Whirlpool Cleans Up With Single Sign-On
Persuading business executives to spend money on security technologies can be harder than pulling teeth.Persuading business executives to spend money on security technologies can be harder than pulling teeth. It can be much less difficult, however, if you are able to show how a new technology can make executives lives easier and cut costs while improving security. Thats what Whirlpool Corp. Vice President of Architecture and Planning Jim Haney learned last year. Recognizing that harried executives were becoming tired of using and managing as many as 10 passwords each to access enterprise applications, Haney said he could simplify their lives while cutting help desk and administrative costs by deploying a companywide, Web-based, single-sign-on system. Whirlpool executives, not surprisingly, couldnt approve the project fast enough. The decision to reduce the number of passwords is paying off. Whirlpool recently rolled out identity management products that not only enable 59,000 company employees and 15,000 trading partners to authenticate to enterprise applications with one user name and password combination, but also allow them to reset their passwords via a portal. Those capabilities will save the $11 billion appliance company millions of dollars in help desk calls and dramatically increase end-user productivity, Haney said.
"When executive management leadership in the company complained about all the different sign-ons we had, that was indication No. 1 that something was amiss," Haney said. "We didnt want our application vendors to dictate security schemes and directories to us. We wanted to consolidate and standardize application authentication and handle security our way."