Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) have taken their long-term business partnership one step further with a new identity and access-management solution that provides end-to-end identity management, multifactor authentication techniques and single sign-on.

The Accenture Smart Identity Solution is made of four components jointly developed by the two companies. All will still be available separately, but together they will allow enterprises to better control access to data, ERP (define) and other services.

"The problem that's out there today is that security or trying to secure physical assets is getting more and more complex," Rob Dyson, a senior executive in the security practice division of Accenture, told "At the same time there is more and more need to secure these assets because of demands by consumers, regulators and other companies. It's created this need for a much better security model."

Pat Sullivan, Sun Microsystems global account director for Accenture, said work on this solution began 18 months ago and was meant to be usable with existing customer systems and act as a unifying approach, because most ERP apps are siloed, unconnected to each other.

"Think about all the different apps that you use on a given day. Now say you leave the company. If a company has to cut off your access to those apps, they have to go through multiple processes with each application," he said. "We've become very concerned about how when different departments need to talk to each other and they can't."

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