From the CTO’s Desk: Single Sign-on Is Here

5 Minute Read

Send Word Now is pleased to announce a new series of blog posts, “From the CTO’s Desk,” written by our very own Chief Technology Officer, Alex Tsepetis. Alex joined our team in 2010 and has been working in mission-critical technology environments for over 15 years. His experiences span various industry verticals including financial services, travel, and interactive marketing, and he has a keen understanding of large scale data management and distributed systems.

As we release new product features, Alex will use this series to share his insights on new technological advancements in the industry and to highlight the innovative ways in which Send Word Now continues to make every message count.

For years, Single Sign-On had been the white whale of Enterprise IT organizations. IT leaders, lead by the promise of reduced support calls, improved efficiency, and increased security, have tirelessly pursued the goal of having one set of credentials to access disparate resources throughout the enterprise. Over time, many technologies have evolved to bring the promise of Single Sign-On to reality.

However, as these authentication technologies evolved to meet the needs of the enterprise, technology solutions have also changed. The modern enterprise is not only dependent upon systems and services managed by internal resources. Most organizations today are also dealing with highly distributed computing platforms, which are managed both internally and by third party providers. Software-as-a Service (SaaS) delivery models continue to trump premise-based installations as the modus operandi for improving time-to-market and reducing TCO. As the modern (read: distributed) enterprise has evolved, the technologies that provide Single Sign-On functionality have evolved with it.

Enter the notion of Federated Identity. Federation is the concept by which one organization and/or service trusts another to authenticate a potential user and verify his or her identity. Once authenticated, the user receives a token granting him access to specific resources. Using this concept, disparate and distributed systems no longer need to have access to a centralized user repository, but can delegate authentication to one-another. Federated Identity is the core design principal that drives modern day Single Sign-On protocols like SAML 2.0, WS-Federation, and OpenID, among others. As a leading provider in emergency notification solutions, Send Word Now is committed to staying at the forefront of technological innovation. As such, we are proud to announce that we have developed a Single Sign-On framework that allows us to integrate with most widely adopted SSO frameworks, including SAML 2.0 and OpenID. We are excited to be the first top tier ENS provider to offer this new capability to our valued customers!