The HIP Conference: DEC Updated for the Hybrid Identity Era

If you ask any identity professional that’s been involved with Microsoft identity for more than 10 years, you can pretty much assume they’ve heard of DEC: The Directory Experts Conference. Known in its later years as TEC (The Expert’s Conference) when it expanded to include a few other Microsoft products such as SharePoint and Exchange, DEC/TEC ran from the 2000’s to 2012 and had an amazing level of respect from the segment of IT pros that managed Active Directory or these other core infrastructure products.

And now, great news is afoot! A new conference in the spirit of DEC – the Hybrid Identity Protection conference – is kicking off on November 6th and 7th at the World Trade Center in New York City. To understand why people are excited about this conference, it helps to understand a little of what DEC was all about.

DEC had a number of qualities that made it special. Dreamed up by Gil Kirkpatrick of Netpro and Alan Isham of Intel, the idea behind DEC was to have a specialized conference where AD practitioners (we didn’t call ourselves identity professionals back then) could get together and dive deep into the complexities of the product. At the first DEC, then-AD product manager Stuart Kwan ordered pizza for all the attendees. Yes, it was that small.

In addition to a solid Microsoft presence at all the conferences, DEC had some unique, quirky characteristics such as

  • The DEC Chicken, represented in both portable rubber squeaky form and larger-than-life human costume form, who wandered the conference halls in Disneyesque fashion looking for photo ops
  • The Wook Lee Memorial Pro-Am Challenge, in which Kwan would issue an obscure technical/presentation challenge to put together by the end of the conference, such as
    • Top 10 most requested AD enhancements, performed to an Elvis tune
    • Explaining Active Directory replication in the form of an interpretive dance
    • Haiku that describe various aspects of AD
    • A list of DEC speakers in the form of a movie poster*

DEC veteran speaker lineup

It’s asking too much of HIP to hit all these points out of the starting gate, but here’s the thing: the conference has done a great job getting the DEC band back together. Of the 17 speakers, no less than 8 are DEC veterans including Gil himself. Eleven are Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) with a combined 100+ years of awarded experience, and several hold the distinction of Microsoft Certified Master in Active Directory.

DEC, meet HIP

HIP is DEC updated: bringing people together to talk about the specific challenges and opportunities presented by the Microsoft hybrid identity architecture. It’s not just about Active Directory any more, but AD tied to its new, younger – but much heftier- brother Azure Active Directory and all of its rapidly-evolving capabilities. There’s so much to talk about in this dynamic environment we can’t possibly fit it into just two days.

We look forward to seeing you there!


* Which I still have.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Semperis authored by Sean Deuby. Read the original post at: