Will OpenID Transform the Enterprise Ecosystem?

Sunflowers - Pike Street MarketOne of the most significant developments for Enterprise 2.0 happened last week when Google Apps Marketplace announced that it would be standardizing on OpenID.

Google is leveraging its strength as an identity provider to create a single sign-on ecosystem for third party applications and enterprise customers. This does not mean that we will see immediate adoption of single sign-on across the enterprise landscape. But it does represent a shift that will lead to more seamless application integrations, platform diversity and a sizable community of enterprise customers.

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Today, we spent some time talking with Vatsal Sonecha, vice president of TriCipher who gave some perspectives about the impacts of the Google announcement and what it means for the enterprise marketplace. TriCipher offers MyOneLogin, an OpenID service.

OpenID Means Choice

Google Apps Marketplace is the first major platform to adopt OpenID. Salesforce.com AppsExchange provides support for developers that integrate federated identity but they do not have it standardized across the platform. Microsoft has not adopted OpenID. Google’s move means that competing platforms will have to consider entering the OpenID ecosystem. As more platforms do adopt OpenID, the aggregate user base will diversify and grow. Platforms that do not adopt OpenID will have to convince the market that its proprietary network is more robust and valuable than all the rest.

A Critical Mass of Users

Service providers now have a potential critical mass of users. They are beginning to adopt OpenID but now they have further incentives. The dynamics of demand aggregation now come into play. With a universal identity foot print, a service provider may now reach deeper into the enterprise.

The Cloud and OpenID

Cloud computing makes it easier for companies to adopt OpenID. Services like MyOneLogin and OneLogin provide infrastructure for security authentication markup language (SAML) integration and single-sign on with multi-factor authentication. The identity services provider becomes a hub that keeps track of updates, new protocols and the other issues that come with keeping up to date with federated identity technicalities. With the services in place and a marketplace to explore, service providers will greet an already qualified customer. These customers will be ready to buy without concerns about registering new user names and passwords. It’s like a club. You join once. That’s it.

Watch the Carriers

According to Sonecha , the carriers have a material advantage if they decide to offer OpenID. They have a user base. They understand how to manage scalable systems. And they never worry about capital expenditures. They may borrow a sheet from Google and open their own marketplace or next generation service catalogs.

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