Oblix Inc says it has increased its ability to compete in Europe and against the biggest technology companies following a significant investment and integration deal with Siemens AG, announced yesterday.
The size of the investment, by Siemens Venture Capital, was not disclosed, but an Oblix executive said it makes the German firm one of the top three or four investors in Oblix, along with Kleiner Perkins, General Motors and Apax.
Siemens had taken out a quite small investment in the identity management software company as part of a $24m fourth round of funding Oblix received in October 1999. The latest deal significantly expands the firm’s stake.
More and more we’ve been competing with the big firms like IBM, Sun and Novell, so this gives us a very, very strong financial partner, and helps us greatly expand our reach, said Oblix VP of marketing and business development Ken Sims.
Sims added that the deal helps Siemens in a similar way. It fills out Siemens’ portfolio so they can go toe-to-toe with an IBM on technology, he said.
The technology part of the deal will see Siemens resell Oblix’s flagship CoreID access control product, rebranded as DirX Access. Siemens can resell all of Oblix’s software catalog under the deal, Sims said.
CoreID will support DirX, Siemens’ directory and meta-directory software, and will support Siemens’ identity provisioning software. Siemens’ focus has previously been on intranet identity management, whereas Oblix focuses on web services and extranets.
The access control market has evolved over the last few years into the identity management market, where streamlining the provisioning of identities is just as or more important than authenticating and authorizing them.
The deal marks a minor shift in Oblix’s provisioning strategy. Having partnered with BMC Software for a number of years, the firm recently announced its own in-house provisioning software, reducing its reliance on BMC.
Sims said the BMC deal still stands. He said that whether customers get the provisioning piece from BMC, Siemens or Oblix itself will depend on the needs of the customer and which firm is doing the selling.