BMC aims at single management of a customer's entire ID mgmt. needs

* BMC's three-phase approach to identity management

In this third of a three-part look at new releases by major players in the identity space, I'd like to focus on BMC and its recent announcement of BMC Identity Management Suite.

I recently spent some time on the phone with Somesh Singh, vice president and general manager of BMC's Identity Management Business Unit (ably assisted by BMC PR's fabulous flackette, Jessica Walter) who outlined the product, what it has now and where it's going in the future.

<aside> Speaking of future, BMC last week reported drastically reduced profits for its fiscal fourth quarter, but analysts seemed to agree that this was an anomaly and the company should rebound. See for BMC's financial press release.</aside>

Identity Suite will incorporate products from BMC's recent acquisitions of OpenNetwork and Calendra, along with other software developed initially at BMC. The five areas covered by the suite are:

* Directory Management and Visualization

* Access Management

* Password Management

* User Administration and Provisioning

* Audit and Compliance Management

The fully formed suite won't be available until late this year or, perhaps, next spring but a three-phase rollout will allow customers to work with the BMC products fairly efficiently at first and - eventually - all under a single management interface. The three stages are:

* Phase I - Improved user experience and streamlined deployment.

* Phase II - Extended integration and expanded portfolio offering.

* Phase III - Complete directory integration and strong delegation model.

In fact, Phase I will be missing significant pieces (Regulatory Compliance, Identity Federation and Business Service Management) but will introduce users to the framework and architecture of the suite.

In Phase II, the real meat of the suite will be introduced, including the new Business Service Management piece. This will populate the BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB) - which, up to now, has been mainly a hardware inventory - with identity data. This will enable the automated specification of people, business profiles and system accounts managed by the BMC Identity Management Suite.

Phase III more tightly integrates the parts of the suite and will add new management functionality so that almost all phases of an enterprise's identity management can be controlled from a single management platform. It'll be a neat trick when it all comes together. I'll be watching, and I hope you will be too.

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.