It enables Connectis to realise its growth ambitions and to build towards a future of secure log-in solutions and reusable digital identities. The acquisition also means that we will immediately become an important player on the digital identities market. Connectis's services dovetail neatly with our ambition to make digital living easier and safer for everyone.
Secure log-in solutions
More than twelve million Dutch people use the Connectis infrastructure to log in to upwards of 250 service providers, including large health and non-health insurers, publishers, local governments and central government departments. The highly skilled Connectis team has developed an innovative SaaS platform for secure log-ins, single sign-ons, authorisation, mobile authentication and interfacing with existing log-in systems, such as DigiD, eHerkenning, iDIN (bank IDs) and eIDAS. In eIDAS, Connectis also offers the first independent pan-European solution for secure on-line identification. "People and enterprises want secure access to information, wherever they are and whatever device they're using," explained Connectis CEO Martijn Kaag. "But they also need to have confidence that their data is in reliable hands. By joining forces with an independent, professional organisation like SIDN, we can benefit from their infrastructure and all their experience and expertise in the field of security. That will enable us to develop solutions tailored even better to the requirements of the Dutch and European internet communities."
SIDN's unique position and expertise reinforce the Connectis service portfolio
In recent years, we have invested a great deal of time and energy in optimising the services linked to .nl. The .nl domain is now one of the biggest and most secure domains in the world. The satisfaction survey that we undertook in the autumn showed that .nl registrars are very pleased with the systems and support we provide. The .nl domain is very big in the Netherlands and an important feature of everyone's personal and professional lives. We are an expert organisation and influential players in the Dutch and international internet sectors. Our unique position as an independent, professional organisation can reinforce the Connectis service portfolio. Not only because of our expertise, but also because of our strong focus on quality, reliability and real added value.
Roelof Meijer and Martijn Kaag.
Will SIDN's acquisition of a majority stake in Connectis affect the management of .nl?
In recent years, SIDN has invested a great deal of time and energy in optimising the services linked to .nl. The .nl domain has become one of the biggest and most secure internet domains in the world. We want to keep it that way. We will therefore continue to devote as much energy as ever to the security and stability of .nl and to providing our registrars with effective support. SIDN and Connectis will remain separate organisations, each with its own management. After paying the acquisition price and contributing to SIDN Fund, we will still have sufficient equity capital to serve as a financial buffer and to ensure operational stability and continued investment in the reliability and security of the .nl domain.
How will SIDN benefit from the alliance with Connectis?
Our mission is to connect people and organisations and make digital living easier and safer for everyone. That dovetails perfectly with Connectis's mission. In line with our mission and our ambition to make the internet more valuable, secure and convenient, we want to develop in three domains: digital identities, digital security and digital usability. We intend to do that both by developing new products and services and through acquisitions. The acquisition of a majority stake in Connectis means that we will immediately become an important player on the digital identities market. That in turn supports our ambition to increase the value, convenience and security of digital living for people and organisations.
How do registrars feel about SIDN acquiring a majority stake in Connectis?
In recent years, we have invested a great deal of time and energy in optimising the services linked to .nl. The .nl domain has become one of the biggest and most secure internet domains in the world. The registrars are very satisfied with our services. The .nl domain is very big in the Netherlands and an important feature of everyone's personal and professional lives. SIDN is an expert organisation and an influential player in the Dutch and international internet sectors. We want to retain the expertise and experience we have built up, and use it more widely for the good of the community. The acquisition of a majority stake in Connectis will help us to assure the continuity of SIDN. It also supports our aim of ultimately becoming less dependent on .nl. The services that Connectis provides are increasingly important core components of the digital world (just as domain names currently are). Consequently, the alliance will yield opportunities for .nl registrars. Better access to Dutch on-line services enabled by reusable (pan-European) identities will strengthen the position of Dutch IT enterprises. The alliance will also reduce expenditure on fraud prevention and identity management.
Surely SIDN has no expertise in the field of digital identities?
It's true that SIDN doesn't have expertise in that particular field. However, for several years now, we've been exploring the scope for contributing to further development in the field of digital identities and eID systems. The acquisition of a stake in Connectis will provide us with direct access to knowledge regarding digital identities and secure log-in solutions. By combining that knowledge with our unique position as an independent, professional non-profit organisation and our existing expertise, we believe that we can accelerate market and product developments.
SIDN is a non-profit organisation, but Connectis is a commercial enterprise. What are the implications of that for SIDN's independence?
SIDN's independence will not be affected. SIDN will remain exactly what it is. We expect that our unique position as an independent, professional non-profit organisation and our expertise will enable us to contribute to further developments in the field of digital identities. We will do so in pursuit of a mission that is essentially the same as that to which Connectis is dedicated: to provide people and organisations with secure and effortless digital connections. Participation in Connectis will also provide an additional income, which can be used in pursuit of our own independent goals.
What will SIDN do with the profits (dividends) from Connectis?
SIDN has not yet decided exactly how any dividend income will be used. The income will therefore be treated as ordinary earnings. As such, some of it may go to the SIDN Fund.
How will the SIDN organisation change after acquiring a majority stake in Connectis?
Our organisation won't be changing at all as a result of our participation in Connectis. However, we have set up a subsidiary called SIDN Deelnemingen B.V., which now owns 65 per cent of the shares in Connectis Group B.V. That's been done so that the two activities remain legally distinct. If in the future Connectis were ever to get into financial difficulty, any resulting liabilities would rest with Connectis itself. Creditors could not pursue SIDN. Connectis Group B.V. is the sole shareholder in three subsidiaries: Connected Information Systems B.V., which provides services to clients, Connectis R&D B.V., which develops software and holds all the associated copyrights, and the Romanian company Connected Information Systems S.R.L., which also develops software.