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FAQs on DaaS

A common misconception may be that by participating in a DaaS pilot program, a country will be giving up complete control over infrastructure that caters to essential services. However, this is simply not true. Countries retain full control over the DaaS pilot and they are especially beneficial for short-term pilots demonstrating proof of success for the DPI approach.
Common thoughts that may arise || The answer to all is DaaS…
DaaS is a necessary but not sufficient innovation. It may not solve all technical capacity or funding problems but is a necessary first step to simplifying DPI adoption in countries.
Additional FAQs
Is DaaS only a cloud solution? What if I have data sovereignty and data localisation concerns with cloud?
To ensure speed in demonstrating proof of concept and proof of success, we advise countries to use a private or public Cloud. A cloud like computing environment makes deployment of DPG packages extremely simple and fast.
However, either way, Cloud is NOT compulsory for DaaS! DaaS can be a non cloud on-prem environment as well. The key criteria is for the countries to provision compute, storage and network infrastructure to quick installation of DaaS packages. In case of public cloud the opex costs are included in the funding whereas in case of on-prem hosting, countries are required to provision the infra and key infra support personnel from the existing setup and are not part of the funding.
What if I have poor network connectivity and very high data cost for usage of internet or VPN or leased line?
Like all Digital Public Infrastructure, DaaS solutions too are designed to work for last mile populations that may have poor network connectivity or high data costs. Alternate capabilities for users (the way UPI or verifiable credentials that can work with network, without network (offline), with smartphones, feature phones, voice based etc), etc. be Depending on the DaaS DPG package, many of these capabilities are baked into the design itself and can be rolled out by countries as per their need.
How much will I save in terms of time and money? Give me concrete examples. What if the service providers raise the subscription rates?
Our hypothesis (based on our work with countries), is that usually it can take up to 24 months to roll out a pilot DPI program since countries have to undergo various cycles of approvals, definitions, procurement, funding, and build phases. DaaS approach will bring down this time period to 8-12 weeks (to launch a pilot based on a pre packaged, pre-templetized DaaS package).
For the duration of the pilot, if and when a commercial Service Provider (SP) is involved, their rates can be fixed to avoid custom price discovery and negotiation by each country.
Once the pilot is over, the countries can choose to extend the contract with the same SP who handled their pilot, or switch to another one, depending on the terms finalised between the two parties independently.
What do I own and what do I not? Is it like renting a house Vs owning one?
The country will own all the infrastructure of DaaS.
This includes the core IP of the underlying open source DPG, and full control (management and data) of the systems deployed under DaaS pilot.
It is not like owning vs renting a house. Think of it as building a house from scratch brick by brick, vs buying a readymade house which you can move into quickly where the foundations are ready but you can do your own customisations as you use.
Is it really so easy? Have you done it before?
It is a plug and play if you select one of the cloud options; however, it will require some configurations and extensions according to local country contexts, systems and need. This will be a minimalist effort provided by the Service Provider that goes into ensuring the ready packaged DPI solutions (DaaS) work in a manner best suited to your goals.
None of the concepts of DaaS are new - cloud is frequently used by governments, as are packaged software solutions, and DPI. They have all individually demonstrated ample proof of success. DaaS simply combines and harnesses the power of these existing innovations and infrastructure to enable rapid deployment of socioeconomic projects.
Won’t we get locked in to cloud service providers like AWS or Azure or google? How easy is it for me to move from AWS to Azure? Are there are multiple commercial companies providing same services (like I can switch from uber to ola for transport).
Since DaaS core packages are fully open source, the possibility of vendor lock-in issue is minimal. Core DaaS packages are built cloud-neutral and will be tested across clouds.
Moreover, multiple SPs will be offered for each DaaS product category that the countries can choose and re-choose between as per their need and preference to create a choice of vendors
When can I see a pilot of (some service), at a sandbox level
DaaS is first being offered as a pilot itself. It is not to immediately scale but rather to test the concepts for countries to build confidence. For some smaller population contexts, DaaS could meet the full population needs via a pilot, and provide flexibility later to probably migrate the system if needed to a different host.
Individual DPGs that are powering DaaS have their own sandboxes. Countries are free to reach out to them directly to experience their products before experiencing them through DaaS if so preferred.
Once the use case from a country is known, how long will it take for the "package" to be ready
The typical steps envisioned are:
  1. 1.
    Install the DPG solution
  2. 2.
    Integrate with the country specific workflow to enable the use case.
The goal is to have a DPG solution packaged to make the installation possible in less 8 hours and integration work between 1 to 3 weeks. During this time, the policy and pilot modalities are worked out in parallel. The current plan is to provide DPI service to the first user in T+4 weeks. T being the date when the country, svc provider and DPG owner kick off meeting after signing the MoU.
What "features" will the package have if you imagine a typical G2P use case
In the current release G2P Use case envisioned is only ID to Account Mapper. Beneficiary & Scheme Management platforms are not planned in this first phase scope. In an existing G2P flow, Mapper comes handy to pay to a beneficiary using a functional id.
If a svc provider (e.g Deloitte) is spending time/ effort packaging this, how will it become available to the competition? Or will this package belong to Deloitte and others will have to build their own?
DPGs are providing the installable package. Deloitte and another svc provider are consuming it as is. Deloitte is building tech support, proj mgmt unit (PMU) capacity and coordination with cloud svc providers as part of the DaaS initiative.
In future, Deloitte may add new features on open source offering and provide value added services to create a competitive landscape.
Does the IP of the package be with the DPG who can allow any other vendor to use it?
Yes, for the work done and put out by the DPG. For any custom packages (in future), Svc Providers may be encouraged to use open source licences but not mandatory. DPGs/Funders may enforce some of these policies.
What if the country wants to use some other private sector provider for the second use case of G2P payments (beyond the pilot)?
It is perfectly possible. It is up to the country to hand over the pilot work to the new private sector vendor or request to install a new instance.
Please note, underlying solutions picked in phase-1 Digital Auth, Digital Credentials, Mapper can be reused across depts / vendors, the same way that in India, Digi Locker credentials, Aadhaar, NPCI mapper is used by various DBT programs.