The press release of HID acquring ActiveIdentity almost slipped my sensor network, despite the fact that I had the honour of having some close contact to top-level HID guys this week. I am totally positive about this acquisition, as HID now is able to get their hands on some really good Versatile Authentication Server (VAS) with AI´s 4Tress product. This is what they need to really set a mark in the authentication industry, because their NaviGO tool was a good starting point but it really lacks the quality and integration some of the other tools feature. HID is brand new to “software”, but they heavily invested in own resources to come up with NaviGO – thus it is a natural thing to seek some established brand or set of tools and accelerate the (obviously successful!) strategy of becoming of THE vendors for VAS. I am confident that this is a good match, but with all acquisitions there come friction and loss and talent.
So, seeing things the other way round, it may be hard for the AI guys to actually blend in with the HID guys. At least, they had some hardware tokens for their own and now they just have access to some really good contact and contact-less card readers. Hopeyfully, the differences in style, attitude and go-to-market can be aligned, as the Identity & Access Management market is definitely something else than the PACS and RFID reader market space.
To sum things up, I think the two of them make a great match! Still I ask myself if the two worlds can be merged by such a take-over? Everybody knows I am a both a big fan and big promoter of holistic security concepts and convergence as such – it would benefit the market to see this merger evolve into some true Convergence VAS products!