Intel Launches Cloud SSO Beta Program


Intel announced Monday the start of the beta program for its cloud single sign-on service, which the company expects to be generally available in April.

Intel has launched a Web site for companies that want to sign up for the beta program for Cloud SSO, which will enable companies to manage identity and authentication for employees using multiple cloud services.

The Intel service will be hosted on Salesforce.com's cloud application platform called Force.com, Girish Juneja, director of the Intel Application and Identity Products Group, said during a keynote on the opening day of the RSA Conference in San Francisco. The service was developed with security vendor McAfee, an Intel subsidiary.

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Cloud SSO is a service broker that will allow users to logon to multiple application services without having to re-enter credentials. The service will be sold based on a per-user pricing model

The system provides two-factor authentication that includes requiring a person to enter a one-time password delivered via an out-of-channel device, such as a mobile phone. Access control, such as provisioning and de-provisioning services for individuals or user groups, can be handled through Cloud SSO. Companies also have the option of using an on-premise directory.

The service will provide access to hundreds of software-as-a-service applications. "The value of this service is to enhance user productivity as they use cloud and SaaS applications, to reduce cost and to provide controls to IT that they've been missing in enabling broader use of cloud and SaaS," Juneja said.

The Cloud SSO portal provides system administrators with a three-step process for authorizing users for services. Administrators choose an application or group of applications, assign a user or group of users and then optionally can add specific access controls. Such controls could include limiting access from a specific IP address or device.

For joint Intel and Salesforce.com customers, the service would enable brokering single sign-on among chosen applications on Force.com. Besides Salesforce.com's customer relationship management application, the platform hosts 1 million products from independent software vendors.

In addition, Cloud SSO will be able to leverage the identity information already in Salesforce.com, Ron Huddleston, senior vice president of ISV alliances at Salesforce.com, said on stage with Juneja. "Because (Cloud SSO) is built on Force.com, there's a strong native integration to the identities that Saleforce is storing."

For customers who are not a Salesforce customer, Cloud SSO can still be tied to another cloud-based application platform or an on-premise enterprise directory to establish secure access to cloud services, Juneja said.