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Enabling Open Communication: Okta Connects Twilio Employees with Applications Anywhere, Anytime

Arturo Hinojosa
Senior Product Marketing Manager

Whether you’re waiting for an Uber driver at the curb, you’ve set up a call with a match on eHarmony or you’re receiving an authentication code to access a Box account, Twilio, the software and cloud-based communications platform, is there to make the process a seamless one. So seamless that you likely had no idea they were involved in the process.

Twilio helps developers and businesses build communications solutions including voice integration, messaging, VoIP and call centers, so that companies can connect and engage with customers in any number of ways. But building a bridge between business and client is no small feat. That’s why Twilio employees rely on a stack of cloud applications to get their jobs done. And as the company continues to grow, so does its stack of tools. With employees looking for an easier way to access their applications and company data while on the go, Twilio turned to Okta to secure and simplify identity and mobility management.

We sat down with Seth Hardiman, IT administrator, to discuss why Twilio selected Okta as its identity and mobility management solution and how implementation has allowed the company to scale securely, improve employee productivity and reduce IT costs.

Finding a Secure Way to Scale

Twilio was launched in 2007, and has since grown immensely. In fact, the company recently raised $130 million in a Series E funding round in order to continue to do so. The company, which is one of the latest companies to be added to Fortune’s mystical Unicorn List, relies on a lot of infrastructure. As the company has matured, it’s added more than 25 cloud applications, and needed an identity and mobility management solution to help IT securely manage their mobile workforce and offer single sign-on to make accessing tools easier for end users.

The company researched several cloud-based providers, but Okta proved to be the best fit for Twilio. “Ultimately, we selected Okta because we were amazed at how easy it was to add applications and by how many application integrations already existed,” Hardiman said. “Our employees were asking for a better way to access their applications and Okta was exactly the solution we were looking for because it also promised a secure network.”

Expanding Functionality: Enabling A Mobile Workforce

A few months after signing on with Okta, Twilio looked to expand its usage of the solution as employees began accessing email and data from personal devices more frequently. The IT department wanted a way to guarantee data security on mobile devices without adding complexity for users.

Twilio selected Okta Mobility Management (OMM) because it offered an easy to use solution for managing mobile devices that had the added bonus of being fully integrated into their existing identity management solution. “The great thing about the OMM solution is that we no longer have to react to data breaches or data loss,” Hardiman said. “Instead, Okta protects Twilio’s data and prevents issues before they arise.”

Hardiman estimates that OMM reduces the company’s risk of a mobile breach by 35 percent thanks to the ability to remotely wipe corporate data from lost or stolen devices. “The decreased risk when it comes to mobile security is huge for us, since so many of our employees are accessing data from personal devices on a daily basis,” Hardiman said.

Secure Data, Happy End Users and Reduced IT Costs

With Okta’s integrated identity and mobility management solution fully rolled out, company data is secure no matter where employees access it from, whether it be traditional endpoints like laptops and desktops or mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

In addition to securing Twilio’s data, Okta has made life easier for employees, which in turn has improved productivity. Employees can access all of their applications through a single portal, which means they don’t have to memorize dozens of URLs, logins and passwords to get to the tools they need. That particular feature has the IT department jumping for joy too. It means 50 percent fewer password reset requests and a smoother onboarding process – time is spent learning how to use applications, not getting into them on mobile devices. To quantify that, OMM improves Twilio end user productivity by more than $45,000 each year.

“The process for onboarding end users for both traditional endpoints and mobile devices has improved significantly since we signed on with Okta,” Hardiman said. “We can get our employees up and running faster than ever.”

But end users aren’t the only ones that are pleased. Even Twilio’s finance team is thrilled with the deployment. Why? By adopting Okta Mobility Management, Twilio has reduced the number of help desk tickets that are related to AD password reset requests by 50 percent. Each ticket request typically took the help desk 15 minutes, on average, to resolve. Now Twilio can also spend less time collecting data for mobile audits, and has reduced costs involved in that time-intensive process by 80 percent. “It’s a huge time and money saver for our department,” Hardiman said. Twilio’s IT department can dedicate more time being strategic advisors to the business, and less time putting out fires. In fact, Twilio has made more than a 1000 percent return on investment, and payback was immediate!

To learn more, check out Twilio’s case study here.

Arturo Hinojosa
Senior Product Marketing Manager

Arturo Hinojosa is Okta’s Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Mobile and MFA solutions. Arturo has over 15 years experience in product, sales, and services roles working at numerous SaaS and cloud technology companies, including Desktone prior to its acquisition by VMware, Time Warner Cable/NaviSite, and FIS. Arturo earned his B.S. in Computer Science from MIT and held numerous research positions at the MIT Media Lab and Lincoln Laboratory.

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