CA SSO Review

All of our applications get a point, click, and you are in, while we increase security at the same time


What is our primary use case?

We use single sign-on to provide a single login page for all of our client apps across the organization and it performs wonderfully. We almost never have outages nor see slowdowns, not from our stuff anyway. 

How has it helped my organization?

People do not have to remember 35 to 40 usernames and passwords. They have a link to go to their page that they need to work on, and it is there. It knows it is them. If we lose an employee, they no longer can sign in from anywhere in the world, they are immediately gone. 

What is most valuable?

Simplifying the user experience. We use a lot of integrated Windows authentication with it. All of our applications get a point, click, and you are in, while we increase security at the same time.

What needs improvement?

I would prefer to see their SAML integration be a more streamlined and easier interface, more like PingFederate's interface. Their product works just as well for that use case, but we do not use it, because it is a much larger learning curve to get it running.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is one of the most stable products in the banking organization that I am in. It never goes down and if it does, it is usually because my partner or me did something to it. 

I have been using it for a year. The company has been using it for probably 20 years. It has always been a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is immensely scalable. We have 18,000 employees running on six servers right now. They are not even at 10% usage, but to spin up more just to add a server and plug it in, it is ready to go.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is fantastic. They provide quick answers. It is very rare that it takes more than two or three days to actually resolve a non-production problem. With a production problem, they are right there with you the whole time until it is fixed.

We have had large-scale issues, but it never really took them a long time to fix. Usually within a few hours, we would have a fix.

They also take use of their community.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup, but I am involved in building a parallel platform right now for an upgrade. 

The upgrade is a very straightforward setup, easy to install and run. A little bit complex to set up rules, but that is why you want engineers around.

What about the implementation team?

We have a resource that we are paying for from CA, but we really do not need to use them, except for on the Identity Management side. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I would absolutely recommend they go with SiteMinder SSO. I have worked a little bit with some of the other products out there and they are not as easy to use, and they are definitely not as stable. Shibboleth is a competing free product. It is horrible. A lot of companies use it, but it is not fun.

What other advice do I have?

Because I am new to this area, the thing that surprised me about CA is how quick they are to respond to changing needs. If we tell them we need something or do not know how to do something, they make it happen for us. It seems crazy for such a large organization to make that kind of move. 

The tool is easy to integrate with old, archaic, existing infrastructures that may not have been built with security in mind in the first place. With very little modification, we can usually secure a platform that never really had it before.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: responsiveness. When everything is good, the vendors are always around. It is how they respond when you have a problem.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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