Everything is Not ROSI for Telecom Service Providers

Mar 03, 2015
3 minutes

Traditional financial models for evaluating security investments typically apply an insurance-based view of security. Return on Security Investment (ROSI) compares the cost to buy and operate a proposed security solution to the expected loss avoidance that solution will deliver. Some organizations also layer in a risk based approach in order to account for the need to mitigate low probability but potentially catastrophic losses. This “insurance policy” model of security investments works reasonably well for most enterprises but can be highly myopic in the world of Telecom Service Providers. How are Service Providers different?

Service Providers are complex, diverse businesses that combine low-margin, high-capital cost connectivity services (voice and data) with growth businesses such as cloud and hosting, content delivery, managed security services and Internet of Things (IoT). In some respects telecoms look like utilities while in other respects they are high growth leading edge technology services companies, as they aggressively invest in ways to leverage their unique access and relationships with subscribers and business customers. The infrastructure supporting traditional and new growth services has to be protected, of course, but can security investments actually contribute in a positive way to the bottom line? If the investments are made in next-generation security then the answer is “Yes!”

Traditional security products such as legacy firewalls and UTMs have done little to enable Service Providers to execute their business strategies because the value of those products is very much aligned with the insurance policy model of security. Service provider buyers view them as a necessary but unwanted cost of doing business.

Our Enterprise Security Platform is architected to provide fully integrated security based on applications, users and content. The result of this fundamental difference is security that is easier to configure and manage, and delivers better reports and much more visibility into what is traversing the network. It does a far better job of securing data, assets and services. In these respects it delivers a much higher “ROSI” than legacy solutions. But the value goes well beyond that.

Let’s look at a few quick examples aligned to Service Provider priorities:

Opportunity: Monetize the network

Our role: The Application – User – Content visibility provided by Palo Alto Networks opens up new ways for Service Providers to unlock value from the data traversing their networks. These can include location and interest-based marketing, suspicious activity alert services, service upsell opportunities or identifying users at risk of defecting. The marriage of visibility and big data is here.

Opportunity: Protect subscribers and small businesses

Our role: End users and SMBs typically have rudimentary and out of date security. The Enterprise Security Platform enables efficient provisioning of a suite of security services that can grow ARPU (average revenue per user) and reduce churn.

Opportunity: Cleaner network traffic

Our role: The next-generation platform enables Providers to reduce unwanted or malicious traffic on the network, improving service quality to enterprise customers and driving overall network efficiency.

The power and potential of scalable security and visibility is helping Service Providers succeed across multiple lines of business. So when evaluating security solutions, look beyond ROSI and think strategically.

To find out more, check out our Service Provider Solutions page.


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