Sun Microsystems Inc [SUNW] is throwing down the gauntlet to IBM Corp [IBM], following the its decision to acquire identity management specialist Waveset Technologies Inc.
Sun reckons a two-horse race with IBM in identity management is now under way and that it is now in the lead.
The acquisition means Sun’s Directory Server and Identity Server, part of Java System Network Identity Services in Sun’s Java Enterprise Server (JES) will be integrated with Waveset’s Provisioning Manager, Password Manager, Identity Broker and Directory Master during 2004.
An estimated 100 Waveset employees are also expected to move across to Sun.
Waveset uses Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML), to integrate workflows between systems. This allows organizations to allocate who can access particular systems, that person’s level of access, and also enable end-users to set their own passwords inside an integrated environment.
End-users could be either employees working at PCs or mobile devices, or customers using self-service kiosks or cell phones to access online services.
Sun believes that its advantage over IBM stems from the fact the Waveset and Sun software already work together, the companies share a common vision, and Sun’s history is based on directory and identity management.
One of Sun’s strongest weapons in the crowded Java market is its directory and identity servers and its presence among carriers. Despite this, the company has been criticized for failing to adequately cover the identity management portion of the security stack.
IBM acquired Access360 Corp last year to merge its identity management and provisioning software with Tivoli. The company also bought directory integration specialist Metamerge to combine its software with DB2, Lotus, WebSphere and Tivoli.
Sun’s acquisition is an all-cash transaction expected to close in the company’s December quarter.
This article was based on material originally published by ComputerWire.