[OpenID board] February 4, 2021 Executive Committee Call Minutes

Mike Jones Michael.Jones at microsoft.com
Thu Feb 18 20:24:28 UTC 2021

February 4, 2021 Executive Committee Call Minutes

Don Thibeau - Executive Director
Mike Jones
George Fletcher
John Bradley
Nat Sakimura
Bjorn Hjelm


Mike Leszcz - OpenID Foundation

1.       Certification Program Update
Don reported on the Certification Program.  We have reduced our certification costs, while maintaining a minimum viable service level.  But we are still operating in the blind - without quantifiable demand projections.  There could be a surge in demand from new jurisdictions, such as Australia, Brazil, the Middle East, and others, or this might ramp up slowly.  FDX is adopting FAPI.  We are conducting technical workshops in regions to educate them and gauge their demand.  We are working on improved FAQs to hopefully answer most questions from those adopting and considering adoption.

We are still operating the program at a significant loss.  Mike Leszcz reported that we subsidized 71% of the cost of the program in 2020.  Don stated that now is the time to increase certification and membership fees.  We should increase the fees before potentially large volumes of FAPI certifications come in.  Mike Jones suggested that we consider multi-tiered pricing, where we raise FAPI prices more than Connect prices.

Don reported that we have had zero push-back on the FAPI certification pricing.  Some partner certification programs may cost tens of thousands of dollars and include FAPI certification as a component.  John advocated doubling the FAPI prices.  Nat said that we could consider communicating with new constituencies before raising prices.  John believes that our prices appear to be too cheap to banks.

Mike proposed that we raise the Connect prices by the proposed ~40% and double the FAPI prices and make a recommendation for the board meeting next week.  John agreed, as did others.  Mike Leszcz will include these recommendations in the board deck for next week.

We discussed cases where we've provided subsidies for certification of implementations of open-source projects.  We agreed that we could continue to do that on a case-by-case basis.

Nat suggested that we possibly outsource some of the significant support/handholding tasks to consultants paid for by the applicants, where possible.  That said, Mike Jones said that we shouldn't tell our staff to stop answering legitimate questions about the tool.  We agreed that we should consider our options as we plan for the certification program this year.

2.       Membership Fees
Mike Leszcz suggested that we also increase membership fees.  We could increase our individual membership fees from $25 to $99.  John suggested that we consider an individual range of $50-99.  George agreed.  Mike Jones suggested that we also return to considering increasing the corporate membership fees, based on the recommendations reviewed in early 2020.

3.       Pandemic Impacts
We did a good job cutting our costs early in the pandemic.  What we didn't anticipate was that the pandemic would affect volunteer participation in some working groups.  We'll talk about that more during next week's board meeting.

4.       Additions to the Leadership Transition Plan
Don and Mike Leszcz are adding planning for an orientation phase, where they mentor and support the new leader, once in place.  They want to help the new leader get up to speed on the issues and opportunities facing the organization.  The EC thanked them for doing this.

5.       Upcoming Events
All confirmed events for the first half of 2021 are in the foundation calendar.  We're organizing an OpenID workshop on April 29th.  That date avoids IIW and other key events by other parties.

Australia has proposed outreach workshops in March and April.  Mike Leszcz expects to hear back from them in the next week.  These would be similar to the workshops we held with OBIE in the UK.  There may be other similar workshops for Brazil and the Middle East.

[ Don left the call at this point to celebrate the birth of his second grandchild! ]

6.       W3C Web Payments Security Interest Group
This group is rechartering.  John reported that they're asking us if we'd like to participate and/or be a sponsor.  FIDO and EMV Co. (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) are currently sponsors.  Mike Jones asked whether we have someone who would like to be the liaison officer and would like to represent us.  John said that a key question is whether a FAPI transaction could be initiated through the Web Payments API.  He said that there is a similar discussion with FIDO and Web Payments.  John said that, from a FAPI point of view, if Web Payments includes more than just card payments, there would be an advantage to participating early.  Mike Jones suggested that Nat and John ask for potential participants during a FAPI working group call before the next board call.  They agreed to do that.

7.       Leadership Transition Update
Out of the eight initial candidates, there are now four candidates who want to move forward.  Some of the four who decided not to move forward dropped out because they had other commitments that would have prevented them from giving the foundation their full attention; they all have great respect for the foundation.  Bjorn will suggest an interview strategy during the search committee call next week.  The position was advertised in the IDPro newsletter this month.

8.       HEART Working Group Leadership
It would be good to find new active leadership for the HEART working group - especially in light of world needs due to the pandemic.

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