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Benefits of InCommon BaseCAMP: Hear it from Former First-Timers



By Iain Oldman – Copywriter, Content Marketing, Internet2

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

BaseCAMP, InCommon’s annual virtual event for identity and access management (IAM) professionals, is only a few weeks away. 

Every year, people in research and higher education who are new to IAM and the InCommon community come to BaseCAMP to explore topics related to federated identity, stay current on IAM services, and network with their peers.

Over the past half-decade, institutions worldwide have sent their teams to BaseCAMP to learn from thought leaders in IAM.

Join your IAM peers at InCommon BaseCAMP 2024, held online June 3-7.

Register Today

BaseCAMP, held online this year June 3-7, includes content and interactive sessions for a variety of IAM team members of all skill levels and interests, from IAM architects to project managers and beyond.

Recently, some BaseCAMP alumni with different career backgrounds sat with us to share their experiences. Below are videos and abbreviated responses from their interviews, with some of their answers edited for clarity.


Ben Rappleyea
Ben Rappleyea, manager of the Office of Identity and Access Management at Illinois State University
Q: Why did you attend BaseCAMP for the first time?

A: We went there in 2020. We were really investigating options for replacing our current identity management system that we had been running since 2014. BaseCAMP was an introduction to the applications that we were looking at, and we wanted to … get to know people who were using them already.

We got exactly what we wanted out of that. We didn’t expect to go in and learn how to do everything to get it set up and running. We went in with the expectation of meeting people, finding out what questions we needed to ask and what we needed to do going forward to actually plan out our implementation.

Q: What’s a moment from BaseCAMP that really stuck with you and why?

A: I remember being inspired, if you will, by the presentation “What’s Next in Grouper” by Chris Hyzer. He had been talking about what they were going to be doing in the near future, and it honestly rang true with everything that we were trying to do at ISU. We didn’t know at the time when we were going into BaseCAMP that we needed Grouper. … That presentation told us that we needed Grouper and we started plans to implement it shortly thereafter.

Q: In your opinion, what type of person, role, or professional would benefit the most from going to BaseCAMP?

A: I’d say it’s honestly open to a lot of different roles. The idea is to engage with more than just the leaders and the implementers of the technology and connect with the people who are utilizing the tools to achieve the outcomes that they are needing to meet in real-world situations. That’s the whole goal of BaseCAMP—in my opinion—to engage people and connect with them.

Q: Would you say BaseCAMP has positively impacted you professionally?

Being a part of BaseCAMP impacted me professionally by getting me into a network of users and administrators who have similar goals and environments but are also willing to talk about what they do on a daily basis. Previously, we had been in a closed source environment, a proprietary environment for our identity management system, and we had no say in how it was implemented.

With the [InCommon Trusted Access Platform] software, we are able to reach out to the people who develop the software and say, ‘Hey, it would be nice if we could do this.’ And within a couple of months, that feature will show up occasionally. It’s a great community to be able to reach out to people and get problems solved.


Stacey Poertner posing for a profile photo.
Stacey Poertner, IAM role engineer and business analyst at Virginia Tech
Q: What were your expectations going to BaseCAMP for the first time?

A: I wanted to learn about InCommon, Internet2, and anything related to IAM. It definitely met my expectations because of the range of the sessions that were offered, and it connected me to other schools and people who are in a similar role to me.

Q: Is there anything that sets BaseCAMP apart from other events?

A: There definitely is. For me, it was having the opportunity to ask questions and have discussions. Sometimes, when you attend other training sessions, you may not have that opportunity. I really enjoyed … talking to presenters and peers to help solve similar problems.

Q: Would you say BaseCAMP has positively impacted you professionally?

A: Personally, it was such a good decision to ask my supervisor if I could attend. I now have a better understanding of the terminology and components of IAM.

Q: In your opinion, who should go to BaseCAMP?

A: I recommend [BaseCAMP] to anybody who deals with identity access management. You could be new, or you could be in your role for a while, but I really do encourage individuals who are new, like me.

Q: If you had to summarize your BaseCAMP experience, what would you say?

A: BaseCAMP has something for everybody. Anyone [who is] new to identity management or [has been] working with IAM for a while will greatly benefit due to the various sessions, activities, and even the connections you make within training.

Promotional graphic illustration for Basecamp 2024.


Are you interested in this opportunity to take the next step on your IAM journey? Do you have a team that would benefit from the variety of programming at BaseCAMP? Don’t miss this opportunity to dive into IAM fundamentals and connect with a community of IAM professionals.

BaseCAMP runs June 3-7. Register now to save your seat at BaseCAMP 2024.