Entrust, Waveset partner for ID management

Access management software provider Entrust Inc. and identity management company Waveset Technologies Inc. will swap technologies and work to develop new products as part of a partnership agreement announced Monday.

The strategic alliance between Waveset of Austin, Texas, and Entrust of Dallas allows each company to make use of the other's technology to launch new products and services, the two companies said.

As part of the agreement, Entrust integrated Waveset's identity management technology with its Web access management software and security services to create a new product, the Entrust Secure Identity Management Solution.

That product will enable administrators to manage user provisioning and identity management while offering strong authentication such as digitally signed transactions and encrypted workflow information, Entrust said. In addition, administrative tasks can be delegated to users and organizations can provide centralized password management and synchronization to their users, alleviating help desk traffic, Entrust said.

Previously, Entrust lacked identity management and provisioning features in its products, said Steve Neville, senior product marketing manager at Entrust.

For its part, Waveset will add Entrust's strong security to its Lighthouse identity management product, creating the Lighthouse Strong Security Services product. The Entrust technology will enable Waveset to offer certificate-based authentication to its user interface. In addition, administrative e-mail containing requests and approvals will be able to be digitally signed, encrypted and time-stamped, Waveset said.

Using Entrust's security services will simplify administrative approvals, which currently requires staff to authenticate themselves separately to grant approval, said Michael D'Eath, vice president of corporate and business development at Waveset.

For Waveset, the relationship lets it add another layer of security on top of what is already offered in its product, meeting the needs of customers in health care, financial services and government sectors, D'Eath said.

Entrust is betting that its customer base of large enterprises, financial services companies and government agencies want secure identity management software, providing another avenue through which to sell its technology.

"We polled 1,200 of our customers and they all came back and said they were interested in identity management," Neville said.

The new partnership probably serves the interest of both companies well, said Pete Lindstrom of The Spire Group in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

"For Waveset, the key is provisioning everyone, so to include the Entrust PKI (public key infrastructure) solution and use the security of the Entrust PKI to protect its own administration makes a lot of sense," he said.

For Entrust, partnering with Waveset is a way to play catch up with competitors such as IBM Corp.'s Tivoli and Netegrity Inc., which in January announced a deal to license provisioning technology from Business Layers Inc., Lindstrom said.

The trick will be to continue collaborating and nurturing the relationship while keeping the benefits of the partnership flowing to both companies, Lindstrom said.

"If there becomes some kind of lopsided value proposition, there's risk for whoever comes out on the bottom end," Lindstrom said.

Entrust's Secure Identity Management Solution will be available in the second quarter of 2003, Neville said. Waveset's Lighthouse Strong Security Services will be out in the third quarter of 2003, D'Eath said.

The two companies will also develop new products that combine Waveset's workflow and user management with Entrust's policy management and security services. While plans are still in the works, customers should look for those products in 2004 or 2005, Neville said.

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