Sun Microsystems Inc and Oblix Inc both hope Computer Associates International Inc’s acquisition of Netegrity Inc could prove a boon to their own identity management software businesses.
Sun is already considering migrating customers away from Netegrity’s flagship Site Minder access control software to its own Java System Access Manager with an automated migration tool and free software licenses.
The next wave in identity management is in federation and federation is about standards based interoperability, said Sara Gates, Sun’s VP of identity management. Most customers are worried about how much innovation is coming out of CA right now.
Meanwhile, Oblix’ VP of marketing and business development, Ken Sims, said he believes the $430 million deal means that Oblix will be the only remaining significant independent identity management vendor.
Other key players in the market, including CA, IBM Tivoli and Sun, are stack vendors who will push their own directory, application server and related platform software in attempt to lock customers to a platform, he said.
In every market, even consolidating markets, there’s an opportunity for companies to emerge as strong independent players, Sims said. Oblix is also hoping that uncertainty about CA’s integration strategy for Netegrity will help out in the short term.
The main integration point and the most significant area of overlap between CA and Netegrity suites is identity provisioning software, but it is not immediately clear which of the companies’ software will be dominant in the coupling.
The integration could be complicated by the fact that Netegrity has not yet fully absorbed Business Layers’ technology, Sims said. Business Layers provided the provisioning part of Netegrity’s offering under partnership before being acquired in January.
Sims said Netegrity’s acquisition did not surprise him. He pointed to Netegrity’s announcement yesterday that third-quarter revenue could miss targets by up to $5 million. Netegrity had expected $24 million revenue, and blamed delayed deals for the shortfall.
Netegrity had been talking to potential suitors other than CA for weeks so, logically, there are companies out there that now may be looking in Oblix. But Sims said Oblix is not looking to get bought, that’s not in our strategy at all.