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SAP and Siemens join forces to create an integrated Identity Management Solution

From the press release:

“Addressing critical market requirements to help customers better secure their IT environments and meet regulatory challenges such as Sarbanes-Oxley, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) today announced that they have expanded their global strategic alliance through the delivery of a flexible, standards-based identity management solution. Delivered through the SAP NetWeaver® platform, Siemens identity management solution, HiPath SIcurity DirX Identity, integrates with SAP applications to help companies automatically centralize and manage their employees’ IT access rights across the enterprise. The announcement was made at SAP TechEd® ’05, being held in Vienna, Austria, September 21-23, 2005.”

Whoa, this is HUGE!  I heard that through the grapevine some time ago, but didn’t expect it to go that far.

“With the integrated solution, each user is represented by a unique digital identity and assigned access privileges to applications and systems based on their job role in the organization. Employees are able to easily and transparently access all systems and applications needed to support their job roles without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. The user’s privileges are centrally maintained, continuously updated to reflect changes in the organization, automatically communicated across all relevant systems and withdrawn immediately if necessary . The solution also allows users to maintain audit trails that demonstrate compliance with internal business policies and external regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the German Teleservice Data Protection Act (TDDSG) and the German Law on Corporate Control and Transparency in Financial Transactions (KonTraG).              This solution will further enhance the SAP NetWeaver platform and SAP applications, allowing customers to more easily and effectively manage secure access to applications and business processes across Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), SAP’s blueprint for a business-driven approach to service oriented architecture (SOA).”

That is exactly the kind of solution that I’m currently discussing with a customer, and I bet other customers will be after this as well.  To do similar things, you had to combine several half-baked solutions with lots of glue and rubber band, which never worked too well.  I can’t wait to get more details…

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