GE teams with Sun for total ID management

Thursday, June 1, 2006

BRADENTON, Fla.--GE Security announced in April an OEM relationship with Sun Microsystems that will combine GE's Picture Perfect access control system with Sun's Java System Identity Management Suite to converge physical and network security management. The new solution will allow GE, with Picture Perfect, to help integrators working with companies that are trying to comply with HSPD-12, a governmental directive that says all government employees, and employees of government contractors, must have one ID card that provides access to both the physical building and the computer network.
"We're trying to respond to a market trend that we're seeing," said Dan Smytka, president of engineered systems at GE Security, "where CSOs and CIOs are looking for a better answer to identity management in one standardized platform." He noted that, often, even though one card may allow access to both the building and the network, two separate systems are necessary to manage that access. This new solution will allow "centralized data management, versus a bunch of systems that don't talk well to each other. One platform lowers overall cost for a company in terms of access and enterprise security."
Smytka sees this return-on-investment argument being a good sales tool for GE's integrator partners. "It's only going to mean a more solid sale of total company-wide security," he said, "and there will be a potential hardware pull through as we roll this out."
"As we look at integrators, they really make their value in the integration of an overall security system," he added, "by offering the ID management as a total package, we think it's going to generate a lot of positive lead generation."
Smytka said the new converged platform would be most appropriate for Fortune 500 companies and those looking to work with the government. As a testing ground, GE Security has already implemented the solution throughout another of General Electric's divisions, and there are plans to roll it out to all of GE's 450,000 users. Sun is doing the same.
"We'll have a great understanding as we go out to the marketplace," said Smytka. He believes this tight relationship will also lead to further opportunities for GE Security in network security applications.