HP reveals its identity management ambitions

Senior members of HP’s EMEA identity management (IDM) solutions team jetted in to Dubai last week. The delegation flew in to outline HP’s position in the fast-growing IDM space and promote the long-term business benefits to enterprise end-users.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 7, 2007

Senior members of HP’s EMEA identity management (IDM) solutions team jetted in to Dubai last week. The delegation flew in to outline HP’s position in the fast-growing IDM space and promote the long-term business benefits to enterprise end-users. While HP may not be the first name that springs to mind for CIOs and IT managers considering an IDM solution, the vendor believes it now has the products and solutions to make enterprise end-users sit up and take note. Steve Williams, EMEA IDM solution business manager at HP, said: “HP does have a past history in the identity management space. There is a real heritage of experience – we have been in this space for 20 years through our consulting and integration business and the various products and solutions this represents.” “It is all about using IDM in the right way and working out what the customer requirements are. In the last four years we have entered the market through our acquisitions and these technologies are in line with our change management philosophy. It is all about understanding IT asset changes and the automation of the enterprise lifecycle management process,” he added. “HP purchases that helped drive the development of IDM solutions include Baltimore, TruLogica and TrustGenix and these are companies that we had close relationships with before deciding to buy them. We’ve tied it all together and now have a fully integrated portfolio with a common look and feel,” Williams continued. While HP’s IDM credentials may not command the same visibility as rival vendors, the company claims it is moving towards a leadership position and that some significant deployments are already underway - including one large global company that is looking at a solution for 400,000 users. Chris Coggrave, EMEA security managing practice principal, added: “The approach that we offer is a service-based architecture – it is the next level of sophistication. Many companies implement an IDM solution then suffer an explosion in the number of different rules that they need to implement. The way we approach it is to create a solution that is very flexible in terms of making these changes. It is the next stage in the evolution of IDM.” Williams continued: “Every solution in the market focuses from day one on provisioning and de-provisioning users. That’s fine but it is what happens on day two that matters. Does the customer have the flexibility needed for a sustainable IDM infrastructure that can realise change as the business objectives change?” HP reckons that independent analysis backs up the value of IDM solutions, citing research that claims that up to 40% of helpdesk calls in a large organisation are related to password issues. Pushing the business benefits of IDM solutions is high on HP’s agenda. “In the early days, we were involved in a number of proof of concepts, but the IT department did not always have the business justification to push the project through. We have re-energised the sales cycle now to put greater emphasis on the business case,” explained Williams. “The IT department may look at it from a technical perspective but may not appreciate the solution from a business process point of view. We are working with them to demonstrate this,” he continued. “IDM is a horizontal solution with companies facing similar issues across all verticals.” “On this trip we have visited Dubai but we do plan to come back and go to Saudi Arabia as well. HP staff from across the region have come to Dubai to learn more about the solutions that we have,” he concluded. Coggrave continued: “We’re showing people that IDM is not just about the day one implementation. It is about what happens when the vendor has left the customer’s side and the IT department has to deal with changing user bases, new IT systems and maybe even the impact of an acquisition. It is all about flexible architectural change management.” HP claims that its identity and access management software solutions can help customers increase agility, reduce risk and cut costs surrounding security and compliance management. Given the constant changes in users and access levels within large organisations, expect investment in identity and access management solutions to continue climbing in the years ahead.

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