View from Product Management
If we call a product a specific name, will the name itself imbue the product or service with those characteristics? Here at Ubisecure we are continually looking forward, trying to imagine what the future will hold. It’s precisely that imagination that started us off on this path way back in 2002 someone imagined, “How would a group of Single Sign-On services function together?”, or something similar. And then they went and made it happen!
Over the years staff at Ubisecure or our customers have imagined or requested a wide variety of services. A new integration here, a specific authentication method there. Often we have been able to create the requested item in a timely manner, helping the customer achieve their own success. Sometimes, like with any organisation we have been delayed and a feature or feature set is talked about but never seems to come to fruition. This can be due to practical issues, like an unresolvable coding conflict that wasn’t apparent when the idea was first announced.
There are other times that the notion of a solution is such a core concept that it appears multiple times in a few different formats. For example, we have several forms of Password Reset, each specifically crafted to resolve an issue or use-case (as it’s called in software engineering). The results is multiple tools that are called similar names, but operate differently. APIs, or Application Programming Interface, is another example of a changing, often semi-redundant set of code that creeps into nearly every software package. A team needs to be very diligent to ensure that these kinds of redundant items are kept to a minimum.
What’s the point?
I suppose I am a little off topic, but not too far. Sometimes a company will be a little more aspirational than they should be. A kind of “if you build it they will come” is created around an idea takes hold and a service is made or product is released before it can actually do what everyone expects it to do. Becoming a SaaS provider is different than being a Software provider – radically different.
For Ubisecure’s Identity Cloud offering, initially sold as a SaaS service, we were a little too aspirational. Across this year we have altered our marketing language to help potential customers understand that we, and they, rely on a System Integrator to be able to install and fully manage our Software. In partnership with an SI we provide SaaS.
Does this mean Identity Cloud is dead?
Well, we won’t offer any of our customers a SaaS contract for Identity Cloud here in 2018. And not in the first half of 2019 either. But we aren’t closing our Identity Cloud service. We are already providing services for a few customers, in conjunction with their System Integrator, and will continue to look for key opportunities to support a customer with their SI.
Similarly, we are going to continue to use our Identity Cloud platform to help potential customers understand the benefits that our CIAM Identity Service can offer. Through the use of Proof-of-Concepts (PoC’s) and Pilot implementations, we can help customers work through the complexity of setting up a CIAM service – we have 15 years of experience doing this and can demonstrate how accessible and impactful our Identity Server can help a customer become.
Identity Cloud – Identity SaaS?
Across 2019, we will continue to revise our Identity Server package to become easier to deploy, monitor and use – and our Identity Cloud service is a key part of making that happen. Maintaining our own cloud environment gives us the ability to understand how our Customers and System Integrators operate our software packages within their own complex environments. Additionally, Ubisecure will continue to add staff with expertise in 24×7 operations and system management. So, while we may have been premature in offering a SaaS service, we are still aiming to do so in the future. The aiming helps our entire development process experience using Identity Server the same way that you, our customer, do.
For now, Identity Cloud will remain a hosted service most often used for PoCs and Pilot implementations. With your System Integrator, we are very happy to provide a hosted environment for your CIAM platform based on our Identity Server. And looking to the future we will launch a SaaS service based on our Identity Cloud.