I had the opportunity to attend SAP’s first CEI program session for IDM. These sessions are designed to give SAP the chance to get some information on not only what customers are looking for from SAP IDM but also what they need from it. I think this is a fantastic initiative on SAP’s part for a few reasons.

  1. For the first time since SAP acquired MaXware almost seven years ago, they are going out to seek information from a variety of customers about how they would use the product. Pervious CEI initiatives were aimed at a very small group of SAP IDM customers. From what I understand this new group, mostly volunteers, is about 10 times larger! During this first session, I heard a few ideas come out that I don’t think SAP thought of, but saw the value almost immediately.
  2. SAP is actively engaging customers, partners, and consultants for feedback. The first session centered on the integration of Success Factors HR with IDM and what customers would be able to expect via an enhanced “ramp up” program.
  3. There are other sessions planned to cover a variety of topics in the coming months showing a considerable amount of initiative from SAP. I’m looking forward to exploring it in more detail.

Based on what I saw in this presentation and from things I’ve seen at past TechEd sessions, the forums, and general research, I’m seeing the following trends at SAP regarding Identity Management. These opinions are entirely my own, although comments from SAP are, as always, welcome.

  1. IDM is being positioned as the key workflow engine for managing identities throughout the SAP Landscape. If information is coming from any resource involving people, IDM is where it should be processed. HCM, Success Factors, PI, XI, AD, LDAP, no matter what the source, IDM should be handling the flow of information to other systems in the landscape and applications in the Enterprise. Unlike some other “people centric” systems like GRC and CUA, IDM is uniquely designed to work in a heterogeneous environment.
  2. It appears that SAP is poised to start a new phase of growth for IDM. This isn’t just the basic, release the latest iteration of the connector list and publish a new service pack. It’s time to add some new functionality and breathe some new life into SAP IDM!

One of the other benefits of this call-in session was getting to hear the voices of several people I have met in my travels and others that I have only met through SCN, Hope we all get to meet up soon! (TechEd, I mean d-code anyone?)

I’m looking forward to seeing what SAP has planned for IDM. Here’s to the new IDM frontier in the Landscape and the Enterprise beyond!

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