Siemens Health converges with Imprivata

Monday, September 1, 2008

MALVERN, Pa.--Siemens Health Care, a 43,000-employee systems integration company based here, has teamed with Imprivata to introduce to the health-care industry, widely regarded as the largest market for security installations, Imprivata’s OneSign platform strong authentication, enterprise single-sign on, and physical/logical security convergence solutions.

Jeff Thomas, practice director for global services at Siemens Health, said the partnership is largely a way to meet HIPAA-inspired demand by health care end users for strong authentication for network access and password consolidation, but that physical/logical convergence “is in demand, especially a badging and smart card solution” that’s been available for some time, but has been made easier with the Imprivata solution.

He said, largely because of price considerations, that new construction opportunities are where Siemens Health is most likely to partner with its Siemens Building Technologies sister company to converge logical and physical access.

Geoff Hogan, vice president at Imprivata, noted that one specific health care end user first bought the Imprivata solution to deal with patient data security and password management, “but we came in and introduced the convergence idea, and they have a Lenel system already in place, and they ended up ordering a converged system. Maybe the initial foray has been the authentication side of things, but in every instance we and Siemens are introducing convergence and that has tremendous uptick right now.”

Asked what percentage of his clients end up converging, he said, “if you look at what’s in the pipeline, I’d say we’ve got already about 30 to 40 percent of people who want the convergence, but we’re still in the early days of all of this.”

“It’s very typical for me to be in a health care institution, and see people who have an employee badge, and then two or three different HID badges,” Thomas said. “How come they don’t just have one badge? My experience would be that I’d get a primary call from one of the sales people, where a customer is interested in convergence, but then very few customers are spending the dollars to do that.”