Alternative Technology To Carry BioPassword Software


Alternative Technology is adding user authentication software from security software vendor BioPassword to its line card.

BioPassword's Internet Edition for Web-based environments and its Enterprise Edition, which works with Microsoft's Active Directory and Citrix Presentation Server, is available to Alternative's VAR customers now. BioPassword's products offer second-tier authentication by identifying the typing pattern of users as they enter passwords into a system.

"We've been doing a very heavy push into identity management. What we're finding out is that there are many ways to do that, but the legacy ways like tokens, smart cards ... in some environments, those don't work well," said Tom Zorn, executive vice president at Alternative Technology, an Englewood, Colo.-based unit of Arrow Electronics Enterprise Computing Solutions. "In some areas, people just have a corporate culture that says, 'I don't want to carry a token or a card.' We were looking for ways to add a stronger level of authentication without having another device that was a requirement."

Alternative Technology is marketing the product to its Active Directory and Citrix customers, as well as to VARs serving vertical markets such as banking, where two-factor authentication products are becoming more popular.

"When we looked at the whole spectrum of partners and distributors, as a channel-only company we looked at who could add the most value and [with whom] we're going to have the best opportunities for mutual success with partners," said Dean Bravos, vice president of worldwide sales at BioPassword, Seattle.

Alternative's relationship with Citrix was another factor for BioPassword, according to Bravos. Citrix has invested twice in BioPassword, and the software is Citrix-ready, he said.

"We have a great tie-in with Citrix and, obviously, it's a great cross-sell opportunity with Alternative Technology, the way they go to market and the way they manage their customers, including the support and training mechanisms they have, which are perfect for our company at our stage and beyond," Bravos said.

For Neil Issa, CEO of Catalyst Technology Group, an Indianapolis-based solution provider, BioPassword's decision to go with Alternative Technology means fewer headaches when ordering.

"The Alternative Technology relationship should allow us to streamline our purchasing process. We're not maintaining purchasing relationships with as many vendors," Issa said. "They wrap a lot of educational programs around the products that they resell, and I would hope that those types of programs come through that relationship as well."