Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google, speaks during the Google I/O 2014 conference in San Francisco Stephen Lam/Getty Images
Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google, speaks during the Google I/O 2014 conference in San Francisco

Google Buys Cloud Identity Management Startup Bitium

Promises to continue to work with existing identity management partners

The part of Alphabet that runs its Google Cloud business has acquired the identity management company Bitium for an undisclosed amount.

It's easy to see why Google would be interested in the five-year-old startup, which offers single sign-on and other identity management and access tools for cloud-based services. Its software is a natural for some kind of integration into both Google Cloud Platform and the G Suite productivity offerings. And, considering that Bitium already offers enterprise solutions for rolling the likes of Google Apps, Office 365, and CRMs into a single-identity management package, it could be a nice little marketing carrot to entice enterprise users to give any and all of its cloud offerings a try.

To paraphrase an old movie title: With six you get identity management.

"With the increase in cloud adoption, there are new considerations about how to manage cloud applications within an organization and to ensure that the right levels of security and user data access policies are in place," Karthik Lakshminarayanan, director of product management for Google's G Suite and Cloud Identity, wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

"Our enterprise customers want a comprehensive solution for identity and access management and SSO that works across their modern cloud and mobile environments. Bitium helps us deliver a broad portfolio of app integrations for provisioning and SSO that complements our best in class device management capabilities in the enterprise."

As the folks at Bitium prepare for the inevitable move from Santa Monica to Mountain View, they seem to have assurances that the acquisition isn't just for the purpose of rolling their code into Google products, and that the company will keep on keeping on.

"Being part of Google means great things for our current customers and broader IT administrative capabilities for G Suite customers," Bitium's CEO, Scott Kriz, and CTO, Erik Gustavson, wrote in a joint statement on the company's website. "We will continue to deliver the products and services our customers rely on with the added scale that Google provides."

It also appears that Google's existing partners in identify management space, OneLogin and Okta, have nothing to fear for the time being. "As we add Bitium’s capabilities, we’ll continue to work closely with our vibrant ecosystem of identity partners so that customers are able to choose the best solutions to meet their needs," said Lakshminarayanan.

In August 2016, Google named Okta "a preferred identity and access management partner."

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