AT&T Wireless is expected to announce today that is has chosen Oblixs NetPoint Web access management software to provide its customers with single sign-on access to their various Web applications through wireless phones and over the Web.
The contract is so far the largest for Web access management (WAM), a market that also includes Netegrity and Securant. AT&Ts 15 million wireless customers will be able to move from application to application on the Web with one username and password.
"I have not heard of a bigger [deployment]," said Don Bowen, principal consultant with The Burton Group. "There are a number of strong products in the WAM environment and clearly [Oblix] is one of them."
Oblix NetPoint provides integrated access control and an identity management system that enables AT&T Wireless administrators to more easily manage large volumes of user information residing within customer bases.
"They have this large set of customers and theyre trying to give them access to e-mail, wireless data and other applications and they need to control who has access to what information," says Enrique Salem, senior vice president of products and technology for Oblix.
Identity management systems control user profiles, while access management systems control the particular applications and services that users have access to systems once theyre authorized.
The fact that Oblix is one of the only WAM companies to provide both services is one of the reasons AT&T chose it. Another factor: Oblix incorporates native support for Siebel Systems customer relationship management (CRM) platform, a major deployment thats under way at AT&T Wireless.
The interface to Oblix is based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), a document structure that will allow AT&T Wireless to customize it for its needs.
Bowen says AT&T is the first of many service providers that will be adopting WAM, mainly out of necessity. "Theyre going to be forced to manage their own infrastructure because the number of users is getting so huge," Bowen said.
"Many hands make light work. The more you can put on the shoulders of your end users that doesnt compromise security," the better, he adds.