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Meet our Summer 2022 Featured Community Knowledge Partner, Sebastijan Sef!

by Micro Focus Employee in Welcome

Tell us about yourself and your experience.
 Although I started playing with computers quite early (in 80s in elementary school - which by the way was not that common at that time, since I am coming from former communist country), I was not planning to have my career in IT but rather in engineering. At that time computers were just my hobby and nothing more, although I really liked that they (computers) just did whatever I told them to do.

During my university study for engineering I got an offer from a local IT company to start working for them. It looked like a challenge and first I took that job just to have additional income during my study. But I was really excited working there so slowly I dedicated more and more time to the job and less to my university study, which of course slowly led to dropping out of engineering study. Looking back 25 years I must say that I do not regret this decision. Not because I think university study is not needed (it is absolutely needed and anybody still in school, please finish what you have started!), but because it gave me opportunity to do for my day job something that I really loved.

At that company I started working with Novell products, first of course with NetWare. It was an interesting time when we were trying to automate desktop management using batch files and network drivers. We were actually quite successful but then Windows came into business and we needed additional tools. Thankfully, Novell provided NAL (Novell Application Launcher) and later ZENworks, which saved a lot of time.

In 2004 I decided it was time to take on some additional responsibility, so I founded my own consulting company together with a colleague. The company was a Novell partner from the beginning and at that time focused primarily on SLES, NetWare/OES services, and ZENworks. A few years later we focused more on Access and Identity Management.

Nowadays I work mostly as an Access and Identity Management consultant, not only for our own customers but also as a subcontractor for other Micro Focus partners in Europe. And of course, as a side job, I still need to run my own company Grin

How long have you used Micro Focus products? What are the primary products you use and why?
It is more than a quarter of a century when I first started working with NetWare. But in last 10-15 years my focus is primarily on Access Manager and Identity Manager and related products (eDirectory, Advanced authentication, SSPR, Secure API Manager, ...). 

Regarding "why", well, this answer has multiple parts.

First, there is a question why products in the IAM space. 10-15 years ago more and more customers started moving their applications to web, which showed demand for solutions that would allow to securely access those apps from internet, together with SSO and MFA. And Access Manager solved those problems perfectly.

Of course, more and more applications meant more and more demand for some automated way of managing the user lifecycle, and Identity Manager stepped in.

Nowadays companies are moving to the cloud, so there is demand for IAM solutions to connect and manage all those cloud apps.

Second part of the answer to this question might be, "Why Micro Focus?" In all those years we had customers who did not want to bring a new vendor into their IT. So, we also worked with other vendors, for example Microsoft Forefront family (Identity Manager and Unified Access Gateway), IBM Tivoli family (Identity and Access Manager), and even Oracle Identity Management. But Micro Focus products were superior most of the time. They either did a better job or the same could be done with much less complexity. And, of course, for fraction of the price. 

Last but not least, why I personally stick with those products? Well, because I really like the outcomes of IAM projects when using Micro Focus products. If you configure those products properly, at the end they work like magic. And such project's end results really makes me happy Blush

How long have you been a Micro Focus Community Knowledge Partner? Why did you first decide to join the program?
I was invited to the program a bit more than a year ago. I felt honored so it was not a question should I join or not.

How do you help the Community as a Knowledge Partner (i.e., what forums do you help answer questions in, do you submit tips, etc.)?
I spend most of the time in the Access Manager area, which is my main area of expertise. I try to help fellow community members as much as I can, either by providing solutions or at least trying to point them in the right direction. I wish I would be able to do more (I do believe that sharing knowledge is important and in the long run keeping knowledge to yourself will not give you any competitive advantage), but sometimes it is hard to find time while working as a consultant and also running my own company.

Are there any recent projects you have worked on that you would like to mention?
Currently, I am working with some other Micro Focus partner in a very interesting project, where Access Management and Identity Management are closely connected. Not where IDM just provides user store information for Access Manager (like user information, roles, access rights and similar), but also where Access Manager provides real time information of user's location to Identity Manager. The end result is a dynamic environment where the user's roles in connected cloud applications are on-the-fly adjusted based on the user's current location. Maybe when the project is finished and if we get permission from customer, this can be presented in one of Micro Focus events.

What else can you tell us about yourself and your activities outside the Community?
Unfortunately, there is not much time left after my day job. So whatever time is left I try to dedicate it to my family, my wife, two kids and of course a dog. But maybe in the near future I might find more free time that would give me the possibility to do other stuff I like, maybe first to finish my pilot license training. Who knows...


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