What an awesome trip. Kudos to the folks at Angling Unlimited - they really took care of us.
Jackson's comments, commiserations, confabulations and simplifications on identity management and Microsoft's Active Directory all based on his continuous "reality tour" of meetings with customers, ISVs and Microsoft.
Just click on the picture above and you will be taken to my Sitka album on Picasaweb. Lots of great shots of the fish we're catching, wildlife and scenery. It's official: I've lost count of all the eagles and whales I've seen just today. Truly awesome.
Just to wet your appetites and hopefully make a few of you jealous here's a few of the pics...
My catch so far: King (1) and Coho (1) salmon, halibut (2), sole (1) and a butt-ugly "pea" cod (1).
I took off last night from Seattle to head to Salt Lake City for some meetings. Based on the drive to the airport I knew we'd have some awesome views of Mt. Rainer on the climb out of Sea-Tac. Most time that I take this flight the plane will pass to the right of Mt. Rainier so I confirmed that with the pilot while we were standing in the boarding area. Fortunately, it was a SouthWest flight so I got to pick my seat.
Here's the view I had...
I took this picture with a Canon 30D digital SLR sporting a Canon 70-200mm IS "L" lens.
I totally agree with that. I believe it would be disastrous to Microsoft themselves if they started to do this. Suing about piracy is one thing. Suing about patent violation is another. It could work if Microsoft were the underdog but this is definitely not the case. Who likes the neighborhood bully??
“The reality is that they (Microsoft) are not going to sue a single customer,” says Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “It would not be in their business interest. Microsoft is not going to sue their customers.”
I would be shocked if Microsoft didn’t have patents that read on Linux,” said Mark Radcliffe, a partner at law firm DLA Piper US who advises companies on intellectual property issues. “Will they enforce them is the question. Companies using Linux don’t have to fear patent suits.”
I'm not a lawyer but I thought that if you have a patent and don't enforce it that you can be shown to have "abandoned" your claim to that patent. If that's true then it will be interesting to see how this does turn out because time is not on Microsoft's side!
This may sound like an obvious question but I have seen vendors give a reference and the reference was using a one of their products with glowing results, but it wasn’t the product the company was thinking about purchasing! Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
This also may sound like an obvious question but there is a big difference between simply purchasing a product and having it deployed and operational over an extended period of time. Maybe the product is too services-intensive and it hasn’t been put into operation yet? This happens frequently. Or perhaps the product doesn’t actually do what it says it does. This also happens frequently. You’d be surprised at the number of customers who actually purchase a solution based only on a salesperson’s presentation. Would you purchase a car based solely on the information in a few brochures? I bet you wouldn’t.
• What feedback does the company have about the vendor’s stated commitment on the after-purchase services, support and maintenance?
You need to determine if the vendor is going to be a partner, or if you are simply going to be a customer. You want to work with a vendor that is going to fully support you as you get the product deployed and in production. You also want to ensure that post-production support and maintenance are first rate. Questions worth asking: How have you requested product enhancements? Do you know who the product manager is? Have you talked to the product manager? Does the vendor have a customer advisory board or council? Is there a user group? How do you become a partner with your vendor?
• What are the vendor’s development plans and product timelines?
Ask for them, but don’t believe them. At least, don’t believe the dates. Apply the Wosinski co-efficient7 to all dates. Be highly suspicious if the features you want or need are scheduled for delivery too far out on the timeline. Do you want to see the salesperson’s hair catch on fire? Just ask him or her to tie performance or delivery of features to payment. It’s worth pushing for this just to see the ensuing spectacle!
• What kind of vendor are you dealing with? Is it small, a start-up, venture capital–funded or a publicly traded company? If it’s a small company, what happens to your contracts if in an acquisition?
Sometimes it’s better to work with small company because your money means more to them. You can have greater influence on product direction. But with small companies, resources may be an issue. Will they have the consultants, the partners or the ecosystem to support you? Will they be around in five to 10 years? Larger companies typically have a bigger ecosystem, more industry partnerships and more people to work with. However, it may be more difficult to get product enhancements from them. Either way, it’s a trade-off, but also a decision you consciously make.
For example, if Progressive wanted to federate with Citigroup, they would probably do so using SAML and a lot of the discussions in terms of the Liberty Alliance have targeted this demographic. One should ask themselves how federation would change if Progressive wanted to federate with all of their other business partners, most of which don't have dedicated IT staff nor the budget to buy separate standalone products and instead prefer to see federation support built into products they already use such as the operating system. This is where WS-Federation in terms of implementation will win hands down over SAML.
The one thing I see that SAML 2.0 supports that no one is talking about in the WS-Federation camp is in support of XACML. The WS-Federation camp is overhyping identity while avoiding any discussions as to the problem space enterprises face related to disparate authorization models. To be fair, the SAML community has defined the specification but none of the vendors who support SAML actually bridge SAML to XACML.
1. Reduction in number of help desk calls. This is a good metric especially if your help desk is outsourced or staffed by contractors. It will result in hard-dollar savings because with fewer help desk calls, you will need less help desk staff and lower your per incident costs.
2. Improved security. If you can report on pre- and post-implementation times to de-provision a user from your human resource (HR) system(s), you can claim you are increasing security. This is not a hard-dollar savings, but it is extremely important to your executive team, board of directors and CISO for both regulatory compliance and general security reasons.
3. Improved productivity. Most executives will be indifferent if you tell them you are going to improve productivity by 10 minutes a day per user in your company. If you aren’t directly saving the company money, you’ll probably get the dreaded "So what?" comment. Do you have any contractors working for you? If you do, you can turn this into real hard-dollar savings by measuring the time it takes for contractors to access all the systems they need to do their jobs both pre- and post-project implementation. Those contractors are idle while they wait for their access. If you can provision them faster, you can show a substantial savings. The more contract staff you have, the bigger this savings will be.
Site Administrator for SharePoint helps organizations reduce risk and gain control of SharePoint 2003 or 2007 with tools that provide discovery, site and content browsing, data collection and reporting, and global policy management to assist IT in managing one of their most critical business information platforms.
With the CardSpace system in Windows Vista, Microsoft is one of many companies working on new online identification systems. However, Microsoft has so far refrained from joining the Liberty Alliance, an industry consortium formed in part out of concerns over the company's original Passport log-in system.
But Microsoft has now agreed to participate in an upcoming meeting of the Concordia Project, which was conceived by the Liberty Alliance to be an independent group that encourages interoperability among business-related identity systems. The group announced this morning that Mike Jones of Microsoft's CardSpace team will take part in the meeting along with OpenID and Liberty Alliance representatives. According to the Concordia site, they will listen to case studies from AOL, Boeing and others, and then use those case studies to help figure out how to proceed.
The move follows Microsoft's embrace of OpenID earlier this year, which suggested a more inclusive approach.
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