Identiverse (ī-ˈden-tə-vərs) noun
The Identiverse is a more perfect digital world of people, applications, and devices that all recognize and interact with each other without annoying security roadblocks.
When everything is identity-aware and access is ubiquitous, the Identiverse will provide complete security and freedom to realize the full potential of digital economy.
The six pillars of the Identivers
1. Everything has an identity (apps, devices, people)
2. Authentication is multifactor (and rarely passwords)
3. APIs are Ubiquitous
4. Standards are Everywhere
5. Access is Federated
6. Privacy is Possible
Two days before my opening speech at the Cloud Identity Summit, I was sitting in my room wondering what the heck to talk about. After a few days of fussing around on the preso, all I had to show for it was a hodge-podge of slides, all of which seemed to lack substance, theme or pertinence.
Somewhat exacerbated, I ended up sharing a personal story about what had happened just that morning as we arrived at the Meritage. Immediately following check-in we went to the room behind our registration desk to see how Mike was coming along in final preparations.
With my daughters in toe, the room was cluttered to the ceiling with boxes of backpacks, signs and conference materials. However, one corner of the room was piled high with kids toys (designed to keep 100+ kids entertained for a week).
What happened next surprised me.
Instead of heading immediately for the toys, my daughter went instead to the boxes of badges, and started looking through them to see if she had one with her name on it.
After a few moments and with a bit of help, and in a stroke of genius by Mike Morgan (to have children registered), she found her badge.
As I shared with the audience at CIS, this was a special aha moment for me. Here was a 10 year child who found meaning and purpose in her badge. She was official. She had an identity.
You’ll note her hand written title in the corner, CEOOF – short for ‘CEO of Fun’.
Suffice it to say, kids will be official, with badges, again, next year.
Identity is important. Being official is important. Having a child re-instill a sense of purpose into my reason for being at Ping, priceless.
Here is the story of how Ping got it’s name.
The original name of the company was NEXT IDENTITY. When I couldn’t get the right combination of domains and trademarks (Apple wouldn’t sell them – go figure) I went back to the drawing board. I was looking for a four letter, single syllable name and had some 25 or so candidates. If you haven’t noticed, some of the worlds largest brands are just this — COKE, FORD, NIKE.
PING was perhaps #10 on my unordered list of possibilities. In talking to an old friend (Steve Bonser) about it, he mentioned the notion of ‘Ping my identity.’ Used in a similar manner to the network utility “Ping IP address.” At the time it was contemplated that if we ever became an identity provider (I hardly knew what that meant back in 2002), people would use the term ‘Ping Me’, which would translate into, ‘query my identity’.
So we created the original company name as PingID, and the logo was created on the first day of Ping, around January 4th 2002. I modeled the look of the logo after PLUS, CIRRUS, STAR, VISA. The reason being, we figured that at some future point, people would ‘select’ the identity they wanted to use, in much the same way that if you go up to an ATM, you make sure that your ‘network’ is supported. We actually see this playing out today in the ‘Login using Facebook, or Twitter or Linkedin’ links on websites.
Only a bit later did we realize the world wasn’t ready for an identity network, when there were no identity transactions and no one could actually convey identity. Daa…. they didn’t have the software to do so.
So we created Ping Identity the software company, to implement the emerging standards of federated identity, and help to enable the networking of identity, hopefully so that one day we could come full circle to the identity network. 11 years later, we’re building PingOne, the next-gen IAM platform which in combination with PingFederate and PingAccess, provides all the functional pieces of the original vision and the foundation of an identity network.
Just give it another 10 years. You’ll see.