By Dave Kearns
One of the great stories about the U.S. is the large
number of young people who come here to go to
college, then stick around to make their careers.
Many, once they've succeeded, also spend a good deal
of their time helping others do the same thing.
I spoke to two very different people this week, one
from India and the other from Indonesia. Both came
to this country to go to school, and both stuck
around afterwards. Oddly enough, both now live in
Texas. One, though, represents what we could refer
to as the "old line" of identity
management companies while the other - a good bit
younger - represents the new wave, the open source
movement that seem to captivate so many of our young
Jim Yang was born in Jakarta, Indonesia into an
ethnic Chinese family. He grew up knowing what
"minority status" was all about. So journeying to
Austin to attend the University of Texas wasn't a
really big leap or adjustment (except, of course,
for the huge amount of empty space that comprises
much of Texas). After school, Yang stayed on as a
technology consultant and landed a gig designing
software for the HEB grocery chain.
What he also soon discovered, as we all know, is
that identity information is stored in silos. But
Yang is bright, and soon realized that a virtual
directory was what he needed. Based on current
prices for the size and scope of the HEB
implementation, though, Yang realized that it would
be an extremely hard sell to the chain's upper
management. So he rolled his own. That's right, he
up and created a virtual directory on his own. He
enjoyed the process so much that he went on to found
the Penrose project, an open source virtual
directory system <http://penrose.safehaus.org/>.
He got together with a few others and started
safehaus.org as an open source hosting site, but
with a few twists (read the FAQ, it's fascinating).
Penrose could be very useful to those of you needing
to work up a provisioning, federation, single
sign-on or other identity project without any money
in your budget. But it could also be interesting to
those with money to burn. Take a look.
The second fellow I spoke to has been in the U.S.
for more than 20 years. Somesh Singh took his
Bachelor's degree back home in India at Banaras
Hindu University, then hoped over to Columbia
University to acquire a Master's and later picked up
an MBA at Wharton. Those are impressive credentials.
Add in 11 years at IBM then tack on 7 or 8 years at
BMC (where he's now vice president and general
manager of the Identity Management Business Unit)
and you'll know why I consider him the embodiment of
"old line" technology. But that doesn't mean stodgy.
I was taking to Singh about the release - just this
week - of BMC's Identity Management Suite, version
5.0. This is phase 2 in a three-phase rollout (which
I first discussed in July
) and includes all the key technologies BMC acquired
when it purchased OpenNetwork
It also includes other software developed initially
at BMC. The five areas covered by the suite are:
* Directory management and visualization.
* Access management.
* Password management.
* User administration and provisioning.
* Audit and compliance management.
This is a major release of a state-of-the-art suite
of identity tools from the company that best
understands the "management" part of identity
management - BMC has been doing systems management
for longer than there's been an identity management
practice. BMC is a force
to be reckoned with.
Singh is also very active with the Indo-American
Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, of which he
is president. One of its stated aims <http://www.iaccgh.com/about.htm>
is: "To encourage and mentor our youth and
encouraging a spirit of entrepreneurship through
mentor programs, internships, and networking."
Giving back to the community is important for all of
us. Singh is doing that. Yang is, also, in a
different way by hosting open source projects. Their
products are worth taking a look at.
Their activities are worth emulating.
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5. Somebody's got to pick up the 'Net's tab
To contact: Dave Kearns
Dave Kearns is a writer and consultant in Silicon
Valley. He's written a
number of books including the (sadly) now out of
print "Peter Norton's
Complete Guide to Networks." His musings can be
found at Virtual Quill
Kearns is the author of three Network World
Networking Tips, Novell NetWare Tips, and Identity
Comments about these newsletters should be sent to
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