Liberty Momenteum?

I consider this a very health sign that the Liberty Alliance specs for solving the problem allowing users and firms to manage the authentication, data sharing and privacy problems might just be getting some traction.

Automaker General Motors Corp. has just completed a successful pilot with a 401(k) retirement-services provider as part of a plan to link its employee intranet portal, called Socrates, with a variety of employee-benefit service providers, says Rich Taggart, director of enterprise architecture. The technical part, based on Liberty Alliance specs, wasn’t hard. “That part of it went rather well,” he says. “Everything is very interoperable.”

Momenteum is a key aspect of an emerging standard. While there are lots of phases in building the momenteum of a thing like this. For example getting big names to throw their reputation on the bandwagon. Short of standardized-exchanges/second the most significant sign is actual adoption. So it’s very encouraging seeing people talking about that.

The real challenge was getting both companies comfortable with the idea of linking their systems, so when an employee logs on to the GM portal, he or she is automatically able to access the financial-services provider’s systems as well. There were lots of discussions over “the comfort level of doing this and how it could affect the business relationship and relationship with the employee,” Taggart says. There were lots of conversations between legal groups, he adds.”

Indeed. This problem is very hard and deserves a good open solution. I am quite encouraged by the Liberty designs. We may actually get something that addresses everybodies concerns.

Full disclosure: I have had a tiny part in the Liberty project.

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