Virtualization heavyweight VMware today announced the launch of an identity management service called Identity Manager. The tool will give big companies a way to provide employees with easy access to approved applications.

The rollout comes five years after VMware acquired identity management startup TriCipher.

VMware engineers have been working on the TriCipher technology all along, and now it’s been integrated into Identity Manager, Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s executive vice president and general manager of end-user computing, said at a press event in San Francisco today.

VMware has previously offered identity management as part of its Horizon suite of software, but it’s been enhanced with mobility management for Identity Manager, a VMware spokesman told VentureBeat.

The release of Identity Manager, available as a cloud service and on-premises software, should help VMware compete more directly with CA, Microsoft, and Oracle.

From a bigger vantage point, VMware’s doubling down in the market helps it further diversify from server virtualization, where the company has built its reputation for┬áthe past 15 years.

Identity Manager, which includes single sign-on and an HTML5 portal admins can use to provide apps for employees, will be sold as part of mobile device management software AirWatch, which VMware acquired last year.

“It’s tightly integrated with security,” Poonen said of Identity Manager during a panel discussion. “That becomes our competitive advantage.”

VMware also today announced 15 new partners for its App Configuration for Enterprise program and support for AT&T’s Work Platform through AirWatch.