Salesforce simplifies cloud app management with single sign on

17/10/2013

Salesforce.com has struck a deal with ForgeRock to provide a single sign on feature, as the firm looks to simplify its customer relationship management platform.

Under the deal, Salesforce will launch a new cloud app ‘Salesforce Identity’ that lets clients consolidate user authentication and application access control on a single tool.

The tool will be available for customers with Enterprise and Unlimited Edition licenses for several of the vendor's products, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Salesforce Communities, as well as for customers of the Force.com platform as a service.

With Salesforce Identity, the company wants to simplify for IT administrators the process of provisioning and managing their companies' collection of mobile, cloud and on-premises applications, which in many enterprises is growing in size and diversity.

The tool will allow IT departments to manage "any app on any device" for employees, customers and partners, according to Salesforce.com, which said the Sierra Club will use the product in online communities for its more than 2 million members.

Basic Salesforce Identity services are free for Enterprise and Unlimited Edition licensed users of Salesforce Sales, Service and Marketing cloud services. The catch is that that does not include the connector to existing identity directories, which adds are charge of $1 per user, per month. Lower-level subscribers and employees who do not use Salesforce applications can use the service at $5 per user, per month.

The service includes a brandable log-in page and App Launcher portal from which companies can present managed, single-sign-on apps.

Analysis

According to Andy Kellett, principal analyst at Ovum: “Salesforce is a significant new entrant into the Identity and Access Management (IAM) market because it is looking to cover all aspects of the identity management lifecycle, and although provided as a cloud-based service is not restricting itself to just protecting access to cloud-based applications.”

He continues: “In becoming the latest new entrant into the already very crowded IAM arena, Salesforce has gone well beyond what would have been expected from a cloud specialist. The company is looking to cover all aspects of the identity management lifecycle, and although its identity management solutions will be provided as cloud-based services, it is not restricting itself to just protecting access to cloud-based applications.

“The approach that Salesforce has taken will be seen as disruptive to the identity management sector. Most existing platform vendors are categorized as performing within the enterprise space and looking out towards the cloud for future opportunities. Previous new entrants during the last two years have joined the IAM sector as cloud only specialists. They want to provide simple to use and cost effective solutions without taking on the overheads of enterprise environments. The cloud versus enterprise divide to IAM was never a comfortable situation, but had become quite clear cut. Now Saleforce.com with its new release has changed all that with an approach that breaks the mould.”

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