External identity management: customers and partners count too

Posted by Edward Killeen on Wed, Jun 27, 2012

Managing your internal identities is the bread and butter of identity management.  You know who your users are (at least you should) and you have a good idea of what they need to do their jobs.  If you don't, call us and we'll get EmpowerID running toute suite.

external identityBut there is a whole new realm of identity management you need to think about: partners and customers.  Your external identities.  You don't hire them so you probably don't have a tried and true process of provisioning.  You certainly don't want to give them Active Directory accounts but they need access to a lot of services and systems that you provide.

We are seeing more and more of this in the marketplace, how to expose services to your external identities and how to track them.  It sounds just like identity management but not all of the traditional solutions work here.

This is where the platform approach really works.  You can provision new users, heck even offer self-provisioning, and assign roles immediately.  These roles have access to certain parts of the application or portal.  The IAM platform can confirm that this is indeed a customer in the CRM system, and provide advanced access or more privileged roles based on any number of criteria that you know about them.

By storing this external user identity in the metadirectory, you can authenticate directly against that directory, utilizing SharePoint 2010's claim provider functionality.  Now, in one place you have provisioning, role assignment, and authentication.  You can easily keep track of your external users, have an audit trail of their authentication and role changes, and manage external customers and partners like they're employees.  But easier.

Gone are the days of trying to create a separate domain for external users and not being able to restrict access to customer facing applications.  Utilizing the EmpowerID platform, you can treat customers, partners and other external users with the same role based security that you do your internal users.

Take a look at what we did for a very large insurance and healthcare portal to help manage access for external users and schedule a demo now!

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Tags: Identity and Access Management (IAM)