Identity Management: Beyond the Basics

Putting Identity at the Heart of Your Customer Engagement Strategy

When it comes to Customer Identity Management, the digital transformation era is well underway. Single sign-on capabilities or push authorization are not new ideas. The demand for flexibility, transparency, and scalability of multi-channel offerings continues to grow and the once termed ‘modern approach’ to Identity is becoming a basic necessity. So what’s next? How can communication firms move beyond the basics?

It starts with having a foundation for providing those basic Identity needs. One of the possible next steps is to improve upon that by advancing your Identity Management. Another is to look for new ways to build upon this investment, which would mean exploring a new type of business model such as providing an Identity Provider service. Here are my thoughts on those two avenues:

Advanced Identity Management

Advanced Identity Management can give you a competitive advantage, so let’s take a closer look. To begin with, it shouldn’t be hard to be your customer. With fine-grained advanced authentication, you can set up multiple authentication combinations such as push authentication or biometrics. Adaptive Authentication and authorization enable decisions regarding permission and entitlement to be made in context, throughout the customer journey (not just at the start). This is also where Progressive Profiling comes in by gathering information about a user over time, rather than requiring them to enter registration data all in one go. User experience is important so avoiding registration fatigue is key. User Managed Access can extend current privacy dashboards, further enabling your customers to have fine grained control over how you share their data with others. Also, don’t limit yourself by thinking Identity is just about people. It’s about their relationships to each other (think family units and households for example) as well as the Identity of Things, Devices, and Services.

Ultimately, Advanced Identity Management tools make your customers want to remain your customers. Attention to detail will help to build trust in you and your brand.

Why offer an Identity Provider Service?

Identity as a service has the potential to completely change the current telecommunications business model. By their very nature, mobiles can deliver strong multi-factor authentication; think about how easy it is to authorize via text message code, or even via Touch-ID and facial recognition. Not only is this form of authentication both convenient and secure, but it makes a really compelling case for mobile based Identity services. Telecommunications companies are in a very good position to offer authentication, authorization, and consent management as a service to other markets and sectors. This is because the primary resource of an Identity Provider (IDP) is access to a large base of consumers and their basic identity-related data attributes such as name, address, phone number and email address. Telecommunications operators fit this perfectly. Access to consumers and their data wouldn’t be sufficient by itself, but it is an essential prerequisite to the service.

There are a growing number of successful initiatives around the world that prove how an Identity Provider Service has the potential to become a core business proposition. At the recent GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, during a seminar on GSMA Mobile Connect it was announced that the widely anticipated Project Verify would launch later this year. Project Verify is a collaborative effort, based on the GSMA Mobile Connect initiative, to launch identity services in the US market from the big four US mobile carriers.

Identity Management has the benefit of longevity -- the ability to expand and grow. For Telcos looking to move beyond the basics, offering Identity as a service is something to consider.

You can learn more about how to approach Identity as a Service in our whitepaper here.

Who Is Steve Gerrard?

Who’s Steve? Steve is our Principal Solution Architect.  Before joining ForgeRock, Steve spent 20 years at Ericsson in a variety of Pre-Sales and Solution Architect roles, meaning his knowledge of the Telco infrastructure now spans far and wide. Beyond work, Steve is an enthusiastic guitarist, although probably better at collecting guitars rather than playing. On the weekend, you'll catch him on a tennis court brushing up on his backhand or out enjoying time with his family.

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