Misleading Marketing Makes Money

I was about to title this post "Sad, Clueless Vendors."  I’ve recently learned that the physical security vendors most commonly talking about convergence and about "end-to-end identity and access management solutions" have no idea what the terms mean beyond the hallways of their own marketing departments.  True, these folks are clueless, but maybe not so sad.

After all, I have to remind myself that marketing wonks writing this stuff for ADT, Unisys, Siemens and others have a business objective.  These firms are trying to sell FIPS 201 identity products into the federal government.  In that context Identity Management can be morphed to mean the systems for verifying identity.  So calling their card solutions identity management solutions is not such a marketing stretch.

It just bugs me that a) it has nothing to do with security convergence as it is commonly understood; and b) it has nothing to do with identity and access management as it is commonly understood.

On the other hand, maybe misleading marketing DOESN’T make money.  Check out the CSOonline article that shows that no one actually buying HSPD-12 cards anyway.

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  1. April 27, 2007 at 6:34 am

    Hey Steve,
    Regarding the CSO article well not exactly… As you know in order to issue credential that address the convergence of logical and physical security a new infrastructure is required. This has been established primarily through the shared service providers (SSPs) and the system integrators use their services.
    It is important to look at this as a process. HSPD 12 allowed an agency to meet the past October deadline by issuing a single credential. So sure not a lot of cards have been issued buy a LOT of organizations have got a FIPS 201 card. The follow on scale of this is very significant.
    Further a lot of infrastructure has been put in place. Organizations such as the Veterans Administrations, Department of Treasury, Department of Defense and others have the issuance infrastructure in place (meaning they have purchased it) to issue millions of credentials.
    And as you know the General Services Administration (GSA) has just selected a vendor (for the second and likely final time). Credentials will begin to roll in July and ramp from there.
    The time to do the analysis is end of 2008. For those of us closely involved with this market it has alway been the case. Those that think things are going slow have the wrong expectation.
    Very seriously, HSPD 12 and FIPS 201 have accomplished something in a time frame I would have never believed. To look at it otherwise is a mistake.
    Many layered, complex thing going on here. I agree for the most part on the idea of end to end solutions not being available from the traditional physical access vendors. They will not sell credentials, it will be the EDS, Bearing Point, SCS, Unisys, IBM Global Services, Lockheed Martins and General Dynamics that do this.
    As you know I could go on….

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