Venues for enterprise identity practitioners

* Creating venues for those involved in planning and implementing enterprise identity systems and architectures

Last week's Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) was, as always, the hotbed of user-centric identity, privacy protection, open source identity and social networking data exchange. As the meeting's charter reads: "The heart of the workshop is a practical idealism in working towards the shared vision of a decentralized, user-oriented identity layer for the Internet." And, afterall, this is where the OpenID Foundation was born. So I was intrigued to see a session called "Enterprise Identity Roadmap for enterprise identity architects: a discussion."

Last week's Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) was, as always, the hotbed of user-centric identity, privacy protection, open source identity and social networking data exchange. As the meeting's charter reads: "The heart of the workshop is a practical idealism in working towards the shared vision of a decentralized, user-oriented identity layer for the Internet." And, after all, this is where the OpenID Foundation was born. So I was intrigued to see a session called "Enterprise Identity Roadmap for enterprise identity architects: a discussion."

When I got to the session, I discovered it had been called by Boeing’s Marty Schleiff (he’s officially an “Associate Technical Fellow,” which I think means “paid thinker”), someone I’d been coming across for years at Identity conferences – Catalyst, Digital ID World (DIDW), etc. So why IIW?

In a nutshell, precisely because it wasn’t Catalyst or DIDW. Those structured conferences, dominated as they are by slideware presented by a speaker on a stage don’t lend themselves to free-form discussion. Certainly there are “Birds of a Feather” sessions – usually after hours in inconvenient locations. There are also informal get-togethers (usually involving libations) that go into the wee hours while knotty issues are discussed. But there doesn’t seem to be a venue for those involved in planning and implementing enterprise identity systems and architectures to meet in a vendor-neutral environment to swap stories, sound warnings and point out new initiatives. Marty wants to change that.

There were a dozen or so folks at his session (and, I did note, that it had a much higher average age than most of the other sessions at the conference), but only a few were actively involved in enterprise identity while a few more (me included) were former enterprise identity folks now doing something else. Vendor representatives from HP, Microsoft, and Novell (mostly coders rather than marketing people) were encouraged to get their IT people to show up next time (November 10-12, 2008). Beyond that, Marty wanted everyone to promote the next session to the “IT insiders” they knew. So I am.

Besides the next conference, though, there’s another venue for Enterprise Identity practitioners to participate. Identity Commons, the parent organization for IIW also is home to the Enterprise Positioning work group formed to confront The Enterprise Challenge that it outlines as follows: 

"THE ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE

"Enterprises need a holistic identity management strategy, process and tool, that effectively interfaces identity across a diverse set of communities and domains:

* Allow the user be reliably identified

- User can use an identity they already have created anywhere

- Use this to provide a personalized service to a broader audience

* High barrier of entry for certain low sensitivity applications

* Time and cost for integrating M&A"

To get involved with this working group, simply go to their Web page and sign up for the mailing list. Then plan to show up in Mountain View, Calif. (at the Computer History Museum) in November. See you there.

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