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The cloud just gets easier to use every day. This time it’s Salesforce.com (news, site) and Ping Identity (PI) who have integrated Internet Single Sign-On products so that a single login to Salesforce will give users access to all other applications that they use in the cloud.

The result is that with Ping Identity's (news, site) Universal Login, Salesforce becomes the hosted identity provider, reducing license, infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs of traditional identity stores.

Secure Ping Identity

We haven’t heard from Ping Identify in a while, so just a quick look at what they are doing with Salesforce. The principal thing they do is to address internet identity security requirements for Salesforce deployments.

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At the moment, PI says it is the only vendor to provide complete support for the Sales Cloud, the Service Cloud and the Force.com cloud platform for building and running business apps.

Using either PingFederate‘s on premise software, or PingConnect -- its on-demand software -- users can easily access all of their Salesforce tools without the need to remember passwords and repeat logins. Ping also automates the Salesforce user account management process including account creation, modification and user account disablement.

Amongst the other applications that users will be able to access using this sign-on: Google Enterprise, WebEx, Concur and SuccessFactors. Ping Identity also supports business and consumer service providers, such as banks, online trading services and HR outsourcers.

But is deploying this just admitting that users can’t be bothered logging in to all the sites they need, or is there more to it? While it is quite frustrating having to log in a billion times everyday -- security issues or no -- there are a number of other reasons why deploying it might be worthwhile:

  • Provides immediate access to the Sales Cloud, the Service Cloud and the Force.com cloud platform for building and running business apps.
  • Multiple entry points including web browsers and mobile devices and it comes with a Salesforce Outlook plug-in. Works whether working through corporate network, or remotely.
  • Automatically disables accounts once a user has been deactivated.
  • Universal SaaS access that ties together different SaaS environments by managing user access and authentication in the cloud.
  • On-demand platform means deployment in days.
  • Provides a convenient, secure, central location for managing user access to Salesforce.

Moving To The Cloud?

In respect of SaaS and Cloud computing it is worth recalling that while many companies are still wary of storing information in the cloud,  the SMB IT and Hosted IT Index 2010 from Microsoft, shows that more SMBs surveyed in 2010 reported an increase in revenue than in 2008 with IT seen as critical to their business success.

However, while there is long-term potential for storage-as-a-service, another recent Forrester report,  sees issues with guaranteed service levels and security as things that still need to be addressed before companies move in that direction.

Maybe Ping Identity’s UL is one step down the road to dealing with the security issues at least.