Monday, December 18, 2006


Federated Identity: A Call to Action

The discussions on federated identity have either occured in the blogosphere by discussing relatively uninteresting consumer-oriented scenarios or have occured in secrecy by folks at the Liberty Alliance. What if I were to ask the thought leaders on identity to make their discussions more public?

The identity story has not yet reached the enterprise. What if I were to offer up my employer's auditorium to host an identity users group to talk about how to apply federated protocols such as SAML, WS-Federation, usage of OpenID and Cardspace and other important topics within an enterprise context, could I get the likes of Kim Cameron, Pat Patterson, Conor Cahill, Shekhar Jha, Paul Madsen and Doc Searls to come and speak?

Within our neighborhood exists several prominent Fortune enterprises including Cigna, Aetna, Travelers, UTC, ING, United Healthcare, Stanley Works, Phoenix, Mass Mutual, and Northeast Utilities. If folks were willing to drive 50 or so miles to attend then the sphere could include GE Capital, Pfizer, Citigroup, Praxair, UPS and UBS. Of course, if you had such an audience, you couldn't get away with thinly-veiled chock-a-block eye candy sales presentations that lack substance but would have to talk deeper than what typically occurs in the blogosphere.

Even industry analyst firms such as Gartner and The 451 Group are close by. Even magazine folks such as ComputerWorld are in the neighborhood. Why do we have to restrict the message to solely those who desire to pay for ridiciously expensive conference fees when we could do this open source. If I provide the facilities, another entity provides soda, while another provides food then the constraints of adopting federated approaches may be removed which benefits all of us.

For those that attend but haven't contributed, maybe we could ask them to bring a new unwrapped toy we could donate to charity? Do you guys have any interest in working on such an event or am I expecting too much? If so, please let me know why this won't work...

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