IBM identity management hones in on small organizations

Identity management is most often thought of as a large enterprise capability, but IBM believes there's just as much demand for it from small and midsize organizations, a market it aims to take advantage of with its new Tivoli Identity Manager Express.

The new product takes the best practices derived from implementing those larger identity management systems and customizes them for those smaller organizations, said Joe Anthony, IBM's director of identity management.

Those organizations may not have the range of platforms that require a more complicated identity management implementation, and they are also unlikely to have the IT staff that could manage one, he said.

Tivoli Identity Manager Express works in that situation by providing templates that enable an automated process for setting policies and approving and managing credentials, among other tasks. The main task that remains for the IT staff is to point the Tivoli product to the human resources and other databases that hold the identities it would use.

"Smaller organizations still have that need for managing who has access to resources and why," Anthony said. "We are starting to see a sweet spot for this kind of solution in organizations with anywhere from 100 to 5,000 employees."

In government, for example, customers might be branch offices or agencies that are not under the control of a centralized, enterprise identity management system and that set their own security policies and privileges.

Although they wouldn't be able to build a system identical to the main agency identity management system, they could probably use Tivoli's templates to closely mimic it, Anthony said.

IBM is working with various partners that specialize in selling to small and midsize organizations, he said. The product is not yet on the GSA Schedule.

Tivoli Identity Manager Express costs $24 per user, with volume discounts available.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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