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Oracle Brings Single Sign-On to Enterprises

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) today rolled out Enterprise Single Sign-On Anywhere (ESSO), a new on-demand application suite designed to let enterprise customers simplify the way they manage and protect and share data within and outside the enterprise.

Enterprise IT departments charged with managing thousands of separate user names and passwords for all the disparate applications used by employees are constantly dealing with password-related problems. A recent survey by Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) found that about 30 percent of IT helpdesk time is spent dealing with resetting passwords or users names.

Oracle and a handful of other vendors, including Novell, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and HP (NYSE: HPQ), have developed enterprise single sign-on applications to alleviate some of these persistent password issues by minimizing the number of times a user needs to enter his or her credentials to access files and applications.

"The notion of the extended enterprise is here to stay," said Rohit Gupta, Oracle's vice president of identity management and security products. "Between distributors, outsourcing and offshore development, what we've found is that enterprises fundamentally have a challenge to deliver fast application access to employees and this extended enterprise working from their homes or around the world."

Oracle ESSO Anywhere provides one deployment package for all the security software, allowing companies to quickly install single sign-on access for employees and partners based on their specific security and regulatory standards.

Once it's installed, enterprise IT managers can facilitate any patches or updates to existing applications automatically from one central location rather than install apps at each individual PC, laptop or server.

"This edition is cloud-based, giving customers anytime, anywhere access for the network," Gupta said. "It addresses functional areas like the ability to eliminate multiple passwords, streamline password management and security and gives users stronger levels of authentication security."

Security, particularly for organizations that are embracing cloud-based applications in droves, is both expansive and time-consuming from an IT perspective.

Gartner analyst Ruggero Contu predicts the enterprise security software market -- which includes segments such as endpoint protection platform, e-mail security boundary and user provisioning -- will surge 9 percent in 2009 to more than $10.9 billion.

"Although the security software market is affected by the economic downturn, the growth will continue to be strong in 2009 as security remains a critical area where drastic cuts cannot be afforded," he said. "In the medium term, the growth opportunities will come from SaaS, appliance-based offering and SMBs, which are in security catch-up mode."

Last month, competitor Novell released its latest enterprise single sign-on application suite, SecureLogin 7, designed to simplify both the integration of business and security applications and reduce the number of times a person has to enter a user name or password to access network data.