Hundreds of people wait nervously in front of their PCs for the first intimations of the results of the various “Magic Quadrant” reports from the Gartner Group each year. Very few of them are actual users of the software and applications talked about in the reports, though. It’s the vendors who carry on like actors at the annual Oscar party - or football coaches waiting for the bowl announcements to be made. Who’s moving up? Who’s moving down? Who is a leader – and who is a niche player? The results are in.
The two reports we’re interested in today are Greg Kreizman’s “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Single Sign-On, 2007” and the equally well titled “Magic Quadrant for User Provisioning, 2007” by Earl Perkins and Roberta J. Witty.
In provisioning, the big news is that Novell and Courion have joined Sun, IBM/Tivoli and Oracle in the “Leaders” quadrant. It’s almost an embarrassment that it has taken Novell so long to get there since it was – 10 years ago - the acknowledged leader in identity technology. Gartner seems to think, and I’ll concur, that it’s Novell’s insistence on homegrown technologies rather than acquired technologies, that has hindered its rise to the top. Courion’s products are homegrown, also, but the company has come a lot farther in a much shorter period of time than its Massachusetts’ neighbor. Courion is also much, much smaller than any of the other “leaders” in terms of manpower, but it has a long-serving dedicated team without the churn that’s been evident at some of the other companies (Sun and Novell in particular). Others covered in the report are:
* Challengers: CA, Seimans, HP, BMC Software, Beta Systems, Microsoft and M-Tech.
* Niche players: Voelcker Informatik, SAP, Bull Evidian, Quest Software and Avatier.
* Visionaries: Sentillion, Fischer International.
Enterprise single sign-on (as Gartner still terms when many now call simplified sign-on) shows little change at the top, with a “leaders” quadrant containing SSO granddaddy Passlogix as well as Imprivata, Citrix, Evidian, ActivIdentity and Novell. The others in the study were:
* Challengers: Sentillion, Encentuate.
* Niche players: Avencis, I-Sprint Innovations, MetaPass, PassGo Technologies and Beta Systems.
There was only one entry in the “Visionaries” category, CA.
The ESSO report is 21 pages long, while the provisioning one goes on for 46 pages. In them you’ll find a full discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of all the named players – at least as Gartner sees them. Copies of the reports are available from many of the companies covered – especially those in the “Leaders” quadrant. Novell is offering the user provisioning study, for example. While the ESSO report wasn’t publicly posted at the time I was writing this, a quick check of the various “Leaders” Web sites should turn up a copy. They do make good reading, probably least for the actual Magic Quadrant graph itself than for the well-defined criteria and judgments of the authors.