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January 31, 2013

UnboundID Releases New Identity Data Platform

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

There is nothing more personal than the data we all as customers give to our various service providers. And, how that data, our identity, is stored, secured, accessed, managed and shared by those who keep it is emerging as a critical component of e-commerce. It speaks to the trust customers have with service providers that they will have a safe and secure experience when interacting, and it speaks to the business aspects of monetization of those experiences and data that go with them when, if, how and under what conditions it is “shared” with other parties.   

Austin, TX-based UnboundID is a platform provider for identity data that has been at the business of helping large enterprises manage all of that customer information for several years. They have in fact, just released Version 4.0 of the UnboundID (News - Alert) Identity Data Platform. The updated platform now provides enhanced data unification capabilities, increased security, and real-time scalability to manage the rapidly growing volume and transactions of identity data.

This is an industrial strength solution. It expands the UnboundID solution, which already is being employed by some of the world’s largest telecommunications, financial services, enterprise, mobile, and cloud services companies to manage customer identity data.

Reality is that like it or not, as a result of the pervasiveness, importance and inexorable trend for more and more commerce (all aspects from awareness to consideration to purchase) being online , we have entered what some have even labeled as “The Identity Age.” As noted above, identity is a core asset for creating trusted relationships between service providers and their customers, and just as if not more important for enabling them to create new recurring revenue streams by proving marketers information they desire to fine-tune their targeting and increase conversion rates.   

As Nick Crown, director, Product Marketing stated to me in a discussion at ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami regarding the release, “At the end of the day, the indentify-centric economy is being driven by two things: trust, and value. Unbound ID’s platform provides the flexibility for large companies to smartly manage and exploit the value of dealing with both of those trends.” 

He also noted that what is driving the need for identity management solutions is the fact that, “The data created by consumers is growing exponentially. Users do in fact leave lots of footprints over several systems, which can disguise the fact that those transactions all belong to the same identity. That needs to be understood, captured and leveraged.”

Unbound ID cites some recent work by Forrester (News - Alert) Research, Inc. analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo titled, “Personal Identity Management Success Starts with Customer Understanding.” The report distinguishes four types of personal data:

  • Individual identity data
  • Behavioral data
  • Derived data
  • Self-identified data

They are all very important, particularly from the standpoint of those looking to hone their marketing. As Unbound ID says, “Having a data platform that helps companies unify and prioritize this information provides a more complete picture of a customer’s desires, needs and preferences. It greatly increases the value of a company’s customer data.” This is a holistic look that enables actionable business insights that have not been possible in the past.

In announcing Version 4.0 UnboundID, VP Andy Land (News - Alert), amplified the trend toward the centrality of identity in driving transactions. “We are living in an Identity Economy…As companies choose to leverage identity as an asset, the UnboundID Identity Data Platform can help them share and monetize identity data faster, easier and much more securely.”

Enhanced capabilities

The new version of UnboundID’s platform focuses on speed and fine-grained control of data access. In what I have called, “The Age of Acceleration,” these are absolutely essential capabilities. What this translates into, for example, is that in Version 4.0 data can be prioritized by the frequency that certain identity information is needed, like names and addresses, which can be pulled with sub-millisecond response times. Complex data from multiple sources can be unified and prioritized as needed for fast retrieval. Plus, it supports accessibility through the LDAP and SCIM protocols, and incorporates a generic REST-based Identity API which improves data access through common Web development languages.

Key components of the UnboundID Identity Data Platform Version 4.0 are:

  • Identity Data Store – Securely manages and organizes data for sub-millisecond access.
  • Identity Proxy Directs and secures data at scale, providing intelligent load distribution and fail-over capabilities.
  • Identity Data Sync – Synchronizes and updates data from multiple sources, allowing for real-time data access.

The speeds here are impressive, and given the need for multiple access to identity for a host of reasons, it is also a necessity. 

Are we moving to an “Identity Economy?” In a word YES! Interestingly despite the company’s name, structuring the security, accessibility and management identity data is the key.  




Edited by Brooke Neuman
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