IBM (Quote) is rolling out identity management software to
help small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) transact with the networks of
Federated Identity Manager Business Gateway allows employees of one company to log on to the network of an outside company without having to provide a user ID and password to the other network.
In addition to simplifying access, this also means that SMBs don’t have to
worry about former employees using IDs and passwords granted by their
partners to gain unauthorized access.
The solution can also be used to integrate the services provided by a
smaller company onto a larger company’s Web site.
For instance, a bank can allow a third-party financial services company to
provide niche services to its online banking customers seamlessly.
Customers would be able to interact with the niche vendor without having to
log in to the third-party site because it has been authenticated by the
Venkat Raghavan, program director of security policy and compliance for IBM
Tivoli, explained that IBM designed the new application specifically for
SMBs by reducing both the complexity of the architecture and the cost.
“For instance, it doesn’t require the customer to deploy [a separate] identity
management infrastructure,” he told internetnews.com.
Also unlike FIM, which uses several protocols, including Liberty,
WS-Federation, WS-Security and WS-Trust standards and specifications, the
Business Gateway version supports only SAML.
The new application is also far less expensive.
Business Gateway runs between $50,000 and $70,000 per server,
compared with several hundred thousand dollars for a full-blown FIM
While even the lower price range seems like a chunk of change for an SMB, it
may be the key to working with a larger partner.
“It’s usually associated with enabling a significant new revenue stream,”
noted Scott Crawford, senior analyst with Enterprise Management Associates.
IBM rolled out FIM in
May of last year.