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An Experience Developers Love, Enterprises Trust: Okta for Customer Identity

When Stormpath and Okta joined forces earlier this year, it was because we saw an opportunity to do something great. We had similar technology stacks, cultures and visions for the potential of identity APIs. Stormpath brought the developer DNA to the equation, and Okta brought the best in enterprise identity. What we set out to create together was a complete customer identity offering – helping businesses use the best of Okta to create new experiences for their users. What we’ve been working on is now here, but before jumping in on the details of our new offerings, let’s take a step back to talk about this new space for our customers:

First, what exactly is customer identity?

Most of you probably know Okta as the front door to getting access to all your business applications – and Okta’s spent the last nine or so years working on the backend to make it easy for IT to manage and secure that access. You’ve probably also noticed that door to applications doesn’t just exist in your workplace. When you log in to your healthcare provider’s website, for example, you may have the option to book an appointment, or to review your health history. If you log in to your favorite retailer, you may see selections chosen just for you, and have access to different types of clothing, gadgets, etc. In fact, if you log in to, well, anything, that’s driven by identity – and we’ve been working to extend Okta to customer-facing use cases as the best identity solution available today.

How can I take advantage of customer identity in my business?

You’ve probably seen a lot in the news on “digital transformation” – using technology to rethink traditional business structures and finding new ways to drive (additional) value for an organization. Every company today must now be a software company to compete in the global marketplace. To succeed, many traditional organizations are now taking steps to rethink how they deliver goods and services – particularly as they look to compete with the Amazons of the world. For these organizations, it’s not enough to just move everything online. This is about combining your industry expertise and success with technology to launch a new customer experience. At the same time, new ideas are popping up every day – and Okta is here to support every kind of software creation.

For these new web and mobile experiences, Okta acts not only as your front door, but because we help you manage your customers’ identities, we can also help you create more personalized and engaging experiences and build and secure a single, authoritative customer profile for marketing analytics. We’ll be there to make sure both your app and your customer data are secure and backed by our industry-leading solution.

How? What’s new in Okta customer identity?

We’ve been innovating in three core areas: product features for customer identity, the experience for the developers building Okta into their apps and the ecosystem of full support for your digital transformation. 

We’ve made the Okta Identity Cloud a one-stop shop to easily find resources, purchase tools and start building identity into any application. We’ve created new APIs, and extended Okta API Access Management to support a broader set of developers both within and outside of an organization. And we’ve done this all with Okta’s industry-leading cloud identity and access management platform at its heart – building a customer identity authentication and user management service that developers love and enterprises trust.

We also took steps to deliver a great developer experience. Now, Okta provides step-by-step documentation, allowing a developer to build a proof-of-concept in five minutes. From a single dashboard, developers can quickly build apps with modern authentication, without being an expert at using underlying protocols like SAML, OAuth or OpenID Connect. We’ve wrapped all of these updates in a package that developers can use today called Okta Developer Edition.

Finally, we’ve invested heavily in our partner ecosystem to ensure Okta fits in seamlessly with the tech stack for your customer-facing apps, with demonstrated compatibility with API gateways such as AWS API Gateway, Azure API Gateway and IBM DataPower I for identity verification. We also have built close connections with leading system integrators (SIs) Accenture and Deloitte to provide organizations with the resources and support to help with any app or service the company builds.

You can check out more technical details on our customer identity solution on our product and developer blogs, but if you take one thing away from this post, it should be this: whether you’re a business leader in a giant manufacturing company looking for a way to use technology to drive new value, or you’re starting off on your own new venture, Okta is here to help.

For more info on the tools and resources we provide to developers, check out developer.okta.com.

Alex Salazar
Vice President of Developer Platform, Okta

Alex is the former CEO of Stormpath and current VP of the Okta Developer Platform and Application Network. At Stormpath he caught the Identity APIs market early, delivering a great developer experience to thousands of organizations. He's now bringing that expertise to drive Okta's fastest growing product line further, faster. Before starting Stormpath, Alex was crushing quota as account exec at IBM where he managed accounts at ESPN, Viacom, and Bloomberg and drove his managers nuts with his relentless sandbagging. Prior to IBM, Alex was a founding developer at a healthcare SaaS startup no one has ever heard of, before SaaS was even a thing. He has a BS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech (Go Jackets!) and an MBA from Stanford (Go Cardinal!). Alex has two young, high energy daughters (Anna, 6 and Sasha, 2) that keep him busier than his day job. When he does get a moment to himself, Alex loves to surf his favorite spot in Santa Cruz, hold an amateurish downward dog Yoga pose, and host BBQs with the Green Egg (look it up) he stole from his original co-founder Les.

Ed Sawma
Director, Product Marketing

Ed Sawma is Director of Product Marketing at Okta where he manages B2B and B2C solutions as well as Okta API Access Management.  Ed previously led product marketing for core products at Okta. After starting his career in IT consulting, with a focus on system integration and security, Ed led product marketing globally for mobile applications at Motorola.  Prior to Okta, he worked on Microsoft’s IPTV platform.  Ed has a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from Northwestern University.  In his spare time, Ed enjoys cooking and studying the history of food.

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