IBM Tivoli Access Manager [EOL] Review

Simplified deployment of web applications. Very stable product.


What is most valuable?

Protection of web applications

How has it helped my organization?

Simplified deployment of web applications. The ISAM products centralises authentication and authorization giving a shorter time-to-market in the development of new web sites/applications

What needs improvement?

Since ISAM 7, and especially version 8 IBM has moved from software-install to appliance based (virtual or hardware) this really improves the speed of new patches and releases. IBM promised to release a new appliance-firmware every quarter, so far they kept their promise.

For how long have I used the solution?

10+ years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

You do need to train to add to your skill set, and need to fully understand the possibilities and features which takes a while. Since I've been using it for over 10 years it is no longer difficult for me to deploy. Of course with new version some things change, so reading the documentation is quite useful sometimes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since its birth it is an unbelievable stable product. I know of a deployment that did not receive any maintenance for several years and it was still working.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Nope, it is designed to be very flexible. It can handle any size website.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We as a Premium Business Partner have some advantages in being able to contact the developers more easily. Our customers can raise tickets, and depending on their contract, they are suitably assisted by IBM.

Technical Support:

It has been good for long time.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Nope, somehow I ended up a IBM Business Partners, always using ISAM. But are also using IBM Security Identity Manager, IBM Security Directory Server, IBM Security Directory Integrator, IBM Federated Identity Manager. Basically all IBM Security Identity and Access Management offerings except IBM Tivoli Access Manager for ESSO (confusing naming, but a really different product that does not really combine with all the others in my humble opinion).

How was the initial setup?

With the firmware appliance it is easy as pie.

What about the implementation team?

I'm part of a IBM Premium Business Partner, we are specialised in IBM IAM deployments. In many occasions IBM Netherlands is requesting our services to get the job done.

What was our ROI?

An ROI, is for most customers not easy to make being a security solution. It gives more hassle than not using it, insurance-wise you could say. Once a customer has chosen it they stick with it, I did not see many customers abandoning it due to ISAM not performing or not being satisfied.

What other advice do I have?

Ensure you got your team trained and get external expertise for your architectural design and first deployments. While learning on the job, your team can take over after a while.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM Premier Business Partner. I'm personally involved in contributing to the official IBM Security exams, and an official instructor for these products for over ten years
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