These are the things they carried away: The e-mail log-in. The door card. The voice-mail passwords. The cell phone, Palm and laptop. Stuff from their last employer that somehow got — ahem — overlooked during the exit interview.
Business Layers, a 2-year-old company in Rochelle Park, N.J., sells applications that enable systematic and fast provisioning of all the digital resources a worker needs to do his or her job: devices, network connections, bandwidth and permissions.
According to CEO Izhar Shay, Business Layers primarily aims to sell companies on the speed and efficiency of self-service provisioning within the enterprise. But the deprovisioning angle resonates equally well.
“Theres always somebody in the room who says, I left — some other company — eight months ago, and I still have e-mail, ” says David Lavenda, co-founder of Business Layers. “One guy stood up during our presentation and started emptying his pockets — smart cards, a phone.”
To employees, it may be a joke, but for their former companies, every bit of unfettered access to devices and data means needless costs and wasted resources — not to mention security holes big enough to garage a bus. Disused accounts are the first place outsiders go to gain network access for relaying spam and worse.
On the inbound side of the equation, inefficient asset management means that the typical setup time for a new employee at a large corporation runs four to eight frustrating weeks.
Business Layers eProvision Day One is a directory-enabled app developed to shorten the time and effort it takes to integrate a new employee, vendor, partner or contractor into existing infrastructure. Using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol and an eXtensible Markup Language-based specification called Active Digital Profiles, eProvision lets companies share provisioning info across systems from multiple vendors.
EProvisions work flow engine ensures that info flows to those who need it and that tasks get done in the order that makes sense, while tracking and escalation features alert management to bottlenecks. The software provides an audit trail to show who had access to information — considered essential in finance, health care and other verticals targeted by Business Layers.
Analysts consider enterprise provisioning to be an underappreciated market niche. “Rather than wait for applications to become directory-enabled, provisioning systems reach out to bring applications to the directory,” explains Christy Hudgins at The Burton Group.
Shay and Lavenda see expanding uses for the software: supplying equipment and corporate credit cards, hooking workers or customers into Web-based apps, or enabling online marketplaces to add suppliers and customers to their networks easily and quickly.