Right Place. Right Time. SLAC’s Bruce Vincent Shares Insights on Joining the InCommon Collaboration Success Program

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By Apryl Motley - Technical Writer & Communications Lead, Internet2 Trust and Identity/NET+ Service

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Bruce Vincent

Where do you turn for community and collaboration as your institution launches a multiyear identity and access management (IAM) modernization program? For Bruce Vincent, director of identity and middleware services at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the answer was the InCommon Collaboration Success Program (CSP). CSP was the right time and place to best leverage SLAC’s IAM resources.

“Joining CSP was exactly what was needed for where we were in our strategic effort,” Bruce said. “The CSP program is a very well-constructed catalyst for moving very quickly and getting a lot of staff up to speed in a very structured way.”

SLAC was in CSP’s Class of 2021 and returned to participate in the program again this year. Why? According to Bruce, the value of involvement in the peer community is unmatched.

“The most valuable part of the program has been the community involvement itself,” he said. “We’re deeply exploring variations of software deployments with peer institutions in a way that would never happen in a professional services engagement, for instance.”

“We’re also involved with these peer institutions in having conversations about the long haul,” he continued. “We understand that these are sometimes decades long decisions we’re making, and we want to make sure that we’re exploring them deeply. The peer community fostered through CSP is an incredibly valuable way to do that.”

As a case in point, Bruce recalled how quickly he was able to get input from the community on the group services infrastructure SLAC was creating from scratch to handle permissions management as part of its IAM effort.

“Through the CSP program, it was one degree of separation to another institution that had already deployed Grouper and integrated it with a Drupal cloud service provider,” he explained. “It was an exact match for our use cases, and I was able to have a conversation at a deep technical level.”

“It was just amazing how quickly we got our questions answered,” he continued. “I don’t know any other way we would have gotten that kind of information that fast. In the program, we’re exchanging ideas about what’s worked and what hasn’t worked. That directness and honesty along with the feeling of community and collaboration, there is nothing else quite like it in terms of the value it gives.”

As the InCommon Academy prepares to welcome a new cohort of institutions to CSP in September (Interested in joining the Class of 2023? Let us know.), Bruce would love for these conversations to continue and plans to be an active participant in them.

“CSP alumni institutions like ours are happy to participate in the program because they’re still getting value out of it,” he said. “Their IAM journeys are continuing as is ours, so I’m very eager to participate at the level we have been and continue contributing to the community.”

If you’re considering participation in CSP, “it’s important to consider how you can contribute to the community to strengthen our collective ability to execute IAM,” Bruce advised. “For the long haul, we have common objectives, and the more we realize that, and we contribute into that pool, the more we’re collectively going to get out of it.”

Whether you are starting to brainstorm your lAM roadmap, or your implementation of InCommon Trusted Access Platform components is in progress like SLAC, participation in the InCommon Collaboration Success Program will put you in the right place at the right time to Get IAM Done. Faster. Better. Together.

The expression of interest period for the CSP 2022–2023 cohort is open through July 15. We hope you will join us.