Security vendor guns for ASPs

Baltimore Technologies has announced a new scheme to attract the business of application service providers (ASPs), after acquiring two specialist security software companies in the last month.

Baltimore recently acquired Content Technologies for its content filtering software, and Nevex for its user authentication software, to bundle into a new packaged solution targeted at ASPs. It is now offering an integrated suite of security applications that will allow ASPs to add value to their services, such as PKI hosting, virtual private networks and content filtering.

"The ASP market is poised for tremendous growth, but one of the main inhibitors is the fundamental requirement for an underlying secure infrastructure upon which the service can be based," said Baltimore managing director John Palfreyman. "Our whole tool-kit pricing has changed, and by changed I mean gone down significantly."

The scheme also involves the introduction of additional pricing models. Traditionally, Baltimore Technologies has sold products on a per-usage or per-seat basis, but has introduced the option of a flat per-application fee for potential ASP customers.

We don't want security to be cost-prohibitive," Palfreyman said. "A smaller ASP can come in on a lower rate, on a per-usage basis, until such time as it is large enough to move into the cost-savings of the flat fee scheme."

Palfreyman sees ASPs as partners rather than customers, who distribute the company's products on to end users.

He also suggests it is these partners that seek out the majority of Baltimore's clients. He uses the examples of KPMG recommending Baltimore Technologies for a Department of Fair Trading contract, and Aspect Computing recommending Baltimore Technologies for an ATO contract. He believes that these channel arrangements are essential to the business as "not many people wake up in the morning and decide they want to buy some PKI".

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