Anyone who’s heard Johnny Cash’s hit single One Piece at a Time smiles at the story of how a Detroit line worker built his Cadillac by smuggling parts out of the plant, one by one, until he had enough components to assemble a complete car. It’s an OK approach, if you aren’t too concerned about how things look in the end. This message of this ballad is well known to those of us in identity management, and to software vendors in general. No matter how thorough the suite, it’s generally a set of piece parts.
When it comes to that part about how things look in the end, you realize that no matter how many pieces and parts you acquire and put together, what you come up with really isn’t finished, and may never be. Quest Software, like many firms, has a history of related acquisitions, but has been challenged to put a polished appearance and integrated identity management functionality in place, in comparison to its larger competitors. The acquisition of Völcker changes all that.
Berlin-based Völcker has a solid, tightly coupled identity management solution called ActiveEntry. ActiveEntry has its foundation in Microsoft technology, but provides integration and provisioning functionality across the breadth of enterprise platforms. It addresses the needs of business users, administration, and compliance purposes, and its “Time Machine” functionality provides what-if analytics to assess the impact of change and to review historical information.
ActiveEntry, in conjunction with Quest’s identity management offerings, will provide a more complete portfolio of capabilities, in particular for role management, policy, and compliance; in effect, a balanced solution that meets needs of both business and administrative communities. Viewed with Microsoft’s recent release of Forefront Identity Manager 2010, Quest has made a strategic acquisition that places it squarely in front of the challenges that FIM adopters need to address. The breadth of Quest’s Microsoft integration and management portfolio, combined with the functionality of ActiveEntry will provide clients with a framework of components to address their IdM needs. The immediate challenge for Quest will be to organize the pieces so that they all move in the same direction.
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