When I started working in technology, cloud-based solutions were rarely implemented in France. But in the past decade, the landscape has changed dramatically, and companies have steadily begun taking notice. For the past seven years, I’ve had the opportunity to grow enterprise service management company, ServiceNow’s activities in the French market, one of the earliest adopters of the cloud. Thanks to increased demand of cloud solutions, the company grew rapidly from one to 100 employees.
What’s really driven my passion for technology in the cloud era is understanding how cloud providers are disrupting the market. One conversation that really struck a chord with me was with ServiceNow’s Chief Revenue Officer, a leader I deeply respect, a couple of years ago, where only one company was mentioned as a disruptor — Okta. At the time, I did not know much about Okta, but this changed quickly. After initially using Okta Single Sign-On services for employees, ServiceNow rapidly invested in more solutions from Okta, and this is where I really became fascinated with the company.
During the hiring process and my conversations with Okta co-founders, Todd McKinnon and Frederic Kerrest, I was given a clear and compelling vision of the company. They explained how important identity is to security. Whether you want to access an application, enable end-users to access your services in a seamless and secure manner, or even open your driverless car in the future, identity is core to any technology or service.
The French market is beginning to understand the need for identity and Okta is helping address this need. The complexity of managing identity and access management (IAM) for employees, partners and customers and getting access to company’s resources easily from secure devices simply cannot be achieved with traditional on-premise, legacy solutions. It’s too complex. Okta solves this problem in a straightforward, efficient and secure manner. That’s the true mission of Okta, enable any company to use any technology.
What impressed me even more than the technology, is the people that power it all. In each meeting, Okta employees were not only enthusiastic about the company’s opportunity, but also proud of the work they do. Customer success was a key factor in every discussion for every employee in the company.
This is why customers are the best advocates for the company. A great example of this came in my first customer meeting at Okta, with French multinational electric utility company ENGIE, during which we discussed why they chose to work with Okta three years ago. ENGIE was clear that after evaluating all solutions on the market, Okta was the only one capable of supporting its 200,000 employee email service migration to Office 365, in just a three months. Three years later and ENGIE is still a happy customer, relying on Okta to manage the authentication and access to more than 170 services and applications.
This is only the beginning for Okta in France, and I’m excited to continue to expand this journey with new employees, partners and customers.