As companies have adopted more software that runs in the cloud, they’re also presented with the problem of managing all the sign-in credentials for each user and each service. It gets complicated quickly.
Several companies have sprung up in recent years to address this problem, and one of them, Bitium, announced today that it had raised a $6.5 million Series A round of funding led by Polaris Partners. Previous investors also participated. They include: Amplify, Resolute VC, Double M Partners, Social Leverage, Karlin Ventures, Lazerow Ventures and RealNetworks founder and CEO Rob Glaser. Polaris Managing Partner Dave Barrett is joining Bitium’s board.
Bitium’s approach is to give its customers a single sign-on for as many as 1,500 different cloud applications. On its list of supported apps, there are big ones like Google Apps, Salesforce.com, NetSuite and New Relic, but also a lot of smaller, interesting ones that I had never heard of.
There are already a few more-established companies in this space, which is sometimes described with the clunky phrase “identity management.” Okta, which has raised nearly $80 million in four rounds, and Ping Identity, which is eyeing an IPO this year, come to mind. Individual users can be granted access to apps as needed from a single dashboard, and they can have their credentials revoked easily.
The difference in Bitium’s approach is that it gives its customers unlimited seats. That means there’s no reason not to give it to every employee, from the CEO to the interns. It also lets companies grant app access to partners — external companies they work with — without having to turn over a full set of sign-on keys.
Finally there’s an analytics function that lets a customer company track how each cloud app is being used by each employee or whether it’s being used at all. If an app isn’t being used, then it’s an easy decision to cut off the subscription and save a few dollars. Decisions like that are what the cloud software revolution is all about.