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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sun-Microsoft Interoperability – Focus on Identity Management

Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, May 13, 2005
1:14 pm

What a coincidence! On the first day I start my blog, I listened to Scott McNealy and Steve Ballmer speak like old buddies, from the same stage, about enabling interoperability between Microsoft and Sun platforms. The press conference included comments from EDS, GM, Accenture and NEC Solutions. It is clear that that two major items are driving this “partnership of competitors”:

1. Big, important customers are demanding interoperability for both operational and regulatory reasons

2. Systems integrators and outsourcers see interoperability as a way to meet customer needs more simply and economically

Basically – customers and their partners are challenging their vendors to solve an age-old problem of getting computer systems to “speak” to each other in an efficient way.

Identity Management is the key to enabling interoperability. It is the pivot about which the Microsoft/Sun relationship turns. Why – because Identity, by its very nature, transcends platforms. Regardless of which application or platform is being used, a user’s basic identity doesn’t change. So, in a naturally heterogenous world, an ability to rise above the differences between computer platforms is necessary if companies are to reach goals of efficiency and connectivity they require for business success.

I joined the Sun Identity Management Practice in October, 2004. Fortunate to have been referred into Sun by a trusted mentor, I found myself in the midst of the dynamic, rapidly moving Identity Management market. Nearly five years ago, I began to sense the importance of Identity Management while employed by Oracle. Oracle Internet Directory, still in its infancy, promised to simplfy the process of security control. My work with telecommunications companies showed that significant business benefit could accrue from centralized management of security credentials and simplified policy enforcement.

Explaining the meandering path that led me from Oracle to Sun will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say that I’m delighted to be here, on the front lines of a market with high customer demand, multiple business benefits, interesting innovation, strong competition and real-world results.

So … this blog. I’m intrigued with the opportunity to document and share principles of Identity Management I learn while proceeding with my work in the Sun Identity Management Practice. My comments will have more of a business than technology bent, although I also hope to explore some of the interesting technical issues that face our industry. I’ll try to mix in a bit of business wisdom I’ve learned over the years. If you’re interested, come along for the ride.


2 Responses to “Sun-Microsoft Interoperability – Focus on Identity Management”

    Hi Mark – and welcome. Sun and Identity are an exciting combination right now, and I look forward to working with you!
    Best wishes,

    Comment by Robin Wilton on May 14, 2005 at 1:54 pm

    You joined the Sun Identity Management Practice in October, 2005??? [Insert lame joke about time travel here]…
    Welcome to the blogosphere, Mark! Cheers, Pat

    Comment by Superpat on May 14, 2005 at 10:23 pm

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