New job, working on decentralized identities in Azure Identity CxP organization

Today I started a new job. I am still working in Azure Identity as Program Manager. Still working in CxP (Customer and partner experience), but moving back to the @Scale team (they work with ISVs, Partners, SIs to get our Identity platform adopted at scale). I am going to work on DID or Decentralized Identities. Helping onboarding our partners to make sure we successfully get market adoption of this brand new technology.

My new manager just send out the email (that’s how quickly things go in MS Redmond vs 2 months transition in the Netherlands :) )

Please join me welcoming @Matthijs Hoekstra back to the @Scale CxP team. Matthijs joined the Identity family through our @Scale team more than 1.5 years ago as an evangelist for our developer community. He then move to our CxP Compete team keeping the same role.

Today, Matthijs is coming back to our @Scale team to focus on Decentralized ID solutions. In his new role, he will recruit key ISVs and System Integrators to build a strong ecosystem to help make DID real for our Customers.

So what’s DID or decentralized identity?

Well, that’s not easy to explain. Where I could tell my mom in the past I work on logins (whenever you have to login to your email, that’s what I do :)). DID is a bit different.

Perhaps I can sketch this with a few examples:

Say you are a hospital. You want to employ doctors, at this moment you need as many as you can find. But before these doctors can start you need to know they have a medical degree, are licensed to practice medicine and perhaps are immune to COVID-19. How would you solve this while you cannot have a single centralized system where all this information is kept?

This is where DID can help. There are several universities who give out medical degrees, there is a single organization (say for example in the UK) who keeps track of who is licensed. And there are several centres who test you against COVID-19 immunity. With DID you have a ‘wallet’ on your phone where you can keep that information given to you by these organizations.

When the hospital asks you to provide that information you can pick from your wallet what information you want to share. As a user you are in control of sharing that data. You can also later decide, to retract the permissions for the organization(s) who got access to that data.

another example:

Say you want to give access to a line of business system inside your organization, but only after the employee followed a certain training. LinkedIn could give out that training information to the person who completed the training. When the person tries to access the system it might ask to provide the right information and proof you finished that training. You choose that information from your wallet and give it to the system. That system validates if that information is correct and grants you access.

You are in control

If you have information about your degrees with your GPA (grades), when an organization asks for proof of your degree you can choose to share that but not share the grades. And you can always decide to retract the permissions to that information.

So this is what DID can provide, it needs a lot of technology (blockchain) and open standards to make this all work together. Very new and exciting technology and super relevant at this point in time and we believe in the future.

So excited to start the new job and learn about all the new technology and work with customers and partners. From home right now, but I hope to go back and meet everybody in person soon as well.