October 10, 2008
Symplified lets companies create a single-sign-on portal for software-as-a-service applications. Employees can log in once and access multiple online applications, while IT departments gain centralized control over user authentication and access. IT administrators get a detailed audit trail of all user activity.
--Andrew Conry-Murray SYMPLIFIED
HEADQUARTERS: Boulder, Colo.
PRODUCT: Symplified Access, Symplified KeyChain
PRINCIPALS: Eric Olden, co-founder and CEO; Jonti McLaren, co-founder, president, and COO; Darren Platt, co-founder, CTO, and engineering VP
INVESTORS: Granite Ventures, Allegis Capital
FUNDING: $7 million
As more enterprises embrace SaaS, IT has little control over employee access to those services. Symplified serves as a proxy between employees and applications--both online and on-premises--putting access control and authentication back in the hands of IT. For instance, IT pros can quickly deprovision access when employees leave, protecting business information. HOW IT WORKS Symplified offers both a hosted service and a device to proxy user authentication. With the hosted service, enterprises upload user credentials for SaaS applications to Symplified. Alternatively, credentials can be stored on a router behind the corporate firewall. Customers then create a Web portal with links to approved SaaS applications. When users log on to the portal, Symplified checks the users' access policies and forwards the appropriate logon credentials to the SaaS applications. BACKGROUND Olden and McLaren co-founded Securant, makers of ClearTrust authorization software. RSA acquired Securant in 2001 for $140 million. Platt co-authored AuthXML, a Web authentication specification. OUR TAKE Symplified's abilities to provide single-sign-on and to deprovision access to SaaS apps are winners. But as with all services, Symplified is a potential point of failure--if it goes down, so does employee access to online apps. IT departments must carefully vet Symplified's own security infrastructure to ensure that the startup can adequately protect corporate credentials. With these caveats in mind, Symplified is worth a look for those companies with significant numbers of users migrating to the cloud. TIMELINE
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