Thursday, June 29, 2006


I just posted yesterday that the M&A market in the identity space seems to be slowing down, and then POW, a huge acquisition is announced today (Over $2 Billion!!).

What does this mean?
Well for one, acquisitions are still somewhat alive in the identity market. It might be that this sets off a few more acquisitions. There are a number of boutique shops, and a number of large players with weaknesses here or there. For example, Microsoft could use a better provisioning solution, and a number of companies are weak on federation and such. So, there is room and need for acquisitions in the IdM space, although in my opinion, this would be the final round.

What does it mean for RSA and their partners? (We are, and unfortunately, this is the first I've heard about this deal). Well, in my opinion, its a positive thing. EMC is notorious for their aggressive sales machine. They might be able to give life to RSA sales.

Also, RSA has been pigeonholed as the "keyfob guys", and they have been unsuccessful in their attempts to rebrand themselves as a holistic identity company. This might give their other products (which are pretty damn good) a chance to shine. They have a great web access management tool that has been around forever (Cleartrust), they have a SSO solution (I believe they OEM Passlogix' V-Go), and a federation product (FIM) that desperately need some marketing attention.

Another possible positive is if EMC delivers on their promise to integrate RSAs product into their information management line of products. If this happens, in similar style to the way Oracle has been able to pull off the integration of the companies they acquired (even if only as a marketing ploy), then this is great news for RSAs product line.

All in all, a good move for RSA. As for EMC, that depends on what they do with it.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Identity Management Services Market

A topic of recent interest to me is regarding the Identity Management Services Market, with forcasting and the whole nine. If you google "identity management market", or other similar searches, you'll a few papers on the topic, although their focus is naturally on the product side of things.

Radicati, about 9 months ago, released in their analysis "Identity Management Market, 2005-2009" that the Identity Management market, including all segments -- full-suites, provisioning, secure access/authentication, and federated identity solutions -- will reach over $1.2 billion in 2005 in worldwide revenues, and grow to over $8.5 billion by 2008. I recall Jamie Lewis back in 2004's Catalyst Conference provide a progress report on the IdM market, and he described it back then as the first round of M&A activity coming to a close (I wonder where that puts us today?...havent heard of a good acquisition lately). Anyhow, both were regarding the state of affairs of the software side of things. What about services? I'm sure the folks in Deloitte, PWC, etc. have thoroughly researched the topic - unfortunately, I'm unable to find anything directly on the matter.
Obviously, when the product market is hot, the services should necessarily follow - but that could be contingent on a number of issues. How difficult are the integrations? Are the products increasing in sophistication, thereby easing administrative and deployment burdens? Is ease of use even high on vendors' lists? If not, why? and when will it be? Lots of questions, few answers.
Anyhow, this is a topic that concerns me due to my profession, although I'm not losing sleep on it since the market seems like its chugging along at a decent pace. What does concern me are the questions: for how long? what are the trends in various verticals regarding the selection of professional services firms for services work? How many are outsourcing their deployment and support work? How many are utilizing in-house resources? What factors are affecting decisions regarding which firms to award the bid to? I personally have answers to some of these questions based on my experiences in the market, yet a more scientific study would be welcoming.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

RSA and PassLogix in TransCanada Presentation (from Catalyst)

I just attended a really interesting presentation at Catalyst today by Martin Vant Erve of TransCanada Pipelines entitled "Implementing Enterprise Single Sign-On with Two Factor Authentication." Wow! What a great case study. Simple, honest, didn't hold any punches. The idea is pretty straightforward: a user uses his/her securid code, that gets forwarded to AD, which references RSA Authentication Manager - which is followed by the whole auth vs. AD (under the hood), finally the end user is authenticated and session is sent to the client. Once that whole thing is completed, PassLogix V-Go takes over by providing the SSO piece of it. He had excellent analytics in regards to reduction of help desk, which is often touted in front of customers. He said that help desk calls actually stayed the same, because they got new calls to the help desk for issues like "I left my token at home", and questions about the new deployed apps. Yet, TransCanada considered this as a win because they increased security which is what they were after. To make the bitter pill easier to swallow for end users, they coupled it with SSO. All in all, a solid case study.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Catalyst's Session on Provisioning, "The Vortex of IdM"

The upcoming catalyst conference has what looks like an interesting session conducted by Burton Group's Lori Rowland on Provisioning. The following excerpt from the session description caught my eye:

Compliance and security concerns are driving provisioning solutions into enterprise customer environments, however the sophistication of these customer deployments are lagging behind technology advancements.

What struck me was that on most deployments we've completed, a ton of "customizations" were needed in order to satisfy the customer. By customizations, I mean changes that would qualify as outright upgrade features - and I've heard similar complaints from colleagues in the field. Any way you slice it, this session is a must-see.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Novell Taking a Beating...

This article shows Novell's continuing problems in the past quarter. Although a series of press releases by Novell attempt to paint a different picture, the numbers don't lie. I think this sentence says it all, "Cashflow from operations was a negative $24m, up from a negative $25m."

What does this mean for Novell's identity offering? Well, nothing in the article focused on their identity offering, but they are not as visible as they once were (18 months ago) in third party reports and such. Anyhow, it's something to keep an eye out for.

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