Now it is official: Oracle buys Bridgestream

The deal is done.  To Ed, Volker, and all my friends over at Bridgestream – a hearty congratulations.

I have to figure that people are going to start clamoring about market consolidation in the ERM space and it will reach a climax at Digital ID World just a few weeks away.  Anyone want to through a prediction of who the next ERM company to get acquired will be?

So Ron Rymon of Eurekify threw it out there:

 …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.

I think we are going to mark 2007 as the year that a shift occurred in user provisioning.  It shifted from being an end in-and-of-itself to the vehicle for service delivery.  We’ll see.

If you don’t know where you are going, no road will take you there

Apologies to Lewis Carol and the Cheshire Cat.

Mark MacAuley makes me laugh. He is a funny guy, but that’s not why he makes me laugh. He makes me laugh when he finds situations like this one:

I spoke to a non-US Government Agency yesterday about their Identity Management initiative. Turns out they are hung up on an architecture. Why? Because there is no identifiable (or identified) business process for them to build for. The business users are saying – Just buy a tool and it’ll take care of it that’s what their workflows are for’. Those of us who do this for a living are probably smirking or laughing out loud at the comment. Typical, but one of the leading causes of unsuccessful projects.

Why is this funny? Because I already know this project is doomed to fail and all you can do is shrug your shoulders and laugh.

Having “the business” abdicate its role as the driver of any project like this is criminally irresponsible. (For you hardcore cynics, I don’t care that this is a government example; that’s not an excuse.) Identity Management is waking up from its speed and feeds adolescence. More importantly, the market is starting to snap out of its IT-induced hypnosis, and it is business that will benefit. The business cannot simply punt on an opportunity like this.

I literally just got out of Courion’s user conference, Converge. I would say that about half of the presentations from customers, analysts, and Courion staff alike related to the business drivers and the business view of identity management projects.

Simple example – from a business perspective, identity management often gets attestation wrong. Unless you have the absolutley most friendly Active Directory group names in the world, presenting a list of groups to a manager and asking, “Are these the groups that Ian should have?” is essentially useless. Now presenting a list of business functions as the content of an attestation event – that makes sense. Instead of sending AD group SHRPT1_ENG and CITRIX_PRESSRV_02_SAP863 to my manager, send “Access to the Engineering Sharepoint server” and “Access to SAP Instance 863 via Citrix Presentation Server.” It is simple things like this that turn IdM projects into true business enablers.

I’ll be back soon with some other thoughts from Converge and an interesting conversation Phil Becker and I seem to always be in the midst of.