Saturday, January 06, 2007


Liberty Alliance, Enterprises and Membership

Conor Cahill posted some interesting thoughts on Liberty Alliance and Membership that I felt needed some analysis...

Let's take some key phrases:Interoperability within federated identity products is interesting and of value. If I join, how quickly can I get the conversation to change to interoperability of products that are in the identity space and support SAML to interoperating with products in the BPM, ECM, ESB, ERP and CRM space? I gotta think that many of the members are struggling with this within their own shops?

Your list is actually pretty good. If I consider your first statement it does speak to the lack of skillset in many large enterprises and their ability to play within a larger community. Most technical folks make their careers out of being suck ups to non-technical management. Participating in a community simply requires a skillset that does exist but isn't either traditionally recognized in their staff and/or not respected by the upper ranks.

In terms of your second bullet, I would say that $$$ are limited. Rather I would say that the masses of large enterprises still don't understand the value of paying money to participate and what return it brings. In my particular situation, I am currently participating in OpenID, so obviously time isn't the issue. The issue is that both ways can provide the same return yet one is a lot cheaper than another.

As far as your last bullet, there is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing that if others are participating, they don't need to. For example, if folks within my industry vertical trust me to do the right thing then so be it. Likewise, I know that if folks from say Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse or Morgan Stanley are participating, I really don't need to worry about as my peers over their are freakin brilliant.

I think you have convinced me. I will get started on our internal process of joining the Liberty Alliance with the caveat that I need to figure out how to get a full refund. The value proposition to me is exactly what you said and that is to get stuff into real products that I can purchase. If I can purchase ONE product that deeply supports both SAML and XACML within the next six months and the Liberty Alliance helped me realize my goals, I am all in...

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