Two and a half years ago I wrote an article about identity management vendor Bitium. The company, who covered the entire identity and access management life-cycle, had just signed a partnership with Google whereby Google would offer Bitium’s product in the Google Apps Marketplace (as it was then called before Google Apps became the far more hip G-Suite.)

As I reflected upon at the time, Google was one of the earlier cloud-based office productivity suites, and had gained momentum primarily because their #1 competitor, Microsoft Office, was so vehement (at the time) in its distaste for all things cloud. Since then, Microsoft has got a new CEO, a new dose of humility and a new perspective on what is really happening in the world and, to be frank, seems to be absolutely hitting it out of the park with its own cloudy Office suite, Office 365.

Notwithstanding Microsoft’s success, Google has also had something of a revolution itself and the appointment of Diane Greene, co-founder and former CEO of VMware, to run all things cloud at Google has infused a strong sense of enterprise thinking into the business. And it is this change of thinking that has really been needed – Google’s attitude was historically a tech-driven one of “we know what is best for organizations” whereas the company is now moving to more of a partnership model where they appreciate that not all enterprises are at the same level.

As I said at the time, when reflecting upon the then partnership between Bitium and Google:

So if you’re Google, you’re spending lots of time thinking about what you need to do to really get enterprises across the line. And if you’re a security vendor, you’re well aware that the broader security piece is a very important requirement that enterprises have, but one that is poorly met by Google itself.

Why is this stuff important?

In Google quest to broaden its G-Suite franchise, Bitium played a big role. Google wants to attract enterprise customers and many of those organizations have some specific requirements when it comes to security. Those requirements are increasingly in the spotlight given recent high-profile data breaches – security is the theme du jour for enterprise CIOs.

Bitium gives G-Suite admins the ability to manage all of their business’ apps users and groups in one place, leveraging the G-Suite user directory. Once installed, users and groups will automatically sync from Google to Bitium, eliminating the need to manage two separate directories when adding and revoking access to various applications. As an example, using Bitium, administrators can create new accounts with their preferred CRM system or cloud storage provider by simply adding the user to the appropriate group in their Google Control Panel. Administrators also have access to insights, reports, audit logs and details on app spend to help manage IT costs and not pay for apps they aren’t using regularly. As I said at the time, it’s a logical offering that, frankly, Google should be delivering itself.

And now they will

It’s taken awhile, but Google has finally realized that it needs to do this stuff natively. As I reflected when the partnership was announced:

But the reality is, and we’ve seen this time and time again, that Google doesn’t really “get” enterprise. So it relies, and the customer-base relies, on third party partners to fill in the holes.

Well, we can finally strike that statement down as Google is now (finally) acquiring Bitium to offer a broad identity offer in the cloud. As Google itself stated in talking about the deal, kind of channeling what I said back in the day:

With the acquisition of Bitium, Google Cloud will gain capabilities to help us deliver on our Cloud Identity vision. 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.

MyPOV

An obvious acquisition, and one which plugs some existing holes in the Google portfolio. Well done to Bitium, and well done to Google for building out what enterprises need.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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