Interview with cidaas-CEO – Sadrick Widmann – on the merger of iWelcome and OneGini to OneWelcome
1. OneGini and iWelcome merge to form OneWelcome – what does that say about the Identity & Access Management industry?
The merger of OneGini and iWelcome shows that there is a lot of movement in the Identity & Access Management market. Identity & Access Management is the key to digitalisation and to the best customer experience in digital services. OneGini and iWelcome have both focused on Customer Identity & Access Management (CIAM) – one of the fastest-growing areas in the market.
2. What will be the greatest challenge for OneWelcome?
From my point of view, the greatest challenge will be the merging, especially the technical merging of the two platforms. You have to remember that these are not complementary products, but competitors, so there is no perfect extension of a platform or interaction, but a substitution. This is always difficult. The press release from both companies makes it look easy, mobile authentication and identity management by OneGini on the one side and consent management and B2B delegation by iWelcome on the other side. But anyone who is familiar with software architecture and development knows it is not that simple. Both platforms are structured differently, the different functions have been built for the respective platform and the interaction there, there are no Lego blocks that I can simply put together again. It is more of a Frankenstein’s monster where I take arms and legs from one platform and the middle of the body from the other platform. I, therefore, assume that there will inevitably be a partial or possibly complete redevelopment of the platform or many of the functions. This will be expensive and time-consuming. For OneWelcome, the subsequent challenge might be whether they can still find enough resources to keep up with the times and add new functions with the effort involved in the new development. More importantly, all activities have to be combined on the timeline.
But the organisational merger will also bring some obstacles that now have to be overcome – from different cooperation models in both companies to the distribution of roles in the team. It remains exciting.
3. What impact will the merger of the companies have on customers?
Possible impacts are derived from the challenges. There will not be a single platform that customers can use quickly. Currently, OneGini customers use one platform and iWelcome customers the other. In the short term, it will be important that both platforms continue to be operated as before and, in particular, are also partly further developed or at least maintained in order to enable safe and reasonably stable operation. This ties up resources and does not make the consolidation into one platform any easier. For customers, it is to be hoped that they can continue to use both platforms in this way, at least in the short term, but that remains to be seen. In the long term, it will become inevitably necessary for customers to migrate individual functions or even to a completely new platform – I don’t think, and this is also OneWelcome’s statement, that both platforms will be developed synchronously. Whether all functions will continue to be offered in the same way as before will not be possible in my opinion. As a result there will be costs to customers.
In summary, I see the following question marks among customers:
- Will the respective platform be available to me as a customer in a stable and secure manner, at least in the short term, in the coming months?
- Will new functions still are competitive in the medium term, i.e. quickly and of high quality, developed and usable, especially on the previous platform? (After all, you want to use a new feature in half a year and not start a large migration project without added value).
- Will my use cases still be mappable via the OneWelcome platform in the long term?
All 3 questions can only be answered over time, but for customers this is an uncertainty, on an important topic like Customer Identity & Access Management. It is even worse for new customers, they need to ask: on which platform do I start now, neither of them will continue to be available in the medium term.
4. What about Okta and Auth0? The two US companies just merged in May. Aren’t there similar challenges and implications?
Yes, there are similar challenges here too. The question always arises why two platforms that offer the same thing should merge. With Okta and Auth0, I see at least a stronger separation between EIAM (Enterprise Identity & Access Management) and CIAM. So far, Auth0 has relied almost exclusively on CIAM. But Okta also has many customers in the CIAM environment, will there now be a mandatory migration to the Auth0 platform for them? And how do you deal with the trend of Cloud Identity & Access Management, i.e. the unification of both approaches on one platform? So there are many challenges here as well – and probably a big impact on customers and the development of the platform(s).
5. Finally, the most important thing – how does this development on the market affect cidaas?
We at cidaas see this as a very positive development. On the one hand, the market development confirms that we are on the right track with cidaas and are in a strong growing market. On the other hand, it shows the need for a leading European Cloud Identity & Access Management, where we are strong in the race with cidaas. We also see ourselves clearly ahead of OneWelcome.
In view of the competition, with cidaas we can offer a modern Cloud Identity & Access Management solution from Europe (Germany) that is Feature Complete. In the short and medium-term, we don’t have to deal with the topic of merging different systems for the same functions. Instead, we can focus on new innovative features that take our customers forward. With cidaas we offer our customers security and reliability paired with perfect user comfort. Therefore, I am happy to offer all existing iWelcome and OneGini customers an open and non-binding discussion on how you can get started with cidaas in the future.