Sun Microsystems and global management consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture are expanding their existing relationship to cover joint development work around identity-enabling, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and composite applications.
The two companies announced Wednesday at Sun's product launch in New York that the first fruit of this collaboration will be the establishment of an Accenture Innovation Center for Sun Solutions.
The center will employ engineers from both companies to develop identity-enabled SOA offerings based on Sun's infrastructure software and its Solaris operating system. Joint teams of Sun and Accenture developers will focus on coming up with custom services for individual customers as well as work on repeatable offerings suitable for all of the vendors' users.
Over recent years, Sun has been placing greater stress on its identity management offerings.
On Monday, at the Digital ID World conference in Santa Clara, California, Sun unveiled its Java System Identity Manager 7.0 software suite, due to ship in the fourth quarter of this year, which will combine user provisioning with identity auditing. User provisioning is the process to set up, update and remove user access across systems and applications, while identity auditing analyzes IT systems for any identity control violations and alerts compliance officers of the violations.
Accenture in July committed to a three-year, US$450 million SOA initiative, which will include building a new research laboratory and developing SOA applications for specific industries. The Accenture Technology Lab for SOA Innovation will initially concentrate on meeting the SOA needs of health-care companies as regards an electronic prescription project.
Sun and Accenture plan to work together on enabling technologies and offerings for particular markets. They're developing on how best to provide secure access to a company's IT system for a wide range of users including a firm's employees, its partners and customers. The two vendors will also collaborate on ways to simplify and speed the delivery of SOA-focused secure, composite applications built on Sun technologies to users.
Sun and Accenture have also created an executive team to look at what other potential areas the two companies might work together on in future.