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Submission to Sprint Innovate: Why Sprint should support OpenID Connect

Michael Schwartz August 14, 2013

Sprint should support the OpenID Connect protocol for authentication. Sprint has a lot of customers. Telco’s are in a superlative position to authenticate people using mobile devices.

However, how can websites use the domain to authenticate people?

I suggest Sprint aligns with the OpenID Connect standard. Further I propose that Sprint use the open source OX platform to do this.

Google open sources the client API to authenticate people, but it doesn’t publish the server code it uses. The Gluu project provides the best implementation of the new OpenID Connect protocol.

Sprint should align with the same authentication protocol as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft, and other consumer IDPs. There is no point in writing your own code to implement OpenID Connect when you can use open source software. And by supporting open source, you can help the ecosystem.

Frankly you have no interest in your partners doing a bad job of authentication. Its a win win… Gluu is a small company. We are struggling to fund this open source software and maintain our lead. I think there are several ways we could help Sprint, and you can help Gluu, and that you can help make the Internet a safer place by opening up your platform for third party authentication.

Q & A — The specifics of your Opportunity:

Who are your competitors?
Our competitors include Ping Identity, ForgeRock, CA SiteMinder, IBM Tivoli Access Manager, RSA ClearTrust, Oracle Access Manager, OneLogin, Okta, StormPath

What differentiates your solution from your competitors?
There is only one other open source platfrom: ForgeRock. That platform was designed in the early 2000s. It is not easy, and it doesn’t support the new OAuth2 profiles (OpenID Connect / UMA) that are needed by mobile developers.

What would be the benefit of using this solution?
Sprint could support standard API’s for authentication and authorization, and enable an ecosystem of partners to authenticate Sprint customers via Internet standard API.

How is this better than Sprint’s current solution?
Supporting standards is important because we live in a world where there are multiple consumer IDPs, and if a website needs a special API to use your IDP, it will probably just not support you.

What is the cost of your solution?
Gluu sells support on its product. However, I think there might be some sponsored co-development opportunities.

Who are some of your current customers?
Toshiba uses Gluu to deliver authentication for its Cloud TV Service in Japan and Europe (and soon in the US). We have more than 20 university customers, in addition to a number of large enterprise customers. We also are designing an authentication/authorization platform for the State of TX K-12 students, and a citizen authentication platform for the Philippines (90M users). In the telecom industry, we worked with British Telecom on a multi-year VOIP project, and have advised Rackspace on the design of their authentication system.

Do you have any additional information or comments?
Please check the latest OpenID Connect test results. Look in the last column for Gluu, and you can see that our server is currently the most comprehensive implementation of an OpenID Connect Provider.

Interested in submitting something innovative to Sprint too? Register here.

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Mike Schwartz

Mike has been an entrepreneur and identity specialist for more than two decades. He is the technical and business visionary behind Gluu. Mike is an application security expert and has been a featured speaker at RSA Conference, Gartner Catalyst, Cloud Identity Summity (now "Identiverse") and many other security conferences around the world.

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