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Perfect Harmony: How School of Rock Hit the High Note With Okta

Alyssa Smrekar
Director, Customer Marketing

Learning to play a new instrument or finally nailing that expert guitar riff takes time and patience. And along the way, it doesn’t hurt to have a great teacher or mentor to help you reach your goals. With more than a decade of successful experience teaching music, School of Rock is the global leader in music education helping to turn musical aspirations into reality.  

Now in over 160 locations worldwide (including nine different countries), School of Rock’s applications are accessed across the company’s corporate centers, franchised schools and performance venues. It is Senior Director of Information Strategy Sam Dresser’s responsibility to keep data from over 500 users secure and accessible from anywhere in the world. We recently sat down with Sam to hear more about why they chose Okta to give remote users the freedom to grow their businesses and help them save over $300K from decreased IT costs, and improved security.

As a franchise business, what security and identity challenges were you looking to overcome with Okta?
The people we provide support for aren’t our own employees – they’re small business owners. We have to serve them as if they are an end user or customer buying our product. We provide them with the tools, resources and training they need to succeed, and they license the use of our name, our trademarks, our curriculum and our systems.

How has Okta changed your approach to identity management?
Before Okta it was the dark age, like the Wild West. We really didn’t have a cohesive strategy for user or identity management and basically just pleaded with people to behave safely. Now, all our users are mobile. Every tool and platform that we offer has to not just be mobile friendly, it needs to be mobile first and mobile complete. With Okta, we’ve found a platform that allows someone to securely run their school from a tablet or smartphone.

What features or products are users most excited about?
We just started rolling out Okta Mobility Management (OMM) and the response has been been phenomenal. Initially, we chose to implement OMM because we wanted to ensure the security of our data as employees came and went. But what we found was that the end users loved it too. They would come to School of Rock, download the Okta mobile app and their device would automatically be set up for them. This gave users instant access to their email, their calendars and additional apps that we provisioned.

How has implementing Okta affected your IT team?
From the very beginning Okta has been a phenomenal partner and I feel like they truly understand our business. Okta has allowed our entire IT staff to transform from ticket solvers that reset passwords and provided access to systems to business and technology consultants that help our end users understand how the technology can grow their business.  

How have users responded to using Okta?
Our adoption is basically 100%. Needless to say, School of Rock users love Okta. It has become their single point of access to their businesses. What our users love most is the convenience of having a single login, a single password and the fact that it’s their starting point. It’s how they start their day and how they start their work.

To learn more about School of Rock and how the company is giving small business owners the IT confidence to perform on the big stage, check out the case study on our customer page and watch our interview with Sam Dresser in the video below.

 
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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