RealTime IT News

Jamcracker's Second Act in ID Management

Next week, former ASP aggregator Jamcracker is unveiling its identity management software solution for businesses after more than a year out of the public eye.

Its developers have been busy porting its hosted solutions from more than a score of best-of-breed hosted applications onto one integrated suite.

Staying under the radar has been quite a trick for a company that when it was founded, created a stir in the venture capital community with its $142 million in financing.

The result: Pivot Path, an identity management lifecycle application that manages the users in the enterprise, from the time they start with the company until they leave, and points in between.

The new software product has gotten an immediate boost in the Java community already; next week the company will announce its inclusion in the JBoss Group's preferred affiliate program. Pivot Path will be compatible with all 3.2 versions and above, and JBoss will offer it on the company's production deployment platform.

The switch from ASP aggregator to enterprise IT software provider began back in 2001, when the company started signing technology partnerships with infrastructure specialists Epicentric, Vitria BusinessWare and Kinetics.

That, in turn, led to the development of its Jamcracker Platform 3.0, an application portal for businesses, and signaled its first foray into enterprise software.

But it wasn't enough. Despite trying to avoid its moniker as an aggregator, it was just that, with as many as 13 different best-of-breed applications running on its platform. To change that, Jamcracker did a complete overhaul of its business.

The change had a lot to do with the falling star that was the ASP industry in the midst of the technology recession. After the dot-com heyday ended, companies started to realize they wanted to keep their business close at hand, rather than hosted at some far-flung server farm. This realization likely came when ASPs and telecom companies were just as quickly filing for bankruptcy protection as they were for an IPO three years prior.

Enter the ascendance of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) industry, which saw the fortunes of companies like SAP , PeopleSoft and Oracle grow exponentially.

The overhaul was also dictated by the cost of doing business. Despite $142 million in financing, it was expensive aggregating a baker's dozen of best-of-breed applications.

"Best-of-breed has really become an expensive, difficult to manage, option for people to take, and we've experienced that in spades in this business," said Todd Johnson, Jamcracker president.

Pivot Path is the end-result of its software migration. It connects its identity management solution to most operating systems, databases and application servers. While it provides a portal of its own, Pivot Path can also marry up with other portals, given its Web services-based standards.

The identity management solution provides many of the same tools administrators would expect from software for the enterprise: J2EE-based technology that also manages .NET , delegated administration determined by a super-user, integrated help desk, configuration tools and plenty of adapters for third-party vendors.

What sets Pivot Path above the rest of its competitors, Johnson said, is its unified development environment, which puts access management and provisioning under one API .

"You find products that address either the access management components or the provisioning components, but they aren't single products that give you an integrated approach to both of these problems," Johnson said. "Therefore, they fundamentally break down in the midst of the lifecycle approach."