Why Chiquita Brands International Goes Bananas for Okta


A little over six years ago, before enterprises were fully comfortable with cloud applications, Chiquita migrated all of their applications off-premises. With more than 20,000 employees and a large batch of applications, Chiquita needed a way to manage identity and access seamlessly across all offices, countries and climates. We recently sat down with Kevin Ledford, Chiquita’s CIO and SVP of IT, to hear how Okta has enabled Chiquita to move to the cloud seamlessly and securely – making it the second cloud vital to the banana business.

Workday Driven IT Provisioning

It all started when Chiquita adopted Workday. “It became the central master – to control both the organization talent management chart and each employee’s user ID in the organization,” Kevin explained. Though an effective way to model and analyze the existing workforce, it was still a difficult process for Chiquita’s IT to add additional users with each additional HR hire. Ledford added, “It automatically went through a bus activity or a middleware device to our Active Directory, which could get fairly complicated.”

Active Directory Single Sign-On Integration

Kevin chose Okta because the connection between the two applications was, as he described it, “cloud-to-cloud, and much more easy to facilitate.” Okta's seamless integration with Workday allows administrators to automatically provision and deprovision users based on Active Directory security group membership, which is critical to providing secure access to the correct users.

And the benefits to Chiquita don’t end there. Additional perks include seamless connectivity through single sign-on, access to a directory of federated services, and the simplified provisioning and deprovisioning of users that Okta provides. Users can quickly access a diverse range of pre-integrated solutions once they’ve joined the company, and IT can quickly remove the privileges once they’ve departed.


But Kevin’s not just thinking about today’s harvest – he’s got a lot planned for the future. He recognizes that mobility will continue to grow in importance, especially for a company like his that ships produce around the world. Whether they’re sending perishable goods from the Equator to the chillier parts of the world, or enabling employees to work from iPhones and iPads at home or in the banana field, it’s a mobile-centric world for the Chiquita company.

“Our mobility strategy is really tied to the cloud-first software-as-a-service strategy,” he said. “Mobility comes with Okta’s product. We love it. We use it – and we don’t have to worry about those platforms because somebody else is.”

A Growing Application Network

At the end of the day, Kevin’s confident that the partnership will continue to reap benefits as more applications head to the cloud and as Okta grows its Application Network. “We fully expect that Okta will grow – because that’s the way cloud works – and we will utilize the additional services as they are offered,” he said.

We’re eager to grow along with you, Kevin.

Interested in learning more about how this banana (and pineapple, as well as a cornucopia of other fruits and veggies) business uses identity management to provide their employees seamless and secure application access? Check out Kevin’s full interview below or on the Okta website here.