Tuesday, January 05, 2010

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Burtner or Garton?

Huge news this morning as it was announced that Gartner had purchased the Burton Group in a straight cash transaction (reportedly $56 million). WTF?

These are groups addressing two different constituencies. As the Wall Street Journal reported: "Gartner has typically focused on advising companies' chief information officers and senior IT executives, while Burton has built its business by advising 'front-line IT professionals,' said Gartner Chief Executive Gene Hall."

Even though I don't always see eye-to-eye with the Burton Analysts, I consideer them to be the finest group of minds available on IdM questions. Bob Blakley, Gerry Gebel, Ian Glazer, Kevin Kampman, Lori Rowland, and Mark Diodati are an Identity brain trust , almost a national treasure. Add in the brilliant minds of Phil Shacter, Dan Blum and - of course - Jamie Lewis and you have an irreplaceable resource.

Gartner also has some good minds in IdM, just not as many. I could easily sit and chat with Earl Perkins all day, for example. But Gartner's IdM practice isn't something I want to listen to. As I said last year, about Gartner's IdM Summit: "It isn’t a conference that you, the identity management expert, should go to – at least not alone. This is really geared more to the line-of-business (LOB) manager who needs to get a handle on this 'identity stuff'.” And Perkins agreed with me.

This acquisition could put Gartner in the forefront of IdM thinking, or end up with all of Burton's heavy hitters on the back burner. Time will tell.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

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Microsoft strengthens Healthcare IdM Portfolio

Microsoft announced today the acquisition of Sentillion, Inc., an acknowledged leader in IdM for the Healthcare industry.

Earlier this year, the Gartner Group placed Sentillion in the "Visionaries" quadrant of their Magic Quandrant for User Provisioning, saying:

"Sentillion's singular focus is on meeting the identity management needs of healthcare entities. It remains in the Visionaries quadrant due to its continuing innovation in healthcare provisioning needs, continued customer growth, its increasing name recognition within healthcare, and its expanding partner network for resale and system integration."
So why did Microsoft pick this particular company? Let's go back a couple of years to an interview I did with Sentillion CEO
Rob Seliger. I tried to get him to admit an interest in branching out beyond healthcare. Nothing too exotic; perhaps an allied market like pharmaceuticals? But he wouldn’t be baited. He claimed Sentillion knows the market well – the company was spun-off from HP’s Medical Products Group nine years ago - and wants to leverage its expertise to do healthcare identity better than anyone else.

Some say they were doing just that. And now they have Redmond's deep pockets behind them - the sky's the limit. At a time when the US is about to undergo a healthcare revolution, Microsoft shows remarkably agility in getting out in front.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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Gartner IAM Conference

I'm in LA for the Gartner ID conference, an event which I skipped last year. So far, I think I should have skipped this year, also.

The kickoff keynote was by Gartner VP Toby Bell. He's not, though, a VP in their identity practice, or anything close to it. According to his bio, his "key areas of coverage include vendors and trends in the enterprise content management (ECM) marketplace, business process management (BPM) as it applies to enterprise content (CEVA/WEBA), and content strategy, valuation, mining and analytics." He spoke about "reputation" but his biggest takeaway was "Reputation is useless in an anonymous world." I guess whistle-blowers aren't allowed in his reputation universe.

Right now I'm listening to "Financial Crimes Expert" (does that mean he's a former criminal?), Robert Rebhan. Actually, he's a former LA cop. He's talked about Shakespeare, the bible, and Batman while telling stories about "identity theft", that cringe-inducing term. 20 minutes into his talk, "Advancing Your Fraud Prevention Tactics: A Unique Look into Identity Theft and Financial Crimes" we've yet to hear the first tactic. But we have heard about how waiters & hookers steal credit card numbers.

And the internet access is spotty, too.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

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DIDW 2007

Another Digital ID World has come and gone. This year was the first under the management of IDG, and it was a bit like visiting old friends in their new home - you knew the people, of course (although some of the neighbors seemed strange) and the furniture was the same - just arranged differently.

Fortunately, Phil Becker and Eric Norlin managed - despite the changes IDG introduced (such as hiding the registration area!) - to once again provide compelling, interesting content. Bravo!

We did miss a few folks who were in Brussels for the Directory Experts Conference and I hope that conflict doesn't recur next year.

Now I just need to decide if I'll go to the Gartner Identity Summit in November...

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