After arriving one day late to Catalyst, I began my whirlwind tour of one of identity's main events. Catalyst, unlike other conferences, organizes the vendors into "hospitality suites" - one room parties with food and drinks provided. So, while some vendors like Microsoft focus on bringing 18,000 partners into the room with them, others provide NASCAR racing simulators and a party atmosphere.
My evening began with running into John Shewchuk, though we didn't really get a chance to talk about CardSpace and such (Microsoft's renamed InfoCards). John was followed by stops at the Microsoft and Novell suites, where I ran into folks and companies like Dave Kearns, Archie Reed, Vance Skidmore from Maxware, Andre Durand and Dick Hardt. Next up were Oracle, BMC, Courion, Trusted Network Technologies and Passlogix, where (respectively) I chatted with: Wynn White (who kept alluding to a "great new story" that Oracle has); the guys from BMC (who assure me that they'll get a presenter for Digital ID World); Deb Pappas (about the state of the analyst industry); Rob Champa and Ian Glazer (regarding NAC and Identity); and Marc Boroditsky (about some interesting new product releases).
The feeling coming out of last night was clear: Nearly everyone I spoke with talked about how great their business was. Identity managment is white hot at the moment (as evidenced by recent Novell numbers), and it shows. I'm looking forward to today's sessions to see what innovation I might dig up...
Bonus: Mark Dixon has a great recap of day 1's content. My favorite line -- "Identity: its not a one time purchase; its a life style choice."