OpenID Bound

I’m really happy to report that today I join the board of directors of the OpenID Foundation, representing Ping Identity.  This is a big decision for us! It reflects not only our strategic conclusion that OpenID is a critical part of the ecosystem that will evolve in this new decade, but also our tactical roadmap, driven by our customers and their use cases.

From a personal perspective, I am excited to be able to more closely work with all the smart folks that I’ve been rubbing shoulders with for years and years at IIW, and to literally have time allocated in my week to focus both on OpenID technology and community tasks.  I believe 2010 will see renewal and acceleration in both consumer identity and enterprise identity: having a small part in that growth will be fascinating.

Check out the Ping Identity Press Release here.

New Gig!

I am so tardy in writing this, tsk tsk…

I am now officially a Senior Technical Architect at Ping Identity.   All of you who know the Ping folks know that this will be an exhilarating ride.  I work for Patrick Harding in the Office of the CTO, and I can honestly say that this is one crazy learning curve!

Ping Identity

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ping Identity, they do Internet Identity Security – SSO and token transformation using SAML, WS-Trust, WS-Federation, and whatever else is necessary to get the job done.  They also do federated provisioning, which of course is one of my passions. It’s a fun time to join; the current interest (dare I say mania?) around cloud computing is starting to resolve into common-sense questions around potential risk to the Enterprise caused by mis-management of cloud resources – and at least in my mind, I see these questions changing the adoption patterns for technologies like SAML from a early adopters and massive organizations to everyone’s organizations.  I’m also very excited to see what the addition of consumer identity protocols like OpenID and oAuth will do to adoption patterns.

From the employment front, it has been fascinating to have insight into the inner workings of a product company – I have always been on the customer side before this, and the change in perception is fascinating.  I think it must change some of what I write here – but change is good, I think.   The biggest challenge will be finding the time to write —  keeping up with these Ping folks is hard work, they are aggressive and agile, and they are focused, holy cow are they focused.  Er, we are focused.  I am we!  Woohoo!!!

Ok.  Gotta run.  Life at Ping is a sprint, and I’m loving the adrenaline high :)

Massive Step forward

As of very recently, I have had the pleasure of working on contract for Ping Identity – and I have been dying for today, because I can finally talk about what the combination of PingConnect and Google can accomplish.

Traditionally, the ability to integrate a disparate set of cloud applications for a userbase was predicated on the non-trivial task of first creating a Start of Authority.   As a bare minimum, you had to (a) create an authoritative user repository and (b) enable some kind of service to perform an initial authentication and leverage the resulting session to facilitate federation to various parts of the cloud.  After that, you still had to figure out who could consume what you had worked so hard to be able to establish.

Now, you can make Google your Start of Authority, and instantly get to a laundry list of 60 applications with PingConnect.  All without a Windows domain, a WAM server, or a federation server, and best of all, by utilizing an existing repository that is likely to be maintained regularly.  AND, there is actually useful stuff to get to.   This may not sound like a big deal to the companies who all have Windows domains anyway, but I believe that this could push back the need for a growing small business to get a Windows domain quite significantly.  To me, the start of authority problem was a massive barrier to adoption for federation, and that barrier has been obliterated, not just on the cost front but on the effort front too.  They say it takes a village?  Well now we actually have one worth hanging out in.

Interesting times.