Heady days at EIC in Munich

What a week… Along with lots of other people in the identosphere, I had a great opportunity to attend the Kuppinger Cole European Identity Conference in Munich all last week. Here are some stories, impressions, and links.

This was third in an annual series, but I was a newbie. I’d assumed that “IAM and GRC” was the traditional focus here and that the consumer side of things was the outlier. But Bavo DeRidder, a tireless commenter during the event and an old EIC hand, noted that the greater emphasis on GRC this time around lent a serious business atmosphere to the proceedings. The attendance seemed quite healthy — despite the down economy — so perhaps GRC was the turn-on for lots of the delegates?

Because of the business-y feeling, I was surprised and delighted to see all the tweeting going on. Tim Cole provided witty running commentary during the talks, and then found his emcee duties greatly eased by reading all the relevant tweets out loud after each talk. :-)

Before the conference started, quite a few folks came to the Munich OpenSSO Community Day. Lots of community members shared their activities, questions, and use cases; slide decks and related materials are being posted on the OpenSSO wiki. (The cherry on top, later in the week, was a “best innovation” award won by the OpenSSO Fedlet. Whoo-hoo!)

Also before the conference started, a handful of my Sun colleagues (you know who you are) put in some quality beer-drinking practice time. Oh, my goodness. I know I’m a lightweight (figuratively speaking) when it comes to alcohol, but their performance was impressive. Everyone had slowed down by the time we got to the famous Hofbräuhaus on the third night, but even so, those liter-sized beer mugs made me feel like a little kid at the grownups’ table. (I mostly had wasser mit gas.)


Keynotes were sprinkled throughout the conference, giving a good balance between broader and more focused topics. I gave a keynote on the first day. Ever wondered what it’s like to give a talk in an IMAX theater? Intimidating, that’s what. My colleague Ludo Poitou (pictured on the left above) took some great photos during the week, and somehow managed to fit my huge slide projection, huge podium self, and tiny (only by comparison) real self into this one.

My talk was on The Care and Feeding of Online Relationships — a subject I’ve spoken on before, but I feel like my understanding has come much further since my first explorations on the topic a year ago. This time I presented what I hoped was a tightly argued case for the “permissioned data sharing” problem space, along with — for the first time on a public stage — a brief case for the ProtectServe/relationship manager paradigm as the solution space, and even as suggestive of what Enterprise 2.0 entitlement management might look like. I’ve posted the slides, and video is available to attendees (log in to see video links in the agenda). [UPDATE: They’ve made the talk available on YouTube; see the comments below for more info.] I had fun doing a video interview with Felix Gaehtgens about my talk right afterwards; anyone can view that. Next step for this work: discussing use cases at IIW8, a mere handful of days from now.

One last quick story: An important theme of my talk was the way in which OAuth helps to meet some of the requirements I’ve laid out for permissioned sharing. So it was a real delight to learn that OAuth won one of the Kuppinger Cole EIC awards this year for “best new/improved standard”. I knew it was up for an award ahead of time, and through coordination with Chris Messina and Eran Hammer-Lahav on behalf of the community, I agreed to go up and accept/retrieve the physical artifacts associated with this honor. Chris has written up the story here. (Come on down to IIW8 to see the little statuette and certificate in the “flesh”.) Sincere congrats to the entire OAuth community!

And one last photo: I saw this near one of the entrances to the Rosenheimer Platz bahn station. What does it all mean?


(Thanks to all the folks at Kuppinger Cole + Partner for putting on one heck of a show. Now to get on with the recovery process…)