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SMC Corporation of America Embraces Tools On The Ground and In The Sky With Okta

Alyssa Smrekar
Director, Customer Marketing

Manufacturing has come a long way since the textile factories of the Industrial Revolution. Recently in the United States, the state of the manufacturing industry has sparked a debate around a possible contemporary revolution thanks to more competitive global costs and increasingly efficient technologies. One company making a difference in the manufacturing industry today? SMC Corporation of America.

SMC provides companies with ways to automate their manufacturing -- delivering products that meet global standards and have the power to help industries automate processes and increase efficiency. Experts in providing physical devices that streamline everyday tasks, SMC realized they needed a solution to make the cloud applications they use every day as accessible as their products. We sat down with Bob Stephan, IT application services manager at SMC Corporation of America, to learn how Okta is securing SMC’s network, making applications accessible and ultimately improving the lives of employees on a daily basis.

How did you manage your applications and identities before adopting Okta?

Before cloud applications started to proliferate, we used multiple Active Directories. We would build application security around groups and rolls on an application, but we didn’t care about how they got into the environment. Because everything lived within our four walls, identity management wasn’t a huge concern. All that has changed. We don’t have a formal cloud initiative at SMC, but recently, every time we’ve looked for a solution, it’s been a cloud application that fits the bill.

As we started turning to the cloud more and more, we realized we needed a way to secure these new solutions. It wasn’t until we started looking into Okta that I realized just how important identity management really was. I began to think about how to secure our applications and make end users happy across all of our systems.

So why did Okta specifically stand out?

We brought Okta in to hear more about their solution and what they could do for us, and we immediately hit it off with the team. There was just an instant connection. It was clear that Okta cared about what we were trying to do and understood our vision. Ultimately, that’s why we picked Okta over the other solutions we were considering. The other companies we spoke with seemed to be nothing more than vendors. With Okta, we knew that we were signing on with a company that really cared and would work closely with us to meet our needs.

How did Okta change your IT department’s daily operations?

Okta has become a source of truth in the IT portion of our company. The Universal Directory gives our IT department on-demand, up-to-date information about our employees and applications. It provides a level of transparency that has become crucial to our daily operations. Okta is easily the coolest tool we’ve got. And it’s made adding new applications easier than ever. It’s a huge time saver, and it means we can give employees access to the applications they want and need quickly.

What do your end users love about Okta?

One of the best things about Okta from an end user perspective is that it grants access to our applications from anywhere, anytime. That means our employees can be sitting on their couch with an iPad or sitting in the office in front of a desktop and they have access to the same applications. It’s a whole new level of mobility that they love. And now they don’t have to memorize a myriad of usernames, passwords and URLs to access those applications.

It’s easy to see that our end users love Okta. Adoption continues to grow and the people that are using Okta and see the power of it are starting to ask us to onboard additional applications. Okta is helping our employees embrace the tools available to them. That’s huge. I’m a firm believer that user adoption leads to success. We have these tools for a reason, and we’re thrilled that Okta is encouraging users to take advantage of these applications.

To hear the rest of Bob’s interview, check out the video below or visit our customer testimonial page.

Alyssa Smrekar
Director, Customer Marketing

Alyssa Smrekar is our Director of Customer Marketing at Okta. She is responsible for advocacy programs, customer engagement and events. Alyssa manages Okta's annual customer conference Oktane and considers it the best 3 days of the year! She's passionate about getting to know Okta's customers and highlighting their journeys across a variety of channels, both online and in-person. 

Prior to Okta, Alyssa managed field marketing and online demand generation programs at VMware, SpringSource, VerticalResponse and BlueBird Marketing. Alyssa graduated from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and currently lives in San Francisco.

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