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Sun IDM officially dead

I just read Jackson Shaw’s post responding to Oracle’s announcement about what they intend to do with the various Sun identity and access management products.

(Read Jackson’s post here)

Quite funny – and I concur. Having looked at both the Sun and Oracle identity manager products in the past, it was pretty evident that Oracle would have to go this way — Sun’s IDM product is really awful and I couldn’t see Oracle investing in two products, when one of them is this much trouble to support.

The real question now is what will all those customers do? Sun was very good at selling their user provisioning product to hundreds of unsuspecting customers, who each spent millions of dollars trying to get it to do something useful. Those guys are all in various stages of production deployment and certainly need support.

So: I think Sun customers will be happy that their slow, buggy user provisioning system will be replaced by something better, but distressed at the prospect of having to redo huge, expensive deployments. I’m fairly sure that not much of the work that they have invested in policy definition, workflow processes, etc. will be salvageable — we’re talking rewrite here, folks.

Which means that many IDM customers may go shopping soon. Oracle will likely give them a free-upgrade path (i.e., you get the replacement software for no cost), but the services engagements will be huge. More costly than the software license fees being saved, for sure.

While this is bad for those customers, it’s also an opportunity in the marketplace to replace first-generation, unstable, non-scalable software with something better.

Does anyone else see it this way?

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3 Responses to “Sun IDM officially dead”

  1. Michael Burchill Says:

    This post is very accurate. I’ve seen several attempted Sun IDM implementations over the years. 90% of the time the software was included with a hardware purchase. I will tell you though that although the purchase price was small, the maintenance and implementation costs were astronomical.

  2. Greg Fleury Says:

    True…however, this is another clever business tactic from our friends at Oracle. They are simply using the (marginally successful) Sun implementation to reel in new business. Think about it this way, licensing revenue from Sun products is significant, but still less than services revenue from trying to install products that may or may not work. Imagine if you can do it all over again, but this time, with Oracle products =)

    Sadly, our relationship-based Oil and Gas industry is taking the bait =( Why you ask? Well, Idan can probably do another blog post on the challenges of selling IDM.

  3. Sam Says:

    This is totally wrong information. Sun is the far most advanced IDM product and its architecture is unique. No product has that architecture like SUN. I personally worked with SUN, IBM, and Oracle. Infact, oracle funded me to evaluate both sun and oracle IDM, because they are loosing big time with Sun. When i say Sun architecture is unique,
    1) Sun IDM is data sparse, unlike other IDM products which metadata.
    2) 90% common systems are agentless end connectors

    Ever heard other than sun that provides agentless connectors to the target systems. NONE