The announcement by Salesforce a few weeks ago that it was moving into the enterprise Single Sign on (SSO) space was both an excellent validation that sso across cloud and on-premise applications is needed, but also a rude awakening to the existing independent SSO vendors like OneLogin and Okta. While these vendors put a brave face on the news, clearly they were scrambling to find ways to differentiate what they do from a standard SSO application.
Today we’re seeing the rollout of one of those differentiators with OneLogin launching Cloud Search, a real time search function that works across multiple public cloud applications as well as on-premise web applications. Cloud Search currently supports Box, Google Apps, Salesforce, Yammer and Zendesk.
The rationale is simple – traditional enterprise search has involved the ingestion of disparite data from different applications into a central data warehouse within which search could occur. obviously this introduced a time lag, as well as a disconnect between search results and the actual applications themselves. The concept with Cloud Search is to tie together the search function, with the authentication and permissioning of the central SSO. In addition, the fact that it is built as part of the SSO solution means that search result can link directly to content within individual applications, and users can browse to that content directly with no additional sign on required.
Security is a concern when it comes to enterprise search – as search is sometimes a vector for unauthorized individuals to get access to content. By tying search to SSO and hence to the enteprrise’s existing security model – this risk is removed.
While search is perhaps not the sexiest functional area, tying it to SSO is a good way to justify the existence of independent SSO vendors – it also helps that it makes enterprise users’ lives easier to boot. Cloud Search is included free in all OneLogin plans at no additional charge.
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog – SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)