Tivoli, VeriSign bring PKI closer to enterprise

Tivoli, VeriSign bring PKI closer to enterprise

Users will soon be able to purchase Tivoli-based security management software as a service from VeriSign rather than purchasing it outright.

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Tivoli and VeriSign will jointly offer Entitlements Management Service, which uses VeriSign's public key infrastructure technology (PKI) and Tivoli's Policy Director software. The joint offering is part of a larger alliance between IBM, Tivoli's parent company, and VeriSign announced this week.

PKI and digital certificates allows companies to recognize users, but another step is needed to determine what users can do once they are recognized. "You may have 18 applications but you don't want to give a user access to all of them," said Arvind Krishna Vice President, Security Products Tivoli Software.

This is where Entitlement Management Service comes in. Using Tivoli Policy Director, the service allows users to set who can do what with their systems. Previously, customers would have had to purchase Tivoli Policy Director and maintain the software on their own systems, Krishna said.

However, IBM will still sell and support Tivoli Policy Director for companies, Krishna added.

The entitlements service is just the first piece in the VeriSign and IBM partnership. The deal, whose financial terms weren't disclosed, will center around collaborating on areas such as managed services (i.e. Entitlement Management Service), Web services standards and integrating VeriSign's PKI technology into IBM products.

Both IBM and VeriSign sell to similar customers, said John Weinschenk, VeriSign's vice president of enterprise services group. The deal will help VeriSign integrate some of its products into IBM's applications. Such a move complements both as IBM has a strong e-business portfolio and VeriSign knows how to secure such applications, he added.

IBM will also help bring VeriSign's technology to a wider market through IBM Global Services Group, which employs 150,000 in 160 countries. Big Blue's sales force is also able to bring VeriSign products to a much wider audience, Weinschenk said.

Customers will also benefit, both IBM and VeriSign say, as the two companies have the ability to bring products to market faster than others. Also each company's products will be pre-tested to make sure they work well together so customers won't have to worry about interoperability.

The companies will also work on Web service standards such as XKMS and SAML. For example, IBM plans to include XKMS and SAML in Tivoli Policy Director. "Proprietary technology is not in the best interest of customers," Weinschenk added.

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