Understanding the New DNA for IT: Celebrating Customers & Partners on Day Two of Oktane14

I want to start things off by saying thank you to the more than 1,000 customers and partners who joined us for Oktane14. It was an exciting week for us, and a major part of that was seeing our team’s hard work finally come to fruition – putting on an incredible event and sharing our biggest product news to date.

In case you missed the first day of Oktane14, my co-founder Todd McKinnon made some of the biggest announcements in Okta’s history:

  1. Building on our established leadership in cloud-based identity management, we shared our strategy for deepening and broadening application integrations in the Okta Network. We announced Okta Mobile Connect, to enable single sign-on to native mobile applications. And we introduced significant enhancements to our MFA solution, Okta Verify, including new “push” functionality and (soon) support for voice and TouchID authentication.

  2. We released Okta Developer Edition to give developers access to the same APIs that Adobe, Advent, ServiceNow, ServiceSource, Informatica, and others use to build Okta as an identity layer for their applications. With Developer Edition, we’re accelerating cloud adoption in the enterprise by enabling any developer - big or small; inside the enterprise or out - to build applications that are inherently secure from the start.

  3. Biggest of all, we announced our entry into an entirely new space with Okta Mobility Management, the industry’s first 100% cloud-based, integrated identity and mobility management solution. As you’d expect from Okta, we’re disrupting this industry with a user-centric (not device-centric) approach to enterprise mobility management.

As Todd mentioned in his recent blog post on the news, our vision to securely connect every user, organization, application and device in the enterprise hasn’t changed, but the world definitely has.

On the second and final day of the conference, we went beyond our product announcements and looked at our space and company with a broader lens – and celebrated our amazing customers and partners, who’ve done some incredible work to make their businesses more secure and productive with our solution.

The New DNA for IT

We kicked things off with Pat Grady, partner at Sequoia Capital and Okta board member, sharing four simple criteria for “The New DNA for IT” – DNA that we are an essential part of. From awareness to insight, Pat walked through each criterium and offered explanations for how companies can implement them to deliver a competitive advantage to their customers. And while I’d argue that all four should’ve been identity, Pat agrees that the second principle, identity, plays a huge role in enabling a people-centric enterprise today. Identity is not only the new security perimeter, it’s the new IT control plane for a cloud and mobile-first enterprise. In Pat’s words, identity plays a key role in user-centric IT because it’s about connecting technology to human beings, enabling truly simple, secure and productive experiences that drive value for our businesses.

I followed Pat. It was a tough act to follow.

Increasing Value with a Partner Ecosystem

The focus for my presentation was about our partner ecosystem. Over the last year, we’ve invested heavily in both our ISV and channel partners, as our success is entirely dependent on the extent to which they work with us.

Our ISV partners form the foundation for the Okta Application Network, which integrates to almost 4,000 public cloud applications. But we’re forging much deeper relationships with an increasing number of these providers to deliver deeper value to our customers. Following our announcement on day one of Adobe choosing Okta to power identity federation between its Creative Cloud and Adobe’s enterprise customers, we were proud to also announce that ServiceNow, the third largest public SaaS company, chose Okta to be the embedded identity layer in their latest product, ServiceNow Express. Fred Luddy, founder and Chief Product Officer at ServiceNow, joined me on stage and said, “we chose Okta because it would deliver us huge economic benefits and huge customer benefits. Other than that, I’m not sure why we did it.” We’re still deciding on how to brand this use case - is it an “OEM”? Do we just apply a “Powered by Okta” logo where appropriate? “Okta Inside”? - but whatever we call it, the notion of building Okta as the identity layer inside of leading cloud applications is highly strategic for us, and extremely valuable for our customers. You can expect to see a lot more momentum in this area over the next year or two.

But it’s also about the channel partner ecosystem, which includes Microsoft resellers and system integrators, traditional security vendors, and consultants. These are the guys that help us make our vision for user-centric IT a reality within customer organizations. They are specialists who know more about implementation and integration than anyone - organizations like Deloitte, Accenture, Slalom Consulting, CPSG, FishNet, SoftChoice, and Intellinet, and many others - and they are absolutely vital to our success and ability to scale moving forward. Customer Success always has been and will continue to be Okta’s #1 priority, and we’re working closely with these partners to ensure they drive that same commitment through to every customer they work with.

Our Success is Based on Your Success

On the customer success note, Krista Anderson, our chief customer officer, also took the stage to share how we will not only deliver a valuable product, but how we can go above and beyond to keep them successful. She talked about how we will do more to share our product roadmap, connect customers with other customers through a brand-new customer help center (to be released mid-December), and continue to support their growth as their goals change.

Oktane14 Customer Awards

Finally, it wouldn’t be an Okta conference without announcing our customer award winners – recognizing organizations and individuals who have taken major leaps to enable their teams to worry less about technology and spend more time innovating and driving value for the business.

Drumroll please...

IT Pioneer Award

These customers push Okta to blaze new trails. They challenge the status quo and drive great technological advancements for their companies. This year’s winners are...


  • Jason Schlagel, Varian Medical Systems

  • Carlton Ashley, Intel

Evangelist Award


Awarded to customers that have referred friends to our service and completed many other “random acts of evangelism” for our company. The winners are...

  • George Hegedus, Rosetta Stone

  • Clint Sorensen, Overstock

Lightning Award


This award celebrates the speed and agility necessary to speedily and successfully move an entire organization to Okta. This winner successfully deployed 30,000 users in just one week...

  • Jones-Lang LaSalle

Innovator Award


This award celebrates companies that have been around for nearly a century – yet move quickly and adopt new technologies to drive modern approaches to IT, and advance their legacy environments. The winner is...

  • Peter Markos, Rotary International

Builder Award


This award recognizes developers using Okta as the identity layer for their products and applications to handle all IDaaS challenges, so they can focus on building the features their customers care about most. The winner is...

  • Greg McClellan, Advent

Believer Award


This award recognizes loyal customers that truly believe in what we do every day, even bringing Okta with them from another company and successful deployment. The winner is...

  • Johan Dowdy, Twitter (formerly Workday)

Atlas Award


Celebrating the customer teams that have effectively extended Okta and are “doing it all,” this award is given to those who take all on their shoulders like the primordial Titan, to cover the identities of their employees, customers, partners or other external users alike. The winners are...

  • Gaston Zilleruelo, Amway

  • Ramchand Rao, Esri

  • Josh Giese, Esri

Partner Impact Award


Our partners go above and beyond when using Okta to add value to their business. Last but not least, this award recognizes those that are committed to sharing and improving Okta’s services, and who live and breathe our mantra of scale and success. The winners are...

  • Rick Koppin, Slalom

  • Dan O’Leary, Box

A big round of applause to both our winners and all who attended Oktane14. Your success is our success and we can’t wait to see how we’ll grow with you this year.

As we look ahead, sharing our product roadmap and company plans, we’d also like to share the date for Oktane15: November 2-4, 2015. Register to attend before December 31, 2014 and you will be entered to win an upgraded suite at MGM’s The Aria.