Liberty Alliance Expands Membership Base With Seven New Members
Liberty Alliance Continues Aggressive Growth, Expands Membership Base With Seven New Members
Liberty Identity Web Services Specifications Attract Key Players in Digital Imaging and Document Technology, Security and Telecom Markets
Tokyo, Japan. October 18, 2004.
The Liberty Alliance, the global consortium developing an open federated identity standard and business tools for implementing federated identity and identity-based Web services, today announced that seven organizations have joined Liberty Alliance, including leading identity management, application security, mobile and wireless security, telecommunications and research companies, as well as the world-leading digital imaging, design and document technology company. Three companies joined the Liberty Alliance at the sponsor level, one at the affiliate level, one at the associate level, and two previous members have re-joined at the associate level.
New members have expressed significant interest in the Liberty Alliance Identity Web Services specifications to solve existing business needs, and plan to use the specifications for applications that are new to the Liberty Alliance, such as Digital Rights Management. Adobe Systems has joined the Liberty Alliance as a sponsor member, and plans to bring Liberty's benefits down to the document level. Working with the Liberty Alliance, Adobe will strengthen document security by adding federated identities, making it easier for businesses to employ document services for meeting compliance and regulatory mandates to protect individual privacy.
Additional new sponsor members include OpenNetwork Technologies, specializing in end-to-end identity management solutions, and Senforce Technologies, developing location-aware security software for mobile and wireless computers. OpenNetwork seeks to remedy the key pain points of today's enterprises while helping companies capitalize on existing technology investments. Senforce recognizes the importance of a standards-based approach to federated authentication and seeks to actively contribute to building global awareness of privacy and privacy-friendly approaches.
These new members bring to the Liberty Alliance a wealth of expertise in the identity management and mobile security markets, and demonstrate the Alliance's continued ability to attract industry leaders at a sponsor level. As industry leaders continue to understand that federation is the foundation to meaningful Web services, they seek out the Liberty Alliance as a forum to come together to build identity into electronic communications and transactions.
"Market leaders recognize that federation is the foundation to solid web services, and as such they want to participate in efforts to drive adoption of a standards-based identity architecture," said Donal O'Shea, Executive Director, Liberty Alliance. "This latest wave of new members was specifically drawn to the Liberty Alliance Identity Web Services specifications as a means to work more efficiently with business partners, customers, and employees. We welcome the added expertise and valuable contributions our newest members will bring to Liberty specifications and expert groups."
As sponsors, members help define, contribute and receive access to the latest federated identity technical specifications as well as business and policy guidelines, which helps them to create new business opportunities, increase security and reduce deployment costs. Liberty's membership includes many end-user companies in addition to vendors, and this structure has led to success in delivering standards that meet early adopters' real-world requirements, which plays a critical role in helping members to solidify business deals.
Additionally, telecommunications company Telewest Broadband, identity management companies M-Tech Information Technology and OpenNetwork Technologies, application security company Deny All, as well as Danish research institute company DAI-Labor, have joined the Liberty Alliance. These companies expand Liberty's reach into diverse markets, and mark continued traction in established markets. The total number of active Liberty Alliance members is 161.
About the Liberty Alliance Project
The Liberty Alliance Project (http://www.projectliberty.org) is an alliance of more than 150 companies, non-profit and government organizations from around the globe. The consortium is committed to developing an open standard for federated network identity that supports all current and emerging network devices. Federated identity offers businesses, governments, employees and consumers a more convenient and secure way to control identity information in today's digital economy, and is a key component in driving the use of e-commerce, personalized data services, as well as web-based services. Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations.
If you are interested in seeing the full list of Liberty Alliance members or are interested in becoming a member, please visit us at http://www.projectliberty.org.
It was announced on 2004-10-20 that IBM has also joined the Liberty Alliance.
After months of flirting, IBM Corp has finally joined the industry-backed Liberty Alliance Project, potentially speeding interoperability between two rival sets of Web services specifications for federated identity. The company has announced that it has joined Liberty as a board member, where it will influence policy, strategy and technology roadmaps, along with 14 other tech and end-user organizations.
IBM's decision comes having spent three years outside of Liberty, formed in September 2001 by Sun Microsystems Inc and others, vigorously developing a separate set of specifications for federated identity with partner Microsoft Corp under the companies' jointly authored WS- roadmap.
IBM said yesterday it remains committed to WS- and rolling out support for WS-Security and WS-Federation into the company's own products.
However, in a statement the company said: "Customers are looking for identity management software that is flexible, supporting both WS- and Liberty. To that end, IBM plans to support a broad range of federated identity specifications across its Tivoli identity management product line." IBM added it believes convergence of WS- and Liberty would be better for customers in the long term...
The path to IBM's membership has seen the computing and systems giant move slowly closer to Liberty this year through products and services, in an apparent recognition of Liberty's growing influence, especially among end-users. Since its foundation, end-users have held influence at Liberty, with American Express, Fidelity and General Motors helping found the group with Sun, Nokia and others. Liberty today has 160 member organizations.
In June, IBM announced Tivoli Access Manager would support Liberty 1.1 while in July IBM said it would provide federated single sign-in services using Liberty's specifications for 50 million Orange SA mobile phone customers. Orange owner France Telecom is a Liberty board member..."
See also "IBM Successfully Passes Liberty Alliance Conformance Test" - "IBM successfully passed the Liberty Alliance conformance test held June 14-18,  in Chicago. IBM's Tivoli Access Manager software family will support the Liberty 1.1 standards. IBM provides customers with a broad choice of standards to use in their federation implementations, including Liberty, SAML, and WS-Security. Using IBM's integrated identity management products, customers will be able to incorporate identity federation into their enterprise-wide identity management infrastructure. The Liberty conformance program requires that each company successfully complete tests against scripts and scenarios published by the Liberty Alliance Conformance Expert Group. As part of the testing, companies must demonstrate interoperability with at least two other randomly selected participants..."
See also "IBM Wins Orange: Deal with mobile subsidiary of France Telecom involves software compliant with Liberty Alliance, IBM building on tradition of telco wins." - "IBM has signed a software and services deal with Orange, the mobile subsidiary of France Telecom Group. This will allow some 50 million Orange customers to securely access online banking, email and other services via secure single sign-on. The deal is interesting for a number of reasons, primarily because it's one of the first prominent examples of IBM selling Liberty Alliance-compliant software (in this case, Tivoli Access Manager) for a single sign on. As such, it's a validation of Liberty Alliance as a federated identity standard, since IBM considers it important enough to conform to without actually joining. The Liberty Alliance specification has been more widely adopted in telecommunications than in other industries, and this deal underlines the trend. It's also a momentum-builder for IBM, which has won some major deals — including Sprint and, internationally, Bharti Tele-Ventures — in the sector..."
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other details in the news story "Liberty Alliance Federated Identity Consortium Gains Momentum with New Members." General references in "Liberty Alliance Specifications for Federated Network Identification and Authorization."