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Opinion: The importance of integration

Andy Kemshall, Technical Director at SecurEnvoy

When a business shops around for an authentication service, it will typically do so with two questions in mind. The first question is the obvious one: “how secure is this solution?” Question two is probably the most pragmatic one: ““how much will this cost?”

But there’s a third question, one that’s all-too-often over-looked, and one that is perhaps the most important of all. The answer to this question makes question one slightly trivial, and renders question two irrelevant. And that question is: “what third party vendor relationships does the provider have?”

That might sound like a secondary technical query rather than a major consideration. But in actual fact, it’s the very first question that should be asked. Without a sufficiently broad range of vendor relationships established, it doesn’t matter whether an authentication solution can offer the leanest of lean IT, the lowest prices or the highest security: it’ll still be impractical.

When it comes to lean IT solutions, the key is in the name. Any solution needs to be just that: an answer to a problem, not simply another problem. It’s vital, therefore, for authentication providers to ensure their service is flexible and compatible with as many vendor products as possible. Only then can authentication do its job, rather than precluding employees from performing theirs.

That’s why it’s crucial for providers to enlist as many third party vendors as possible. SecurEnvoy has recently received compatibility approval from multiple key vendors, including Barracuda, Citrix Zen App 6, Array, and F5, further broadening our already impressive integration offering.

In fact, SecurEnvoy is now the only two-factor authentication product that’s compatible with Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Web Outlook 2010. SecurEnvoy already held a broad range of third party vendor relationships, but with the addition of Microsoft Exchange, one of the most widely used servers in the world, our offering is even stronger than ever.

If lean IT is going to work, it needs to be flexible, scalable and simple. So, when you start shopping around for an authentication solution, stop asking the questions that used to matter, and start asking the question that really matters now. Ask about integration.

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