This is my first blog after a successful OpenID Connect launch in San Francisco, Barcelona and Japan on February 26th. The launch generated global buzz and coverage. Below are a few links to my previous posts highlighting statements of support and press coverage:

Congratulations to the OpenID Foundation Marketing Committee and the membership as a whole for the creativity and commitment that launched OpenID Connect from Tokyo, San Francisco and Barcelona.

On behalf of the Foundation, a “thank you” to Tim Bray for his expertise and overall contributions to the OpenID Connect launch. We await news from Tim as he decides what‘s next in his highly successful career. We are happy to hear Tim will never be too far from the OpenID Foundation’s work.

Jeff Fishburn from OnPR led the PR efforts and ensured that OpenID Connect received the coverage it deserved at the very “noisy” RSA and Mobile World Congress events. I appreciate the efforts of the PR teams at the GSMA, Google, Microsoft, Ping, Salesforce, ForgeRock and others as well as our OpenID Foundation Japan colleagues in ensuring a successful launch. Thanks to Microsoft and Google providing direct funding to support of launch activities. Jeff Fishburn’s firm, OnPR, has been a long standing supporter of Jeff’s volunteer efforts on the Marketing Committee over the last few years.

And thanks to Mike Leszcz who has been working with me on OIXnet as Technical Program Manager. Mike helped coordinate the OpenID Connect launch with OIX members like the GSMA. Mike worked closely with Jeff Fishburn on communication efforts and coordinated launch support across time zones, late night deadlines and member organizations.

Now it’s time to build out the final elements of OpenID Connect and prepare to move to mobile. I spent last week in London at the headquarters of OIDF member, the GSMA. We had a big crowd for the kick-off of a new mobile centric working group. It was a diverse turnout of mobile network operators (MNOs), telcos, data aggregators, bureaus, IDPs, SPs, RPs, government standards representatives and others. The all-important scoping discussion was encapsulated in what to call this new working group. Should it be a profile for mobile network operators? Understandable, certainly legitimate, but even the GSMA representatives pushed for more. Tim Bray encouraged the group to leverage the momentum of OpenID Connect to address the systemic needs of the market, developers and consumers alike. Despite, or because of the diversity of stakeholders in the room, a strong consensus grew around the timeliness and importance of the work group’s focus.

OIDF Chairman Nat Sakimura used the OIDF Work Group chartering process to articulate what is now “The Mobile Profile for OpenID Connect Working Group.” No doubt soon to be nicknamed “Mobile Connect”. This Working Group plans to apply to the Specs council to develop an OpenID Connect profile intended for use by MNOs providing identity services to RPs and for RPs in consuming those services as well as any other party wishing to be interoperable with this profile. David Pollington, Senior Director of Technology at the GSMA, is acting Chair of the WG. The draft Charter is also available here and it has been submitted to the OIDF specs list for approval.

I draw your attention to that last part. As part of this work, the Working Group will identify and make recommendations for additional Connect standards items. This is a positive as it can complement and further strengthen Connect adoption. It also signals the increasingly important compatibility with other protocols in the OIDF pipeline, notably Account Chooser and NAPPs. This also strengthens emerging federation architectures in enterprise, government and other sectors. Foundation members and others interested in the progress of this Working Group as well as others are invited to join.

Foundation workshops detailing develop of all OIDF protocols are planned for the EIC in Munich, at the Yahoo! Campus before the May IIW, at the European Identity Conference in Munich, and at the Cloud Identity Summit in Monterey, CA in July.

None of this would not have been possible without the dedication, direct funding and on-going support of the OIDF and OIX members. Thank you again and I look forward to continuing our work together.

Don Thibeau
Executive Director OpenID Foundation