Gartner Gives Cautious Nod to Oracle Identity Management

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2006-05-08

Gartner Gives Cautious Nod to Oracle Identity Management

On the occasion of its one-year anniversary of Oracles purchase of Oblix, Oracle has achieved a bragging right.

Namely, Oracle announced on May 8 that Gartner has plugged its Oracle Identity Manager tool into its Leaders Quadrant in the 1H06 User Provisioning Magic Quadrant report.

Gartner arranges vendors in its "Leaders" quadrant according to the research firms perception of completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Gartner tempered Oracles joy, however, by giving Oracle a grade of "Cautious Optimism"—the "likely highest possible grade," according to Ray Wagner, research vice president at Gartner.

"Integration continues," Wagner said in his notes on the product, which is a component of the Oracle Identity and Access Management Suite. Wagner shared his notes with in an e-mail exchange.

"Oracle seems to be fully supporting [the product], both technically and in the sales organization," Wagner wrote in his notes.

"Almost all resources [are] devoted to integration and Fusion, as might be expected, but they are keeping up with functionality, more or less."

The "less" part of the equation is Oracle Identity Managers Web services management, Wagner said.

"[It] appears to be the least supported" aspect, he said, since it is "less important to the Fusion strategy."

Heres Gartners take on the product.

"Oracle (suite) bought into the IAM market with acquisitions of Phaos (May 2004), Oblix (March 2005), Thor Technologies (a small, pure-play J2EE UP vendor in the UP market for eight years that catered to large financial services organizations, December 2005) and OctetString (December 2005). In a short time, it has amassed a very strong management team and IAM technology portfolio. Adding its January 2005 PeopleSoft acquisition for HR management, Oracle is positioning itself to be the mover and shaker in the IAM market.

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"To date, Oracle is fulfilling on its strategy in delivering an integrated product suite. Its IAM road map looks the best of all vendors, including an offering for fine-grained authorization (only BEA Systems and Securent currently have such an offering). Pricing for the IAM suite includes the following modules: federation, access manager, virtual directory and OID, UP, and the Audit/Compliance Manager module for attestation reporting.

Next Page: "A good move."

A Good Move

"Oracles acquisition of Thor was a good move because it had no UP product outside of its own Oracle product suite. It also left RSA Security with a gap in its IAM suite because it had a strong partnership with Thor before the Oracle acquisition. Administrative SOD enforcement is native to the UP product (through the explicit deny access policies function), with violations reporting through the Web application. Reporting of SOD violations will be available in the second half of 2006.

"Real-time enforcement of SOD policies is available through Oracles Internal Control Manager (ICM) product, which currently supports the Oracle eBusiness Suite. The product has good production deployment change management features and has SPML support. Oracle partners with Bridgestream for RME capability. With PeopleSoft being a leading HR application, we will continue to look for progress on Oracle selling its IdM suite through this channel."

Hasan Rizvi, vice president of Security and Identity Management Products for Oracle, said that the company has seen "good customer momentum" based on its original strategy when it entered the identity management arena by purchasing Oblix.

That strategy had three parts: provide a complete suite of best-in-class components, to spare customers who were struggling with integrated individual components; help customers with application integration as they struggle to integrate identity management components with business applications such as SAP, PeopleSoft HR and Siebel CRM; and to allow heterogeneous support and standards support in order to facilitate identity management technology deployment.

"Were receiving recognition not just from customers but from analysts as well," Rizvi said."

Like other identity access management vendors, Oracle has been using regulatory compliance to pitch the product. The release to general availability of Oracle Identity Manager 10g Release 3 at the end of Fiscal Year 2006 is an example of this focus, Rizvi said.

For example, the product sends out e-mail at regular intervals to notify administrators of who they have working for their organizations and what access rights to which systems those users have.

The feature requires that administrators certify that the list is correct; otherwise, it sets off an alert.

Mike Neuenschwander, an analyst at Burton Group, said Oracle is well-positioned to sell the product and the suite to customers who want to buy from a brand like Oracle.

"There seems to be a willingness on the part of customers [to believe] that Oracle can deliver something more open or general purpose or whatever it may be," said Neuenschwander, in Midvale, Utah.

"Customers have sort of welcomed this message from Oracle."

Oracle plans to announce four new Identity Manager customers on May 9: storage vendor Network Appliance; Gevity, a human resources outsourcing firm; Highmark, an insurance company; and Seguro Popular, a government agency in Mexico.

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