American-owned ActivIdentity looks certain to boost its activities in Canberra, with the release of a new version of its single sign-on software, and the recent employment of key new staff in Canberra.
ActivIdentity is a global provider of IT security, delivering secure remote access, single sign-on, enterprise access cards, and multi-channel identification and verification systems.
In August 2005, ActivIdentity acquired local success story, Protocom Development Systems for US$21 million, plus 1.65 million and 3.75 million shares, depending on whether Protocom meets certain revenue milestones.
At the time of its acquisition, former Protocom Chief Executive Officer Ben Barnes said that the acquisition would help ActivIdentity to “capitalise on Protocom’s recognised leadership in enterprise single sign-on solutions.”
ActivIdentity would also have been attracted to the Australian developer’s 600-strong worldwide customer base, which includes Centrelink. In the first half of 2005, Centrelink signed a $795,000 deal with Protocom for security system support and software. Protocom has been developing and delivering security systems for Centrelink since 2002.
Protocom was recognised as a leading global developer in single-sign on software by industry analysts IDC, and was identified as the fastest growing software development firm in Australia in the 2004 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards.
Jason Hart, who established Protocom in 1989, was appointed ActivIdentity’s new Chief Executive Officer in March, strengthening the company’s chances in the Australian Government procurement market.
Protocom was held up as an example of Centrelink’s willingness to work with SMEs, with former Centrelink CIO Jane Treadwell saying last year that “Protocom was a small company when we first started dealing with them in the security market arena… and that gave them an anchor point to become a significant international player.”
ActivIdentity’s identity management software is used in the US Department of Defense's Common Access Card Program, and the company counts Airbus SAS, British Telecommunications, and Hewlett-Packard among its clients.