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“One of the exciting items coming down the road is the ability to use single sign-on from any device, anywhere.”

Dean Wiech joined Tools4ever in April 2006 and is responsible for the Tools4ever, Inc. operations the United States. His duties include direct sales, as well as the responsibility for the sales, technology and consulting team along with the day-to-day operations for the company.

Tools4ever’s core business offerings include a combination of robust software and consulting services in the identity and access management (IDM/IAM) market. Tools4ever’s identity and access management software applications have been installed in organizations varying in size from 200 user accounts to more than 300,000 user accounts.

Tools4Ever

BusinessInterviews.com: How do you separate yourself from the competition?

Dean: I think one of Tools4ever’s key differentiators is our time from purchase to completed implementation. While the majority of our competitors take months or even years to stand up a solution, we are able to deliver the basics in a matter of a few days. For some clients the basics are all they need while others require integration with multiple systems and applications. In those complex cases, we are still able to deliver in a few weeks. The benefit here is two-fold: One, the clients derive the benefits of an identity and access management solution quickly; and two, the cost for consulting is significantly less. Our other key differentiator is the ability to provide a complete IAM solution or just the components that are required. All of our applications can stand alone or be integrated. Again, the benefit here is costs savings – only purchase the functionality you actually require.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on the importance of having identity and access management solutions in place?

Dean: A couple of factors come into play. The first and foremost is appropriate access to the network, applications and data for employees. No one wants a new hire to sit around for a few days while their network access is provisioned. Conversely, that access must be immediately revoked upon an employee’s departure. In between those two events are a number of other considerations. Does the employee have the appropriate access for their position within the organization – no more and no less? Has the employee’s role changed within the organization and their access rights change appropriately? Has someone circumvented controls in pace to grant access that should not have been given? These requirements and questions are easily accommodated by an identity and access management solution.

BusinessInterviews.com: How have you managed to experience positive growth over the last few years despite the struggling economy?

Dean: To some extent, the economy and IT budget cuts have been a benefit for our organization. We see helpdesk being outsourced, IT staff being trimmed and the monies allocated for new projects shrinking. Applications like Self Service Reset Password solution provide tremendous savings in time, resources and hard dollars. If you are paying an outsourced helpdesk on a per-ticket basis and you can reduce the number of tickets by 20 percent to 30 percent by providing employees a self-service tool, the cost savings can be tremendous. In the education space, where thousands of new students need to be on-boarded every semester, the typical approach was to get “all hands on deck” to manually key the data in and create Active Directory and email accounts, along with e-learning, transportation, cafeteria and other systems. With an IAM solution, this project can be accomplished in minutes.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some trends in your industry that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?

Dean: The transition from the traditional “behind the firewall” on premise environment to the cloud and the movement toward bring your own device (BYOD). Both of these present their own challenges to the IT staff. Provisioning and de-provisioning cloud applications requires a new set of tools to use web services to configure accounts. Additionally, these cloud applications are typically subscription or usage based so setting up employees should definitely only be on a required needs basis and leaving a terminated employee active for even one day can have a huge cost impact.

BYOD opens up data and security issues, theft concerns and the potential for a hardware support nightmare should an issue arise. Companies need to have clear, concise policies and procedures in place to effectively deal with the “worst case” scenarios. Being able to wipe remote devices, immediately terminate network access for a device or user account are just the beginning. Guidelines should also be established for what is an appropriate employee device to use on the network to mitigate risk.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some tips for individuals who work from home but are concerned with security issues?

Dean: One of the exciting items coming down the road is the ability to use single sign-on from any device, anywhere. Instead of authenticating to the company network and then needing to provide your credentials for every application you log in to, you will only need to do this once and then any subsequent log in will be automated. This provides a level of security especially when coupled with a second factor of authentication, such as biometrics or smart cards.

The other item I would say is important is to make sure that your device itself is secure. If multiple people utilize the machine at home, set up user accounts for each person to insure no accidents occur whereby the project you have been working on for weeks is inadvertently erased.

Other tips are more common sense oriented – secure your Wi-Fi, back up every day, log out when finished working for the day and close browser windows completely. These are items that most of us get complacent about until a catastrophe strikes.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?

Dean: From a personal perspective, at one point in my life I sold everything – house, cars, furniture, etc. – and moved my family onto a 40-foot sailboat. We spent almost three years traveling through various ports in the Caribbean, eventually returning to South Florida. It was a tremendous opportunity to step away from most forms of technology and just slow down.

Looking back, it was very intimidating how much technology advanced in those three years. The Internet exploded, the uncommon car phone became the ubiquitous cell phone and the pace of life seemed to have quickened exponentially.

It worked out well – one of my daughters went on to b e a three-time All-American sailor in college and the other received a Presidential scholarship for college and I went happily back to work in the software arena with a new found sense of purpose.

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