Avatier Identity Management Suite
Strengths: Excellent interface, lots of customization available.
Weaknesses: Installation was a bit tricky and we had to call tech support.
Verdict: A solid product with the potential to save organizations a lot of money by giving users a self-service portal.
The Avatier Identity Management Suite, or AIMS for short, is a software-based identity management product. Besides automating user creation, the Avatier suite of products can do much more. It offers seamless integration with HR software, enables IT departments to set up a web portal for users to reset their passwords, and it can also create workflows so that high-level IT personnel aren't bogged down with lower-level requests. On top of that, AIMS is highly customizable and all of its logos can be changed to that of your company.
Because AIMS is a software product, we received a CD with the installer and some product info sheets. At first, we did not receive a true user manual, but we reached out to Avatier and they gave us one. We tried to set it up without the manual which was very difficult. First, we set up a virtual machine with Windows Server 2008 R2 and performed the basic setups. After we joined it to the domain, we installed IIS. After that, we installed .NETFramework 4.0. The Avatier installer gave us some trouble at this point and did not recognize that we had it installed. We uninstalled .NET, then ran the setup again and everything worked fine. Once we had installed the Avatier software package, we still had some trouble, however. After working with support, we determined that there was a problem with the database engine that Avatier uses and we had to migrate to Microsoft SQL server. Once we did that, we finally got it working and were able to start testing the product.
We very impressed with the AIMS suite's functionality once we had it working. AIMS is highly customizable and can integrate with tons of services. It can even be connected to building security. We were excited by this product, which allowed us to set up a self-service password helpdesk. Password Station can be set up to authenticate the user by asking them security questions, by text message authentication, or both. By using other products in the suite, users can request additional access, be moved to a different group or be disabled. By automating all of these tasks, IT personnel can be freed to work on other things. We tested this part of the system by requesting things immediately and also by making requests for a later time. We also set up the Service Catalog, which allows users to request assets from the company. It is very simple to use and is designed to feel as if one were shopping online.
After we received the documentation, it proved helpful. It covered setup with a good amount of depth and was easy to follow. It included plenty of screen shots which made learning the product easier. Overall, we were pleased.
Avatier offers two types of support contracts. Standard support includes 24/7 phone, email and web support. Software updates are also included with standard support. The second offering is the more advanced AvatierCare, which also includes system optimization. With AvatierCare, an Avatier technician can come onsite or work remotely on a quarterly basis to ensure that the product is functioning optimally. Avatier support pricing is customized for each customer depending on the installation environment size.