Randy Vanderhoof still forgets he has a new job title – sort of.
“It’s going to be hard,” Vanderhoof says. “It’s been over 15 years of saying it one way and now having to change.”
His role hasn’t changed, but the name of the organization has. Smart Card Alliance is now Secure Technology Alliance. The old website is still up, and one click gets you to the new one. Vanderhoof is staying on as executive director. “This change certainly did not happen overnight. This has been months and, in fact, years in the planning.”
The change began when the leadership team realized the alliance had accomplished what it set out to do when it started in 2000 — smarts cards are now ubiquitous in the U.S. and abroad. “The Smart Card Alliance has been well known globally for educating markets and accelerating the adoption of smart card technology in markets for payments, identity and security, mobile, transportation and other markets,” Vanderhoof says.
The same technology used in smart cards has been adapted for mobile devices, wearables, and much more – giving the not-for-profit alliance a new path.
“There’s a lot of new and emerging technologies relying on smart cards – but without the familiar plastic card,” Vanderhoof says. “So we’ve changed our mission and we’ve changed our name to be more relevant for not only smart cards but for all of the future uses of this secure technology.”
The board came up with a new mission statement: to stimulate the understanding, adoption and widespread application of secure solutions, including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software. The work includes member collaboration and education on the appropriate uses of secure technologies.
Next, the board had to agree on a name. They wanted to keep the “alliance” legacy while not limiting themselves to smart cards.
“We went through a number of iterations around a name,” Vanderhoof says. “The reason why we settled on the Secure Technology Alliance is because we didn’t want to be identified to a specific form factor or technology any longer – since the technology that we have served has expanded and changed so dramatically over the last few years.”
The alliance already has strong representation in its membership from the payments, transportation, identity, and access industries. The goal now is to draw in more of the Internet of Things community — technology providers and adopters.
“We are a secure solutions organization, and we cover all different ways in which technology can be used to secure those solutions,” Vanderhoof says.
There are many exciting things on the horizon for the expanded organization. Listen to the podcast with Randy Vanderhoof and Regarding ID’s Gina Jordan to learn more.