“We just got our employee identity and access management (IAM) running smoothly," you say.  Now you may be wondering, “should I be focusing on customer identity?”  If you want to engage with your customers over digital channels, then yes, you do have to focus on customer identity.

Fortunately, the analysts at KuppingerCole, a global research firm specializing in security and data protection, conducted a great deal of research on the Consumer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) market, which they summarized in a new report. And they've named Salesforce Identity an Overall Leader.

Salesforce Identity provides CIAM services to manage customer identities, helping businesses to connect to all of their customers, apps, and products. Salesforce was also named Market Leader and Product Leader, so we've got three reasons to be excited!

In the KuppingerCole ratings, Salesforce Identity has emerged from a crowded Challenger segment, as shown below:


The report cites several reasons why Salesforce Identity is an Overall Leader, including:

  • Very large customer base with many large-scale deployments

  • Excellent support for most standards (SAML, OAuth, OpenID Connect, SCIM, FIDO U2F)

  • Very good built-in identity and and rich marketing analytics

  • Continues to add  features, including device identity for the Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Cloud pedigree

  • Strong market position

  • Strong positives in integration and usability of product

  • Strong positives in financial strength of company and ecosystem

Overall Leader combines high ratings for product leadership, innovation leadership, and market leadership.

“Know Your Customer" Broadens IAM to CIAM

You put IAM in place so you can know whom to trust. IAM authenticates, authorizes, and stores information about your employees and partners. It lets them use all your apps with a single sign-on and identity so they don't have to enter multiple usernames and passwords. Single sign-on improves the employee experience.

Then a few million customers arrive at your site, ready to engage with you. Now what?

You still need to know whom to trust, so you have to authenticate customers and authorize them to use your apps. In the drive to know your customer as well as possible, you also need to store different kinds of information than what you store about your employees and partners. To make things easy for customers, you need to allow them to self-register and sign on with social logins and other authentication methods. Then you need to manage millions of identities and tens of millions of interactions per day. And on top of that, how do we connect the Internet of Things (IoT) to the customer?

That's a tall order for your IAM system.

That's where CIAM comes in. CIAM broadens IAM by improving the customer experience and giving you a better view of customers as you engage with them across multiple channels. It's a natural fit for a customer success platform like Salesforce, and that's a big part of the reason Salesforce Identity has gotten the nod as an Overall Leader in the field.

Next Steps

Are you still learning about CIAM? Have you started pulling together the checklist of CIAM features for your organization?

The KuppingerCole report includes more details about the differences between IAM and CIAM and the differentiators in the crowded field of CIAM products. Among the features you'll want in a CIAM platform are technologies for complying with privacy regulations, setting authentication assurance levels, and analyzing information to prevent fraud and improve marketing.

If you're already a Salesforce customer, you'll find Salesforce Identity and CIAM available to you in both Salesforce Lightning Experience as well as Classic, and in Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer Editions.

Even if you're not yet a Salesforce customer, you can still use Salesforce Identity to improve the experience and security of the apps you offer to your employees, partners, and customers .

We invite you to download the KuppingerCole report from our website and study the space. You can also get the report Leadership Compass – CIAM Platforms for an overview of the current CIAM landscape.