What Happens in the Cloud, Stays in the Cloud: Workday Rising ’11 in Vegas

Recently, the Okta team traveled to Vegas for Workday’s three-day user conference, Workday Rising. It was a great show where we had the opportunity to highlight a lot of the joint engineering work we have been doing with Workday, and the week kicked off with the huge news of Workday’s $85 million round of funding (and $2 billion company valuation). Congrats to Aneel Bhursi and his team on Workday’s massive success. The company’s on a roll attracting high profile Fortune 1,000 customers, and their success echoes the cloud’s rapid adoption in the enterprise. If there are any doubters who still question the cloud’s prospects, Rising certainly helped silence them.

It was inspiring to be surrounded for three days by so many forward-thinking, cloud-first IT folks. Rising ‘11 was a great event — and a testament to the enterprise’s embrace of the cloud. Workday’s only five years old, and yet, as Arik Hesseldalh mentioned in his post on Workday’s funding round, they support about 250 companies representing more than two million users who rely on Workday’s HR, payroll and financial services.

During Monday night’s reception, we were able to spend some time with several of Workday’s partners to discuss ways our technologies complements each other and engaged with a lot of prospects as they explored how we could help them address their identity and access management needs surrounding Workday and their other cloud applications.

It was also exciting to see Okta featured prominently at the conference – in Aneel’s keynote and two breakout sessions: the first session on Workday’s single sign-on and security APIs, and the other focused on the joint development work we have done with Workday as part of their Workday 15 release that enables automated account provisioning from Workday to Active Directory and your other cloud applications.

It was especially satisfying to have one of our joint customers, Jeremiah Aldridge from TD Williamson, discuss how Okta has helped them address their near term single sign-on needs and about their plans going forward. With Workday 15 they are going to leverage the joint development we have done with Workday to automate user onboarding and offboarding via Okta to Active Directory and their other cloud applications. It is always so rewarding to hear a happy customer talking about how your products are making their life easier.

Being in Vegas, several of us placed bets about when Okta would have our first user conference and how many attendees would participate. ... It was impossible not to be optimistic with our over/under after spending three days surrounded by cloud success stories. We already have more than 1,000 apps in our Okta Application Network, and the way things are going, anything could happen.