I've blogged several times about PAM (Privileged Account/Access Management) in the last few months, stating that I expect more integration of PAM with existing IAM applications (Here, here, here, and here). Now IBM is moving forward on this with their PIM offering. It's interesting to observe what IBM is doing these days. There hadn't been that many news from IBM for a pretty long time. But this year IBM has increased its speed significantly. The release of TIM 5.1 with many significant improvements, their approaches around risk and compliance with tight integration to TIM as well as other IBM products, and some other news prove that IBM is back on track and should be rated amongst the leading vendors in the broader IAM space again - with some interesting visions and strategies, becoming a trendsetter in some areas.

Amongst them is their PIM approach. IBM isn't new in that market. Their TAMOS (Tivoli Access Manager for Operating Systems) products is out for many years. But right now, they are building a solution which is tightly integrated with TIM and TAM E-SSO (Tivoli Access Manager Enterprise Single Sign-On). Shared IDs can be provisioned by TIM and TIM as well manages pools of shared IDs. TAM E-SSO checks out/in shared IDs when accessing apps. Thus, IBM drives the tight integration of provisioning, E-SSO, and PAM which definitely makes sense. However, the integration is currently within the IBM world of IAM apps, not beyond. Anyhow, this is an interesting approach and IBM is currently leading this trend.

The solution is currently deployed as IBM Global Strategic Solution, e.g. bei IBM Global Services to selected customers, thus at the first stage to general availability. But for existing IBM customers (TIM, TAM E-SSO) it is definitely worth to talk with IBM about that.

An interesting question in this context is whether this will affect the overall PAM market. First of all, it confirms what I've described earlier in my blogs: There will be a convergence of PAM with provisioning and other IAM solutions. And with more vendors providing such integrations (some are providing some integration or are working on that), customers are likely to pick the "integrated PAM". However, there is no doubt that at that point of time the PAM specialists in most cases have more feature-rich offerings, which might complement even these integrated PAM approaches or replace them in case that specific features are required. Thus, there will be a "stand-alone" PAM market for the foreseeable time. On the other hand I expect more acquisitions of PAM specialists to happen given that the larger vendors might want to speed-up the development of their integrated PAM offerings by acquiring a product and integrating it. Another point to mention: IBM's approach shows that PAM is moving out of a niche towards a mainstream IAM market segment.

For now, it is to me to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And don't miss EIC 2010 and Cloud 2010 next year! Hope to see you there and to discuss some of my thoughts with you in person.