Microsoft Bhold Forefront Identity Manager [EOL] Review

Our current FIM infrastructure has stability issues. However this may be due to external factors or configuration.


What is most valuable?

For me the most valuable feature is being able to create a single source of truth between the ICT Department and Human Resources. The fact that there is a synchronisation between our HR database and Active Directory ensures that our end user information stays current which ties into our ITIL processes as well with Microsoft System Centre Service Manager

How has it helped my organization?

Within our Service request catalog, we frequently require authorisation from a requestors direct line manager or Business Unit representative. The fact that with FIM this information is kept up to date by setting up synchronisation between the HR databases and our Active Directory, ensures that the Service Requests are processed and fulfilled correctly and places the responsibility on our end users.

What needs improvement?

Our current FIM infrastructure suffers from stability issues. However this may be attributed to external factors or configuration.

For how long have I used the solution?

In its current version, about 18 months, however since 2010 SPI a little over two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

During the implementation of our current version of FIM, we did experience compatibility issues with SharePoint 2013. We had to employ external resources to make modifications to some of the library files within Microsoft SharePoint to get FIM to work correctly.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are some issues regarding stability that require the Synchronisation services to be restarted on one or more of the Servers. We have built redundancy into our configuration to ensure that at least of of the application servers are always available, however this only provides around 80% up-time. we are investigating the configuration with our technical support representative from Microsoft.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

During the initial planning phase of the FIM project, we recruited FIM specialists from Microsoft to assist our projects team to scale the FIM infrastructure to meet our organisations requirements. We have, until now, not encountered issues pertaining to scalability and to be honest, we do not use the product anywhere near it's full capabilities.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The customer service provided by both Microsoft and our Third party vendors has been a pleasure. I only wish more of our vendors would provide as good a service.

Technical Support:

I would rate the service received an 8/10. I would prefer more detailed documentation upon fault resolution.

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

This is the first of this type of solution employed within our organisation. Previously all user information was processed manually or referenced via additional databases directly. User accounts had to be created and maintained by the Service Desk Staff

How was the initial setup?

The implementation was done with the assistance of both Microsoft, external vendors and our internal projects team, which consisted of System Administrators and database specialists. The service we received from our external vendors was excellent.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager was the only product put forward during the steering committee and was sourced by the Regional Security Manager. We are however keen to see what the proposed newer incarnation of the product (Microsoft Identity Manager) will deliver.

What other advice do I have?

Starting off, ensure that support staff receive sufficient training on the product. Also ensure that you implement the product on platforms for which it was designed. We have had many challenges trying custom build environments to suit.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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