How Can Service Providers Offer Security Services? The Answer: Multitenancy
As it happens, there is a way. ECI’s MUSE Cyber Security Suite is a multi-tenant solution that allows service providers to extend the security solution they use —or incorporate new security products offered—and then extend these services to other businesses and home consumers.
Multi-tenancy is the operative term. In other words, just one platform/solution can offer security services to a whole host of users, segregating and servicing each one separately. Each user can opt in for any combination of services, meaning that service providers can create unique packages tailored to home users, SMBs, or even offer an a la carte menu from which to choose.
Most service providers have already deployed robust security solutions across their networks. But to-date, these solutions are internally focused. Packaging them and offering them to the end customer has been lacking because multitenancy has not yet gone mainstream.
Small and medium businesses have as much need for information security as larger enterprises. No matter how small they are, businesses still have a need to protect their data, to protect their user’s PII, or to remain compliant with PCI or HIPAA. Achieving this state of security is difficult, however. It requires time, money, and manpower, which a small business may not be able to spare.
The same can be said for home consumers, who will usually understand even less about information security, and rely on basic tools that are easily overwhelmed, even by barely-experienced attackers.
Recapture Revenue by ‘Hosting’ Security Services
With ECI’s MUSE Cyber Security Suite, service providers can easily offer enterprise and consumer-grade information security services directly to customers. We don’t only offer the basic endpoint security package of firewalls and antivirus—we also include DDoS protection, deep packet inspection, encryption, and more.
Traditional security products can be arcane, expensive, and difficult to manage. By allowing consumers and SMBs to opt for a robust, turn-key solution at a relatively low cost, you’ll be doing a genuine service. As an added benefit, you’ll be able to boost your own revenues by operating in an arena where OTT apps simply can’t compete.