Oracle buys Bridgestream?

If the 451 Group got it right (as reported in this Dark Reading article), then the bar has just been set for Enterprise Role Management buyout deals. $35 million. $35 million? I can’t tell if that number is high or low.

Let’s consider than Access360 and Waveset had estimated price tags of roughly $100 million. Are we to imply that role management market should be sized at roughly a third of the overall provisioning market?  That I doubt.

The question that I am pondering is – who in the company derives the most value from an ERM deployment? HR? IT operations? IT ops derives value from role mining as it deploys user provisioning. HR can definitely get something out of top-down role lifecycle functions. But in both cases, to unlock that derived value, the company needs another technology to act as a proxy for role technologies. It is hard to derive the value of role mining without a user provisioning system. It is hard to derive value from top-down role lifecycle management without… an HR system.

And maybe that’s it. If this is true, and Oracle bought Bridgestream, then Oracle’s strategy is a three staged one. First, augment Oracle Identity Manager with traditional role management and mining functions. Provide strong capabilities to tie business roles to IT roles. Provide role mining capabilities.  Second, use Bridgestream’s enterprise/business role capabilities to augment Oracle’s numerous HR systems. PeopleSoft HR + Bridgestream = a very interesting combination. Third, continue to make good on the promise of tying ERP to IdM. If Fusion HR could publish dynamic business definitions (containing roles and organization structures) that OIM could tap, then Oracle customers would be well on their way to becoming more governable organizations.

Let’s see if after Labor Day there is any truth to this rumor.

2 thoughts on “Oracle buys Bridgestream?”

  1. Hi Ian:

    IMHO, the Enterprise Role Management space is only starting to be understood. Newcoming entrants to the compliance and risk management market found out quickly that they too have to deal with role modeling. In my opinion, if you look 10 years down the road you will see role management everywhere. I cannot think of many enterprise IT systems that do not need role management. Its basically the same story as enterprise directories a decade ago.

    When you look at role management, you’d find two distinctive needs in there. There is the ROLE MODEL MANAGEMENT, which are the processes and technologies needed to CREATE, MANAGE, and LEVERAGE (apply or make available) the Role MODEL. As most IdM deployments found out, these are hard problems, and if you dont solve them they would limit your ability to use provisioning, compliance, and in fact many other technologies (ERP systems for example). (As aside, this is where Eurekify has always focused). Then there are the ROLE ADMINISTRATION needs, which are indeed resembling provisioning needs and are more easily addressable using same workflow-type technologies. These are more easily understood and probably easier to solve.

    As a whole, I believe that Role Management (the combination of RMM and RA) is BIGGER than Provisioning. So again, you only see the tip of the iceberg now.


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