Alliance Also Introduces 22 New Members, Bringing Total Membership to 150
Liberty Alliance Project – The Liberty Alliance Project, a business and technology consortium formed to develop open specifications for federated network identity, today reported that a majority of founder- and sponsor-level members polled said they plan to implement the Liberty version 1.1 specifications within the year. The Liberty Alliance also today announced 22 new members, bringing the total Alliance membership base to 150 organizations.
In a recent internal poll of Alliance founder and sponsor members, more than 70 percent of all respondents planning to implement the specifications, regardless of the timeframe, said they expect to incorporate the specifications into products and/or services for their customers. Approximately 52 percent also placed high priority on using the specifications to benefit their employees. And 59 percent of respondents said they plan to implement the version 1.1 specifications within the next 12 months or have already implemented them.
“Last year was very productive for the Alliance – we began our work in January 2002, launched the version 1.0 specifications in July, issued version 1.1 for public review in November and are moving forward toward releasing a draft of version 2.0 within the first half of this year,” said Michael Barrett, president of the Liberty Alliance Management Board. “Now we are seeing additional progress on the implementation front. Of course the technology vendors are the first-movers, but we’re also beginning to hear more from customer-facing organizations planning to use Liberty-enabled products and services.”
Adoption Plans Span Industries
General Motors is currently evaluating ways in which the Liberty specifications could streamline internal processes and improve employee relations. For example, GM is currently testing use of the Liberty specifications within its employee intranet, called MySocrates. MySocrates provides access to many of the outsourced HR services that GM employees receive, such as health benefits and 401K plans.
“While MySocrates offers central access to these services, our employees have to log-in and authenticate themselves every time they access each service,” explained Rich Taggart, director of enterprise architecture for GM’s global technology division. “We want to make access more seamless and efficient to our employees, but you can imagine that some may not want to share the same profile and password with both their 401K provider and their healthcare provider. Federation makes this employee control possible. We’re also testing how Liberty can be used within specific business-to-business web applications, and are requesting Liberty support in vendor proposals for some of these projects.”
Niteo Partners (www.niteo.com), a strategic consulting subsidiary of NEC, is working with the largest U.S. cash management banks and the Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) (www.fstc.org), to construct a multi-bank services network for securely exchanging customer account, transaction, and credential data via a set of interoperable web services. The Liberty specifications and the SAML standard from OASIS will be included as key components of the overall security framework for this bank-to-bank network. In addition, NEC and Niteo have recently launched a project with The Bond Market Association (TBMA) (www.bondmarkets.com) to lead the development of an industry accessible data portal for servicing fixed income securities dealing, trading and settlement. This data portal, as proposed, will also support the Liberty specifications.
“Both the FSTC and TBMA projects are about improving connectivity in financial systems and establishing common standards for business interactions using innovative, open technologies” said Michael Versace, National Director of Financial Services for Niteo Partners, an NEC Company. “Each of these initiatives will need to produce technical platforms and business rules that enable federated and secure identity-based transactions.”
Also in the financial services space, Communicator Inc., a provider of secure electronic communication services to Fortune 1000 companies, has said it will complete and deliver its Liberty-enabled Hub ID product line by the end of this month. Communicator Hub ID™ is a hosted service for digital identity management that allows enterprises to securely extend and manage their corporate identities (employees, customers, partners, suppliers) beyond the enterprise.
Communicator Hub ID has been successfully managing over 300,000 identities with eight of the largest financial institutions since 1999. Because Hub ID is a managed service on a hosted infrastructure, all clients of that service will in turn be able to leverage the Liberty Alliance standard, and offer trusted single sign-on services to their mutual customers.
“Responding to the marketplace demands for closer and more secure interaction within and across business boudries, enterprises are connecting in secure gated communities,” said Serge Shinkar, product manager of Hub ID for Communicator Inc. “Incorporating the Liberty specifications lowers the technical barrier of entry and allows us to offer our clients an easy and secure way to join these gated communities quickly.”
In addition, SourceID (www.sourceid.org), an open source development community sponsored by Ping Identity Corporation, is announcing the early January release of its open source Liberty v1.1 Protocol Single Sign-on Toolkit for Java. SourceID SSO is the first component of a larger open source Enterprise Identity Management system that will be developed and released under SourceID. SourceID SSO is designed to make it as easy as possible for companies to implement standards-based solutions for federating identities and enable single sign-on applications.
New Members Offer Additional Depth to Alliance
Also, the Liberty Alliance announced today that 22 organizations have recently joined the Alliance as members, bringing the total number of members to 150. Below are the organizations announcing their membership today. For a complete list of members, please visit www.projectliberty.org.
* Avaki Corporation – http://www.avaki.com
* BITS – http://www.bitsinfo.org
* Business Layers – http://www.businesslayers.com
* Canada Post Corporation – http://www.canadapost.ca
* CCL/ITRI – http://www.ccl.itri.org.tw
* Center for Democracy and Technology – http://www.cdt.org/
* Computer & Communications Industry Association – http://www.ccianet.org/index.php3
* Computer Associates International, Inc. – http://www.ca.com/
* Datakey, Inc. – http://www.datakey.com/
* Enterprise Java Victoria, Inc. – http://www.ejv.org.au
* Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. – http://www.fairisaac.com
* Funk Software – http://www.funksoftware.com
* HSBC Holdings PLC – http://www.hsbc.com
* Institute of Information Management of the University of St. Gallen – http://www.iwi.unisg.ch
* July Systems, Inc. – http://www.julysystems.com/
* Meridea Financial Software Ltd – http://www.merideasoftware.com/
* Mycroft, Inc. – http://www.mycroftinc.com/
* NEC Corporation – http://www.nec.com/
* Oberthur Card Systems – http://www.oberthurcs.com
* Siemens AG – http://www.siemens.com
* The Open Group – http://www.opengroup.org/
* Thor Technologies – http://www.thortech.com/
About the Liberty Alliance Project
The Liberty Alliance Project (www.projectliberty.org) is an alliance of 150 technology and consumer organizations formed to develop and deploy open, federated network identification specifications that support all current and emerging network devices in the digital economy. Federated identity will help drive the next generation of the Internet, offering businesses and consumers convenience and choice. Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations.