Vodafone is testing technology from the Liberty Alliance and has called for interoperability between its specification and Microsoft's rival Passport to improve identity management services.
The Liberty Alliance is a consortium of 150 companies developing specifications to link different user identities created in various systems.
Phase one of the specifications dealt with single sign-on, while phase two, which is still in draft form, sets out specifications for identity-based web services.The work by Liberty Alliance on single sign-on and identity is a rival to Microsoft's Passport service.
Ian Johnson, senior director of group research at Vodafone, which is on the management board of the Liberty Alliance, said specifications helped the company create a common policy framework regardless of what customer information is being used.
He added that the technology would help Vodafone sign up more partners and make more money. "All these new partners are generating new services that attract customers and spending," he said.
Johnson said working with open standards was a way of cutting costs. "Open standards means we can buy the boxes from multiple suppliers."
Vodafone is currently testing the Liberty Alliance specifications. "We are proving the technology to our own satisfaction. Phase two stuff is the most important for us and that's where our focus is. [Customers] don't like form-filling and that's why we see the priority," Johnson said.
But he added: "As we do deployments we need to ensure interoperation across domains."
Simon Nicholson, chairman of the Liberty Alliance business and marketing expert group, said: "We don't want to end up with numerous ways of doing the same thing. We are focusing on delivering specifications, whereas Passport is a service, so there's not a direct match."
Initial deployments will be business-to-business because it is easier to implement systems internally than across other companies, he said.
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