Many organizations are looking for ways to save money on software and support costs. Software as a Service (SAAS) is a common place to look for these savings, and using the Google Apps offering can be an excellent choice. But it also raises many issues:
- How do you manage user accounts?
- How do you prevent terminated employees from accessing data?
- How do you provision accounts quickly?
- Will users require yet another set of credentials to login?
The issues can be addressed by using a combination of Novell Identity Manager and Novell Access Manager.
Novell Identity Manager, along with the Novell IDM Connector for Google Apps from CosmosKey, can be used to quickly and easily provision and de-provision accounts. The driver works with both Google Apps Premier Edition or Education Edition. It can create and delete accounts, suspend accounts, or simply update information on the accounts. It even has the ability to create and update e-mail lists for your users.
The driver can synchronize passwords to Google Apps as well. But would you really want to have the same password used to access your financial or HR system sitting in a remote database which you DO NOT control? We believe a more secure method of handling Single Sign-On (SSO) to Google Apps is through the use of Identity Federation. Google supports SAML (Secure Assertion Markup Language), an open standard which is also supported by Novellís Access Manager. By utilizing Access Manager, along with SAML, passwords do not have to be entrusted to an outside source (Google). Instead, authentication remains where it belongs, in YOUR protected environment. Members of your organization can continue to use the same credentials they are used to using without the RISK of having your passwords in a foreign system.
Weisberg Consulting specializes in Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions. If you are looking at implementing Google Apps, we encourage you to contact us so that we can tailor an IAM solution for you using Novell Identity Manager and Novell Access Manager, two products that have consistently been in Gartnerís leadership quadrant.