Thursday, January 07, 2010
Google, OpenID and Chris MessinaToday's announcement that Chris Messina is joining Google is certainly good for Chris, probably good for Google - but what about the openID Foundation?
As of today, Google has 3 members of the Board of Directors, their corporate rep (Eric Sachs), and "community" reps Messina and Joseph Smarr. That's 3 out of the 19 board members.
I should note that Yahoo has two members, a corporate one (Raj Mata) and a community one (Allen Tom), as does Microsoft (Mike Jones and Dick Hardt).
I do think that any corporate member should be prohibited from also having employees hold community seats. Not that I have any indications that messrs. Messina, Smarr, Hardt or Tom would vote against their own principles, but people's principles are influenced by those of the culture in which the perform their daily employment tasks.
Over and above that consideration, though, should be the desire to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Maybe it's time the Foundation adopted a rule prohibiting such perceived conflict.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Microsoft strengthens Healthcare IdM PortfolioMicrosoft announced today the acquisition of Sentillion, Inc., an acknowledged leader in IdM for the Healthcare industry.
Earlier this year, the Gartner Group placed Sentillion in the "Visionaries" quadrant of their Magic Quandrant for User Provisioning, saying:
"Sentillion's singular focus is on meeting the identity management needs of healthcare entities. It remains in the Visionaries quadrant due to its continuing innovation in healthcare provisioning needs, continued customer growth, its increasing name recognition within healthcare, and its expanding partner network for resale and system integration."So why did Microsoft pick this particular company? Let's go back a couple of years to an interview I did with Sentillion CEO Rob Seliger. I tried to get him to admit an interest in branching out beyond healthcare. Nothing too exotic; perhaps an allied market like pharmaceuticals? But he wouldn’t be baited. He claimed Sentillion knows the market well – the company was spun-off from HP’s Medical Products Group nine years ago - and wants to leverage its expertise to do healthcare identity better than anyone else.
Some say they were doing just that. And now they have Redmond's deep pockets behind them - the sky's the limit. At a time when the US is about to undergo a healthcare revolution, Microsoft shows remarkably agility in getting out in front.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tell us what you really feel...In an Open Letter to Steve Ballmer, Craig Burton rants about the ridiculous policy Microsoft has for controlling updates and enhancements:
As we drove further down to path to understand why, we were told the following unbelievable conversation. (The following is not an exact quote, but close.)
And what was the momentous change Burton was asking about?
Unfortunately, Ballmer has never understood the importance of identity to the fabric of computing, so he's never going to permit what he would perceive as "feature creep" in the regular monthly updates. That's good news for Microsoft's competitors, and bad news for it's customers.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Geneva was betterAt it's Worldwide Partners Conference today, Microsoft announced the formal names for the products and services that had been going under the code name "Geneva":
Not nearly as catchy as "Vista", but that name has too much baggage. My preference would have been for Geneva Federation Services, Geneva Identity Foundation and GenevaCards. But, then, I don't make the big bucks!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Understanding GenevaKuppinger-Cole's Felix Gaehtgens is posting from Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) about the just announced platform called "Geneva". Read the article for sure, but Felix also thinks, as he wrote to me, "...most people really don't 'get it' (even a lot of the other analysts, press people and developers keep mixing up concepts). " So in an attempt to clear up the confusion, he'll be hosting a Webinar this Friday to explain it all.
It's planned so that most people will have daylight access (8:30 AM PST / 11:30 AM EST / 4:30 PM CET) - well, except for the Asia-Pacific region, but I'm sure it will be archived for them.
Geneva, the successor to Active Directory Federation Services, is without a doubt the most important Identity announcement Microsoft has ever made.
Unfortunately, it won't ship for at least a year.
If you can get your hands on an early release, do so. In the meantime, listen to Felix' webinar.
Other good readings on Geneva:
Sunday, August 10, 2008
"We have met the enemy..."OpenID's leading lights appear to be down on the technology, it seems. After last week's note about Dick Hardt's seemingly wistful look at OpenID ("...one wonders if the identity opportunities of OpenID have passed.") comes today's note from Scott Kveton (chair of the OpenID Foundation board). Reacting to a Randy Stross' New York Times piece highly critical of OpenID, Kveton says: "The OpenID community has identified two key issues it needs to address in 2008 that Randy mentioned in his column; security and usability."
If usability is bad (and the discussions on the OpenID email discussion lists support that notion), and security is a problem - what, exactly, does it have going for it?
Is it, perhaps, time for the leading lights to move on to a user-centered technology which does show promise of being an identity provider that is very usable and also quite secure? As Mr. McGuire might have said to Ben in The Graduate:
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you - just one word.
Or, as Eddie said to Saffie: Just put me through to Zermatt!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Meta-directories? Your father's ID store...Kuppinger Cole's Felix Gaehtgens posts today ("Meta-directories? I’d say quaint, but not quite dead.") on the demise of the metadirectory and the rise of virtualization. Felix should know, he's formerly the VP at Symlabs, a major Virtual Directory provider. He says:
"Microsoft has made an investment into that technology by rewriting MIIS pretty much from scratch. And Siemens to this date probably has the most comprehensive and advanced meta-directory implementation with its DirXmetahub component that is part of its Dir-X offering. Nevertheless, meta-directories are arguably still around mostly because Microsoft forces this technology onto its customers for what I think are political reasons: Several people working for Microsoft in the field have told me that is was in Microsoft’s interest to have Active Directory as a central component, and believe it against Microsoft’s interest to have a “filtered access”, such as a virtual directory in front of AD, abstracting information away from what should be the authoritative source. I never really understood this fear, but recently it seems that this brick wall may be slowly starting to crumble."Read the rest of his post for a synthesis of the argument Kim and I have been having, a synthesis that could be close to a solution.
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