Industry innovators 2007: Fischer Identity Suite

When the phrase identity management comes up it is almost enough to make any administrator cringe. Between managing users, making sure they are in the right groups and have the right permissions, keeping the system up to date, and the many other headaches that come along with managing identity, most administrators would rather do pretty much anything else. However, there is a better answer that is simple, quick and efficient.

The Fischer Identity Suite brings together the two key components of compliance and user provisioning into one easy-to-use product suite. The feature that really brings the Identity Suite together is the Workflow and Connectivity Studio. This studio brings devices, resources and users together in one interface. It is through this interface that an administrator can create a simple workflow to provision access with just a few, simple mouse clicks. Once a resource or group is created, it is stored in a library, so after initial setup, provisioning is almost just drag and drop.

Another nice feature of this product is its emphasis not on roles, but on user attributes. Philosophically, Fischer believes that policy defines identity management, not roles. By focusing on attributes, users will never be given more or less access than they need.

Finally, the Identity Suite can be set up to be completely self-servicing for users. Users make requests via a simple web GUI and a message is sent to the administrator who will either grant or deny the request. From that point on provisioning is automated. Managing users and provisioning resources has never been so simple. An extension to this vision is that customers can create custom connectors into the system, meaning the product suite has nearly unlimited extensibility.

We found the Identity Suite to be typical of several of our selections this month that depend on an architecture that supports flexibility, extensibility and scalability. For example, provisioning across domains is usually problematic for most similar systems. Using the Global Identity Gateway module the process is seamless. Fischer looks critically at details, one of the criteria in our view for a visionary organization. For example, passwords or other credentials are never stored on the system. There simply is no password repository. This adds protection at the infrastructure level.

What it is: 
A suite of ID modules on an extensible architecture
Fischer International -
From $7.25 per user: includes user provisioning, password management, self-service, compliance; from $2.50 per user: includes password management only
Policy defines identity management, not roles
What we liked:
Convergence of provisioning and compliance support

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