Every now and then, I find an innovator that had the same problem I had in years past, but unlike me, managed to solve it. Intercede is one of those companies. Over the years I have been plagued by having great ideas, but not being able to hang on until the market catches up with me. This interesting company has had half of that problem, but like all true innovators, they took lemons and made lemonade.
When I asked the visionary from Intercede what he thought made his organization an innovator, he answered without hesitation: "We were visionaries 10 years ago and were ahead of our time." That often is a recipe for disaster. Funding dries up before the sales catch up with the expectations. The failing company, I've heard it said, has "run out of runway." No failure this time.
When Intercede developed its unique identity and credential management tools, it tried to partner with other companies, but found that they had technology but no products. So they built an identity management platform - perhaps the first of its type - and became the management glue that holds the pieces together. Now they have expanded that concept to become the only end-to-end solution for complicated identity management challenges.
How did they accomplish all of this? They developed a crisp vision in their earliest days and have followed that vision relentlessly. Identity management to Intercede is a global proposition. Working with government agencies as small as 150 and as large as 100,000, Intercede plans a deployment that will support 1.5 million users. That's a lot of users by any measure.
The Intercede approach is to create a secure binding between the holder and the credential. It exploits a trust model and leaves the vetting of the holder up to the issuer. Their sales model is OEMs and resellers, an increasingly common model, and like other innovators we discuss this year, Intercede leverages an international marketplace for maximum stability and growth.
Their model is to have a small footprint in many of the countries in which they sell. For example, in the United States (Intercede is a UK company) they have only four company people: a general manager and three engineers. This says that sales is the province of their channel partners, while support is a major priority for their own feet on the ground. And that, as one who deplores lack of support, works for me.
AT A GLANCE
Flagship product: MyID
Vendor: Intercede Ltd.
Cost: Depends on deployment
Innovation: Positioning their product such that it is the backbone, or glue, that is required to hold large identity and credential management systems together
Greatest strength: Relentless adherence to their vision