Oracle Expanding Identity-Management Capabilities With Oblix Acquisition - InformationWeek

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Oracle Expanding Identity-Management Capabilities With Oblix Acquisition

Identity-management software sales are growing 25% per year, Oracle executive says.

Oracle will expand the identity-management capabilities of its software products using technology the company is acquiring through its buyout of Oblix Inc., Oracle executives said Tuesday.

For more than two years, Oracle has offered its own identity-management software that worked exclusively with its own products. The Oblix system will be sold as an enterprise identity-management application that can work with any database, application server, or application suite, including its own E-Business Suite applications and Oracle's recently acquired PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards software, Thomas Kurian, senior VP of server technology, said in a conference call.

Oracle revealed late Monday that it's acquiring privately held Oblix, which develops security and identity-management software, for an undisclosed amount. Oblix has 200 customers, including Coca-Cola, Boeing, Ingersoll-Rand, and Burger King.

"SAP does not offer a SAP identity-management solution. With Oracle, you will get identity management and Web-services management out of the box," Kurian said.

Although Oracle now offers single-sign-on capabilities for its products, the Oblix identity-management system establishes a user's identity and assigns privileges that can be used across Oracle's product set. The addition of Oblix will enhance the competitiveness of Oracle's database and application server software, Kurian said. Oblix will work cleanly with Oracle's products, he claimed, while competitors such as IBM, SAP, and Sun Microsystems will be stuck "with bolt-on solutions."

Oracle will also get Web-services-management capabilities in the acquisition that can be applied to the Oblix identity-management system, Oracle applications, and legacy or in-house custom applications, Kurian noted. The Oblix Web-services-management product, COREsv, allows an Oblix administrator to set security policies and then enforce them across a set of Web services. Legacy applications will have to be configured to work with the Oblix products, but any application developed under a services-oriented architecture approach will be able to plug in Oblix for identity management.

The Oblix products will be available immediately from Oracle, Kurian added.

Sales of identity-management software are growing 25% a year, Kurian said, and new security and regulatory requirements are likely to sustain that rate far into the future.

Oracle will integrate "100% of the Oblix sales and development teams" into the company, Kurian said. It will do so as it continues to integrate sales and development teams from PeopleSoft, acquired in January, and Retek Inc., a retail applications provider that the vendor is in the process of buying.

Oblix CEO Gordon Eubanks, who took Symantec Corp. to the top of the utility software market before starting Oblix, will not become an Oracle employee but will work with Oracle in an advisory capacity, Kurian said.

Oracle will maintain an identity-management sales force distinct from its database and applications sales forces. Oblix will contribute 40 salespeople to Oracle's existing 40. Kurian said Oracle will also train 1,500 value-added resellers, systems integrators, and independent software vendors to implement Oblix with the Oracle product set.

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