Oracle Buys Identity Management Firm Oblix

Oracle has made its third purchase in less than a year, announcing today that it has acquired Oblix, a small identity management software company. Terms of the sale were not announced.

Oblix’s security software allows for Web access control of single sign-on, identity administration and user provisioning. Analysts said the move gives Oracle a broader-based security solution.

“Identity management has moved from a few small, niche players to core functionality in mainline enterprise application platforms and enterprise management software,” Ed Moyle, president of SecurityCurve, told CRM Buyer via e-mail. “Whereas a few years ago, small players like Netegrity (since purchased by CA) and Securant (since purchased by RSA) dominated the market, now companies like IBM, HP, Sun, Microsoft, and CA all offer identity management functionality.”

Stand-Alone Addition

Oracle offered Oracle Identity Management as part of Oracle Application Server 10g, but had no stand-alone solution. With the need for identity management applications on the rise, Oracle’s acquisition is a good move, according to Evan Quinn, group vice president for applications, IDC.

“With the Oblix acquisition Oracle instantly moves into the upper-tier of identity management solutions technology providers,” Quinn told CRM Buyer. “Given that security solutions remain at or near the top of many CIOs’ to-do list, Oracle positions itself to be considered in projects solely focused on heterogeneous identity management requirements, as well as large-scope projects with significant identity management needs.”

Moyle said heterogeneous identity management solutions are often left to smaller vendors, because large application vendors have little incentive to create solutions that work with other vendors’ offerings. But with the trend toward smaller companies getting swallowed up, the future of these solutions may be up in the air.

“I’m interested to see if Oracle leverages this or if they slowly lessen support for and integration with other platforms,” he said.

Oblix Software Lives On

Oracle said it will sell Oblix products, including COREid, SHAREid, and COREsv, as stand-alone software. The company also plans to cherry-pick features and capabilities from Oblix to add to its broader identity infrastructure offering.

Oblix’s customers include American Airlines, Best Buy, Charles Schwab, Chicago Board of Trade, Cisco, General Motors, Intuit, Lexmark, MCI and Paine Webber. Oracle outbid SAP last week to buy Retek for US$670 million. After a long and contentious battle, Oracle finally won the right to buy PeopleSoft in December.

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