Vancouver firm Sxip Identity software solves Google’s problem accessing the new Google Apps Premiere Edition

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Vancouver firm’s solution to Google’s problem make for a mutually satisfactory high-tech marriage

Peter Wilson

Sxip Identity vice-president of operations Mike DeSandoli demonstrates security the company is providing for Google Apps Premier Edition. Photograph by : Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver’s Sxip Identity found itself in the worldwide high-tech spotlight Thursday following an announcement by Google of a Microsoft-challenging suite of online corporate software.

Partnered with Google and featured on its site, Sxip offers companies a secure way of internally accessing the new and highly-touted Google Apps Premier Edition — which provides word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail, instant messaging, calendar and talk programs via the Internet.

Google’s head of enterprise partnerships, Kevin Smith, said in an interview Thursday that Google can’t offer everything that a company might need for smooth integration of its Apps suite.

Where Sxip comes in, said Smith, is that its product — Sxip Access for Google Apps — allows corporate users to call up Google Apps on their browser without having to use a separate sign-in.

“One of the reasons it was very attractive to work with Sxip on this was that it was a very nice solution to allow you to do that single sign-on,” said Smith.

He added that while there had been earlier conversations between the two companies, Google eventually approached Sxip because “we decided that it was a good fit.”

Sxip is one of 10 companies — and the only Canadian firm — to have partnerships with Google for Google Apps. While Google will charge corporations $50 US per user annually for the service, Sxip will get $5 per user.

Sxip already has a similar solution in place at the online contact management site, but the company regards the Google partnership as a big win.

“Google is the new gorilla in the market that has agreed with us that, yeah, organizations need this kind of service,” said Sxip operations vice-president Mike DeSandoli. “It feels very good that we’re going in the right direction and that this will be major.

“Google will be very successful, and I think we’ll be right there with them.”

The fact that Sxip’s application permits users to go straight into Google Apps after having signed on to the corporate network makes their activity seamless, said DeSandoli.

“Companies are worried about their users actually using the applications, and having them face a second log-in page is a barrier to that,” said DeSandoli.

“And they’re concerned about employees putting user names and passwords on the Net because that could pose a risk. With our solution, there’s no exposure of the password, ever.”

Gerry Gebels, an analyst in identity management with Salt Lake City’s Burton Group, said that the recent upsurge in use of online software adds to the challenge for corporate management to safely handle access and credentials for a workforce.

“So you’ve got the demand for these kinds of applications and you have these application providers out there, and that means you need something in the middle to make it work a little more smoothly,” said Gebels.

“It’s a business opportunity for Sxip to jump on.”

Gebels said that Sxip is not alone in offering its solutions for corporations that use Internet-based services, but that having competitors tends to validate the field as a whole.

© The Vancouver Sun 2007


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