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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

BT: Two Small, but Important Steps

The first step is a small acquisition of a US security company, Counterpane Internet Security. The company provides advice to companies how to protect their networks against hackers. The biggest asset is not the customer base but the guru of security, Bruce Schneier, whose Cryptogram email newsletter and books are read by anyone and everyone mildly interested in security.

Survey after survey names security as the biggest concern of individuals and companies in the internet era. If BT can establish itself as the worldwide authority of security and has the safest network – it is a huge differentiator and something that users would gladly pay a serious premium for.

The second step is the naming of Novell as the provider for Identity Management in the 21CN. Although, directories and authentication are pretty obscure terms for your average person, this is a key piece of the 21CN jigsaw and will be at the centre of most of the next-generation services rolled out in the future by BT.

If BT can establish the most trusted and accurate database of individuals and companies in the UK and more importantly develop APIs for third parties to use, then again it will have a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace. Even more importantly BT is developing this capability under the radar of the regulators…