Identity was the talk of the RSA Conference

* Vendors at RSA Conference ride the identity management bandwagon

I spent last week in San Francisco at the RSA Conference, the first one I've attended. It used to be called the RSA Security Conference and had its genesis as a gathering of developers for the company's well-known security products. I'd heard, though, that over the past couple of years identity was becoming almost as important as security to the attendees and exhibitors at the annual event.

And there certainly were plenty of attendees, exhibitors and press. I'd gotten used to having the pressroom to myself, or to share with one or two others at identity gatherings. This time there were legions of folks writing not only for tech publications but mainstream general news operations as well. In many ways, it reminded me of the early NetWorld or Interop shows - sort of a mini-Comdex, or mini-PC Expo, right down to the obligatory keynote address by Bill Gates.

<The keynote was a real yawner, by the way. Not even a live demo to crash - maybe Bill can learn from his past mistakes!>

Just about every vendor sought for a way to tie its product to identity - either directly or through "regulatory compliance" - the real buzz phrase this year. One company even told me, with what passed for a straight face, that its product had an identity management "side" because you had to log on to the management console.

Still, I did manage to catch up with many of the recurring cast of characters from this newsletter, and add a few new ones. In the next few issues, I'll bring you up to date with their doings. Significantly, I think, those that could be called "pure play" identity vendors weren't geared up to announce new products or services at the RSA Conference and instead (from what I was told) will showcase products at Digital ID World in May, or at Catalyst in July. Companies best known as security vendors but with strong identity presence did announce new products and services at the RSA Conference.

There was a connecting thread, a theme if you will, in many of my discussions with these vendors that first surfaced at Catalyst last July and then all but disappeared until now. We'll explore that theme in the next issue then get on to each of the vendors and their part in that theme.

Learn more about this topic

Breaking RSA Conference news

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.