Abridean Enhances Provisioning Tool

The company has added further automation capabilities for both user account setup and ongoing maintenance to Provisor 4.1.

End-user management provider Abridean Inc. next week will try to set itself apart from a crowded field of players with the latest release of its Provisor provisioning software.

The niche player in the competitive space, which just yesterday saw consolidation through the Quest Software Inc. acquisition of Aelita Software, added further automation capabilities for both user account setup and ongoing maintenance to Provisor 4.1.

A new automated administrator feature allows Provisor to be linked to another system such as human resource or payroll systems, which can trigger Provisor to automatically set up a new user on all the systems he or she needs to access. "You improve the security of the process, reduce IT costs because you dont have people in the loop, and you speed end-user productivity," said Jeff Schultz, senior vice president of marketing at Abridean, in Chicago.

The feature exploits the ability to store information on a users role in the payroll or HR system as well as the users department and level inside the organization. That information is input into the Provisor policy engine, which determines how the user should be set up.

The variety of inputs that the Provisor policy engine is able to accept in order to automate user setup is quite broad, said Gerry Gebel, an analyst with The Burton Group in Midvale, Utah.

"They can take feeds from HR systems, Web forms, and they can also accept Web services data," Gebel said. "They also can detect changes in LDAP directories and process that through the policy engine. Its easier to maintain if you have one place for policy definition and processing. You end up with a more consistent implementation."

One service provider working with the current release believes the automated administration capability is key for its large enterprise customers.

"We have customers with tens of thousands of users," said Victor Silva, senior director for professional services at messaging provider USA.net in Colorado Springs, Colo. "With that large user base, they need automated administration and the automated setting of policies to get their staff running more quickly. Add a user to the HR system, and they have a mailbox created with the appropriate level of access rights—all defined in policies or business rules."

Abridean also made the policy rules engine more adaptable through a new graphical interface that allows users to map out security policies governing user rights and automate user account setup. In addition, Abridean made Provisor a more modular product by offering the password and group management modules separately.

Version 4.1 is due out next month.