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Subject: Re: UKNM: Onffsite Applications - Security and trust
From: Sean Phelan
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 16:42:58 +0100

At 9:49 am +0100 29/7/99, Chetan Damani wrote:

>I am currently doing some work for a telecoms company, and I am more of
>technical security person and they are looking for ideas in the "trust our
>company" field, the company does have a lot of brand, but they want to be
>completely (as close to 100% as possible) secure/trustworthy.
>How can we convince people to move there applications offsite. security and
>trust wise..?
>e.g A knowledge managment Intranet site hosted and managed by an outsourced
>What could you offer that would convince companies that your site(site as in
>real location and people in the site, not a web site) is secure enough and
>you can be trusted..

Interesting question. If you want people to trust you, you need to prove
yourself trustworthy. Best way is to establish two or three years of
faultless operation and a number of happy customers (it reminds me of one
of the best definitions of high-quality PR: "telling people what you have
done is public relations; telling people what you are going to do is hype").

Of course, the question is how can you convince people to trust you from
day 1? Most important and practical answer: Service Level Agreements with
clear and unambiguous penalty clauses. And don't, ever, try to wriggle out
of paying up on the penalty clauses.

When BT launched Syncordia, its global network outsourcing service, in 1991
a primary selling point was the service level agreements, with fairly major
penalty clauses. At the time they were willing to accept liability for
local tail circuits outside the UK provided by other telcos. That was very
innovative at the time, and gained them enormous press coverage and a lot
of credibility.

Of course, if you really, REALLY want to convince people you are trustworthy,
accept contingent liability in your contracts (ie. if the service you provide
goes down, you will compensate the client for loss of revenue and profits,
not just refund a month's fees).

Suggest to your lawyers that you accept contingent liability and their faces
will go ashen, there will be a silence, and they will then patiently explain
to you all the reasons you should not do this. It is quite fun, if you
enjoy that kind of thing.


Sean Phelan seanatmultimap [dot] com http://www.multimap.com
phone (within UK): 0171 433 0460 fax (UK): 0171 209 5194
phone (Int'l): +44 171 433 0460 fax: +44 171 209 5194

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  UKNM: Onffsite Applications - Security a, Chetan Damani

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