HID Global announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Codebench, a developer of software for access control and identity management solutions. While Codebench serves both the government and commercial markets, the company is primarily known for its solutions which help organizations and government agencies comply with federal access control and identity management guidelines such as Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) and the Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS-201).
The combination of the companies’ validation software and solutions for government credentials will enable HID to offer end-to-end solutions to its customers in the federal government sector and also bolster its growth potential in emerging markets such as commercial identity verification (CIV). Additionally, Codebench’s product portfolio will enhance HID’s capability to offer Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC).
According to John Fenske, vice president of product marketing for HID Global, while both companies have a common customer base, they had been approaching the market differently – HID from the physical card reader perspective and Codebench from the software angle. "When you put the two products from the companies together, it’s really about leveraging best-in-class products from both companies and creating a full, FIPS-complaint solution for those customers," he said.
Geri Castaldo, CEO of Codebench who will now serve as vice president of federal identity for HID Global’s Identity Access Management (IAM) business, said that HID gives Codebench access to a larger organization with the ability to increase its market penetration much more quickly than would have otherwise been possible. "We live and breathe HSPD-12, FIPS-201, the TWIC program and all of these things you really need to stay on top of to make sure your end-user customers are complying appropriately with the various directives that the federal government puts out," she said.
Among some of the Codebench’s customers in the federal government include the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the State Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Defense. However, Castaldo was quick to point out that many organizations in the private sector have begun to adopt access policies that mirror personal identification verification (PIV) guidelines in the government and that this acquisition will also enable HID to meet the needs of those customers.
Fenske added that the acquisition will strengthen HID’s position in the federal access and identity market considerably. "We had certainly been moving down the road to serve our customers, but as we endeavored to meet the needs of those customers, we discovered some gaps in our offerings that were closed really by the Codebench capabilities in the area of software integration," he said.
According to Castaldo, Codebench’s software is integrated with 28 different physical access control systems (PACS) and the company also has software for handheld devices that will be "immediately available" for HID to begin leveraging.
"The big difference is the integration capability that Codebench brings to us and when we talk about the integration, we mean integration to physical access control systems that those federal customers already have in place," Fenske explained.
Castaldo said that while HID has been very involved in the market from a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) aspect, Codebench brings the PACS side to the table, which will result in the creation of a "best-of-breed" solution for the industry.
"Today, the synergies are common customers and a common solution that is the PIV solution. As that solution begins to be adopted in the commercial space, I think that’s when the synergies will really start to take off in terms of the large channel that HID has and the scale that we have and the install base that we have in being able to leverage the Codebench capabilities for software integration," Fenske said.