For the first time, analyst group KCP has handed out the European Identity Award at the European Identity Conference 2008 (EIC), the leading European event for Identity Management and GRC (governance, risk management, compliance). The award honours outstanding Identity Management projects, innovations and further developments of standards.

There are six different award categories. Apart from the best innovations in Identity Management and the best new or improved standards, prizes were given to the best projects of the past 12 months in the following categories: internal projects, b2b, b2c and eGovernment. Furthermore, KCP also awarded two special prizes this year.

Manufacturers, system integrators, consultants and user companies had been asked to suggest possible award winners. Besides, KCP included projects that they knew from their work as an analyst group. Out of these suggestions, three outstanding projects and innovations were nominated each as finalists. All of these finalists were honoured by KCP at the awards ceremony.

In the category "Best Innovation", the European Identity Award went to a group of companies that are driving forward the process to outsource the authentication and authorisation, thus making it easier to control application security from outside. There are several providers with different approaches in this field but during the past year, they all contributed a lot to promote this concept that is considered as indispensable by KCP and to make progress with the technical support. The winners in this category are Bitkoo, CA, iSM, Microsoft and Oracle.

Also among the finalists in the "Best innovation" category were Aveksa and Sailpoint for their Identity Risk Management solutions and Microsoft for making a significant contribution to identity information protection in distributed environments by their takeover of Credentica and the planned integration of U-Prove technology into user-centric Identity Management.

In the "Best new/improved standard" category, the European Identity Award went to the OpenID Foundation and to Microsoft for their InfoCard initiative. These standards form the base for Identity 2.0, the so-called user-centric Identity Management. Other outstanding solutions nominated as finalists were the eCard API Framework and the simpleSAMLphp project driven forward by Feide RnD. The eCard API Framework has been jointly developed by Secunet and the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (abbreviated BSI - in English: Federal Office for Security in Information Technology) to simplify the interaction of applications with different card technologies. With simpleSAMLphp, federation functions can easily be integrated into existing and new applications.

The Award for "Best internal Identity Management project" went to BASF for their AccessIT project, which realises Identity Management within a complex corporate structure and excells in consistent approaches to centralised auditing. Another finalist in this category was the Royal Bank of Scotland, with its project to control a multitude of applications by an integrated role-based access control.

Winner in the category "Best b2b Identity Management project" was Orange/France Telecom. Their project is revolutionary due to the consistent use of federation and the opening of systems to partners. Also among the finalists in this category were Endress+Hauser for their business customer portal and education network SurfNET which is at present one of the most comprehensive federation implementations.

In the category "Best b2c Identity Management project", the award went to eBay and Paypal which support strong authentication mechanisms, thus making a significant contribution to the protection of online transactions and creating more awareness on this issue among the wider public. Other finalists were Karlsruhe-based company Fun Communications for their innovative approach to the use of info cards as virtual customer cards, which is groundbreaking in our opinion, and KAS bank for their consistent use of strong authentication and encryption technologies to protect transactions.

The Republic of Austria received the prize in the "Best eGovernment Identity Management project" category for their eGovernment initiatives which we think are leading with regard to the implementation of Identity Management. Other finalists were Crossroads Bank, Smals and BAMF (the Bundesamt für Migration and Flüchtlinge, English: Federal Office for Migration and Refugees), for their outstanding Identity Management projects in eGovernment.

In addition, special prizes were given to two initiatives considered as groundbreaking by KCP. In KCP's opinion, the VRM project by Doc Searls is an innovative approach that applies user-centric Identity Management concepts to customer management. In the VRM Unconference 2008 at the EIC 2008, this issue was intensely discussed in Europe for the first time. The second special prize went to open source projects Higgins and Bandit which we think are the most important open source initiatives in Identity Management.

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