TORONTO (10/10/2003) - Automation and integration were the order of the day at IBM Corp., as the company announced on Monday the arrival of new enhancements to its Tivoli identity management line -- a move that IBM said will help lower customer costs and ease deployment.
Automating functions that were previously manual and tedious will help organizations reduce costs, meet compliance requirements, and improve service level and security, said Irvine, Calif.-based Jeff Drake, director of security strategy with IBM Tivoli Software. He added that the enhancements will also drive IBM's On-Demand computing strategy.
"Automating is a very important part of the enterprise," he said. "It provides the ability to get users access to things quickly; the ability to make sure that if people leave their (positions within a company) that those accesses are removed; and also about being able to protect access to core data and IT assets within the enterprise."
New software upgrades to the Tivoli Access Manager will help eliminate redundant access control lists and will allow companies to quickly react to changing business conditions, the company said.
In addition, Drake said new software components in the Tivoli Identity Manager, Tivoli Directory Integrator, Tivoli Directory Server and Tivoli Privacy Manager will enable management automation in a more secure, dynamic computing environment and provide increased flexibility and better rules management.
This propels Tivoli into being more than a standalone product, he added. "The product can be getting data from business processes and making changes or taking action based on data from business processes."
Drake explained that as organizations start to make changes in automation, business processes will start to kick off identity processes.
Take, for example, a corporate merger in an on-demand computing environment. The newly-formed company has to scale up its IT environment processes quickly as well as absorb new employees, Drake said, which in turn will kick off processes in the identity management suite so that users are provisioned with their access right away. People who are not part of the merger would have their access revoked right away.
"They become an overall part of the on-demand computing environment for the enterprise," Drake added.
The arrival of the updated Tivoli family offering and the subsequent move into the identity management space comes on the heels of several acquisitions made by IBM in the past year including the purchase of both Access360 and Metamerge.
Technology from these companies -- the ability to take user data and configure new users onto applications and the ability to synchronize data from the user repositories to start building a trusted identity store -- was only the first step, Drake explained.
"We've got the suite put together now, we've got them all integrated as products -- now it's time to allow business processes to pass data to the identity suite of products so that action can be taken without people having to intervene," Drake said.
For Rich Ptak, president and founder of Amherst, N.H.-based research firm Ptak & Associates Inc., while the Tivoli enhancements bring an improved level of automation to the suite, the offerings aren't expected to 'wow' users.
"Tivoli's ID management products have been doing well in general in the marketplace but I don't see these things as being breathtakingly new," Ptak told IT World Canada. "(The new features) keep them competitive with the marketplace. Does it give them an enormous leg up? I don't see cutting edge, leap-frogging-the-competition-like capabilities. I see stuff that is needed."
He noted that the ability to automatically respond to events is a message that is coming out of not only IBM, but the rest of the network management community.
What Tivoli is responding to is an interest in the marketplace in having automated response, integrated security capabilities and solutions that are easier to use and easier to implement, Ptak explained.
The updates are available immediately.
- With input from Carly Suppa, IT World Canada