I noticed on Jackson Shaw’s blog that identity management is big over at Quest these days with recent acquisitions and more to come. Interesting. Let me take you down a path and then pose a question.
Back in 2004/2005 Oracle took an honest look at their identity management stack and realized that customers really did want a one stop shop (if it was possible). Sure it is a lofty goal to have every identity management tool, but they did look at their gaps of standard identity management tools such as Single Sign On and User Management (Oblix) , Provisioning/De-Provisioning (Thor), Virtual Directory (Octet String) and filled them via these acquisitions. There was a little overlap in the products, but actually very little.
Sure Oracle could have gone out an developed them from scratch, but that would have taken many physical years (and a ton of "man" years) to get to the features and functionality (and stability) of these products that already had a solid customer base and were good, mature products. Buying the technology (and the people who built it) and re-tooling it for their purposes was the path they chose. I know most of these products have now had “Oracalized” versions released with greater integrations between them.
So the question asked looking backwards is: Did Oracle make the right choice? Well I think the obvious answer is a resounding YES. I’ll give two reasons. One, look at the stock price from 2005 to now. Sure Oracle has made other acquisitions, etc. but overall they have performed very well and Wall Street has agreed. If I compare Oracle stock to say Microsoft’s over this period I believe it is a yes as well.
Two, look at market share specifically in identity management. Oracle leap frogged ahead of the competition and took a resounding lead. Analyst firms clearly put them out in front.
So now my question today is: Is Quest the new Oracle in identity management? And if they are, who are they going to take the business away from? Oracle, IBM, CA, Microsoft? Obviously we here at Optimal IdM partner heavily with Microsoft. Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) is selling well and we fill their virtual directory gap they have with our Virtual Identity Server (VIS) solution. While we aren’t Microsoft, our products are built with their technology and leverages & extends the existing investment that a customer has already made.
So what is Quest’s strategy on identity management and who do you think has the most business to lose?
BTW – I do believe that is truly a “lose” scenario. Sure, the identity management market gets bigger each year, but how much bigger? Not that much in a relative sense. Someone at a major un-named vendor told me once that they don’t have any way to track how much business they lose. When you look at it this way, it is really easy. It is simply the sum of revenues of your direct competitors. If a customer purchases Oracle's IdM solution over Microsoft's, well Microsoft lost that deal (even if they weren't aware of it).
Come on folks, it’s not like we are talking rocket science, or developing a virtual directory, which is trickier than you might think!