As one of the founders of KuppingerCole Analysts, I’m also an EIC (European Identity & Cloud Conference) veteran. Looking back to the start in 2007, a lot has changed since then, but the core of EIC is what it has been from the very beginning: A conference that provides both thought leadership and best practices from the field. A conference that brings together end users, vendors, analysts, and other experts, for close interaction and exchange. A conference that, I dare to say (and I’m proud of), is the most relevant gathering on identity topics globally.

Time to make a change

When counting the years and the number of editions, you will observe that there is a small mismatch. Without the pandemic, we would already run the 16th edition this year. 2020, we had to cancel due to the Covid restrictions. But we were back last year in September, and in 2022, we are back at our established date in the first half of May.

One news this year is our location. We are in Berlin, for the first time, after being in the center of Munich (in the “Deutsches Museum”) for the first three years, and then in Munich-Unterschleißheim for another 11 editions. Time to make a change.

While the 2007 event was fairly small compared to now, it was a great start. Many sponsors and already back then attendees from half of the DAX 30 organizations, amongst many others. The ones that attended the first EIC will remember that our caterer seemed to be overwhelmed by the number of participants. Food was a little short, which never happened to us again.

700 slides, trailblazers, and total disagreement

I still remember some interesting sessions from then. Dick Hardt impressed with a presentation with 700 slides. Dave Kearns already talked about the need for adaptive, risk-aware and context-aware authentication. And I needed a moment to contemplate again as Paul Heiden of Bhold responded to my question “Do you agree?” following my intro statement of the closing keynote bluntly with “No, I totally disagree”. The conversation in that closing keynote session, following that moment, was really enlightening.

Over all these years, I remember all the talks with attendees. Hundreds of great presentations. Many insightful panels. Excellent jokes by Mike Neuenschwander. Fantastic evening events. Winners of the European Identity Award beaming with pride. Being nervous, year by year, ahead of the opening keynote. Being pushed to new limits by my colleague, co-founder, and brain behind the EIC, Jörg Resch, when he came up with his topic suggestions for that opening keynote and I had to deliver.

Only one month to go

EIC to me is also the event every year where I learn most. Being a moderator and listening to many sessions, and spending every day from early morning to late evening in talking with attendees, I gain many insights that foster our research. I’m also proud that the foundation for OIDC (OpenID Connect) has been laid at EIC, when some of the industry experts sat together in the hotel lobby and started discussing what became OIDC.

With EIC 2022, the 15th edition, only being four weeks away, I’m in the process of preparing another opening keynote and some other talks. And I’m looking forward curiously to a new location and the first EIC in Berlin, slowly coming back to normal after two years of pandemic. I’m looking forward meeting you in Berlin.