Revised opinion of Gartner ID Summit

* Gartner ID Summit is worth a look

I went to the second annual Gartner ID Summit in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. You may remember that I knocked the announcement of the first ID Summit last year (see "Gartner launches identity management event," ) and had little good to say about it after the fact (see "Identity experts don't think much of Gartner's identity summit,") but now that I've been there I do think it has a role to fill.

I went to the second annual Gartner ID Summit in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. You may remember that I knocked the announcement of the first ID Summit last year (see "Gartner launches identity management event,") and had little good to say about it after the fact (see "Identity experts don’t think much of Gartner’s identity summit,") but now that I’ve been there I do think it has a role to fill.

It isn’t a conference that you, the identity management expert, should go to – at least not alone. This is really geared more to the line-of-business (LOB) manager who needs to get a handle on this “identity stuff.” It could also be useful for some IT staffers who need to find ways to engage the LOB folks in identity discussions. Some of the speakers, while not telling me anything I didn’t already know, were quite entertaining. Neil MacDonald, vice president and a Gartner fellow, for example, managed to imply that all provisioning vendors were at best con-men and at worst crooks and thieves (platinum sponsors IBM, Novell, Sun, Sentillion and Oracle, as well as silver sponsors Courion, BMC, Avatier, and Fischer might want to take note of that!).

For me, the best part of the conference was the opportunity to catch up with folks I hadn’t seen in a while, such as the merry trio from Securent, CEO Rajiv Gupta, VP of business development Ranjeet Vidwans and marketing director Howard Ting, who had huge grins all week as their acquisition by Cisco was finalized. Also in the “happy to be acquired” mood were the somewhat more staid folks from Vaau (pronounced VY-you, but you don’t need to know that anymore) as Sun announced (just as the show opened) it would acquire the role management company.

I also got to sit down with a couple of vendors I hadn’t previously spoken to, and they are ones you should be aware of: Lieberman Software, which offers a number of identity-centric utilities for Windows networks, and Symark, which concentrates more on the Unix/Linux market with its identity tools. I’ll be speaking further about them in the not too distant future. For now, check out their offerings at their respective Web sites. And do think about sending your business manager types to the next Gartner ID Summit.

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