[KI-LC] Is Kantara's business model opaque to its members and participants?

Colin Wallis colin at kantarainitiative.org
Fri Apr 28 20:11:08 CDT 2017


When I got this response, I was gratified and concerned in about as many
seconds as it has taken you to read this first sentnece.

The context, as many of you who are on the BSC DG list know, was about
completing the Report with a good set of recommendations.  (as an aside we
got some great last minute contributions that exemplifies great cross-group

I was trying to help Eve and Thomas out by reminding folks of something
that I thought was fairly obvious...

And then I get Jeff's response, a guy who has been around Kantara for 5+
years, and I got to thinking....

OK, so I have had the benefit of the Board strategy exercise plus multiple
discussions with many of you, usually aided and abetted by beer :-) to a
point where it can be articulated reasonably clearly (notwithstanding a
little bit of license on the formation of the IAWG:-).

But I have to ask... is there anything I've said below that was news to
Because if so, that tells me I'll need to articulate it again to the whole



That's the best description of Kantara I have ever heard (read).  I have
been unclear what the business model was for all these years.

Thank you.

Jeff Stollman

to Susan, Thomas, Eve, dg-bsc
This is a great discussion folks, keep it going.

I do want to add tho', that the ultimate 'product' needs to point towards
something that is operationalizable and monetizable.

If you stand back and look across Kantara's portfolio, you'll see a kind of
Brainstorming DGs - to - Spec writing WGs - to - conformance assessment

Kantara offers the DGs to make it easy to contribute and investigate, size
and frame up value propositions that industry needs.

DGs are the 'birds of a feather' that typically draw in first movers and
thought leaders like you, in order to frame up WGs that bring in a
community of paying members because that community wants that spec/whatever
written, to solve a particular problem. And once it is written they
typically want to formalize that through paid conformance assessment and
approval, to delineate those who have it and those that don't, in the
marketplace - for the safety, security and privacy of all users of the
digital economy.

That is Kantara's business model.

Roughly 60% of Kantara's revenue comes from membership, and 40% from the
Identity Assurance Program. Kantara wants to reverse that metric and in the
long term, drive down the reliance on membership once a sufficient number
of monetized programs can carry the overhead costs of the platform.

The Identity Assurance Program came about because of a need (in that case
US Federal agencies needing to leverage private sector Identity and
Credential Service Providers) which in turn brought the CSPs to join
Kantara, form the Identity Assurance Working Group and to contribute to the
spec (in that case the Identity Assurance Framework) which in turn became
the monetized 3rd party assessment and conformance Program, for which
Kantara is known globally for.

You can see glimmers of this model surfacing in discussions in the Consent
& Information Sharing WG about writing conformance criteria for the
recently balloted Consent Receipt, and in the Identity of Things DG....

I ask you to spare a thought for this lens through which to view Kantara,
as you work through these great suggestions.

Whatever you decide, it doesn't have to be a mirror image of the Identity
Assurance Program, nor using the synergies of another WG's outputs, tho'
both are good beacons to be guided by.

But it does have to be a strong enough value proposition that motivates a
community to come to Kantara to do their work to solve their problems.

And the revenue they bring allows Kantara to continue to cover the cost of
great brainstorming DGs like the BSC DG that kick-starts the cadence of the


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