HP has stopped selling identity management products to new customers and is retrenching to its existing customer base. While it is not moving these products to the 'end of life' shelf yet, and is promising to continue to support existing users, this news will come as a major blow to its customer base and partners.
This development shows that the identity management market is a difficult one in which to make a profit. HP's offering was one of the most visionary on the market, and was particularly strong in the provisioning and user management aspects. It was also a strategic component in HP's Adaptive Enterprise vision, in handling the 'user' component of the environment.
While HP will no doubt continue to be active in identity management as a consulting service, the future for its product customers would appear to be one of deciding when to migrate to an alternative platform.
Commercially, the main beneficiaries are going to be CA, Sun and IBM. In retrospect, HP's main weakness in identity management was in the lack of major partners. HP's interest in identity management started with its acquisition of Baltimore Technology, which was a meteoric star of the dot com era that had been built on inflated hopes for PKI technology, and this sad story effectively signals the end of the Baltimore story.