Award-Winning Okta Partner Bytes: Helping Organizations Make Smarter Investments
It’s hard to believe that only 40 years ago, the preferred data storage format was CDs, Microsoft was releasing its first version of Windows, and the Apple Macintosh was just hitting the mass-market. Against this backdrop in 1982, Bytes was founded. They emerged as an IT solutions provider to help businesses use technology to grow, adapt, and stay competitive in a world this is still constantly evolving.
Today, more than 500 experts in cybersecurity, virtualization, cloud computing, software asset management, and software licensing bring Bytes’ mission to life across the UK and Ireland. They do this by helping SMEs, large corporations, and public sector organizations to stay productive, secure, and cost-effective. Bytes’ commitment to understanding its customers’ priorities and needs—before proposing solutions, has earned it the trust of over 4,000 organizations. The company also tackles business challenges and cybersecurity concerns through workshops, consultancy services, and hands-on support.
To learn more about this award-winning Okta partner, we spoke with Security Specialist Toby Noble.
Q: So Toby, what is Bytes all about?
It might be easier to start with what we’re not: we’re not in it for short-term gains and quick wins. We’re not about reactionary sales. We’re all about great relationships, and that goes for both our customers and vendors. When it comes to our expertise, we have a lot of strings to our bow. We are a very large Microsoft reseller, the largest provider of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 in the UK, in fact, but we have an extensive repertoire of expertise in other areas as well, such as Adobe, VMware, Oracle, AWS, cybersecurity, and identity management.
Q: What does it mean to be a security specialist at Bytes?
Essentially, my job is to lend my knowledge and experience to customers tackling their identity management strategy. When customers are planning their identity management journey or exploring the market for various technologies, I help them define a project and explore what identity management solutions might help them tackle a security concern. They place their trust on Bytes when beginning these projects and we take that very seriously, so I ensure that they’re achieving their goals in the best and most secure way possible.
Q: What’s your approach to identity management as a security specialist?
From a cybersecurity perspective, identity management has always been a juggling act between making it easy for end-users to find what they need versus protecting assets and applications from unwanted visitors. Okta has found a balance between the two, so that adding security doesn’t complicate things for users.
Q: Is that why you decided to become an Okta partner?
Partially, yes. Before helping our customers select an identity management solution, we’ve had to select them ourselves. Here, we follow the advice we give our customers: always think long-term! This does not mean buying a whole portfolio of products that you don’t need right now. Rather, it’s selecting tools today that won’t eventually pigeonhole you, or force you to buy again tomorrow, when new requirements come up. With this in mind, we selected Okta to enrich our portfolio. With Okta, customers are free to start off with a fairly basic requirement for identity management, such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), then add more at their own pace. This flexibility perfectly aligns with our approach to selecting technologies that solve immediate needs, but also grow with the company and continue to pay off in the future.
Q: What other criteria did you use, when selecting Okta to be part of your portfolio?
Agility, at first, because Okta integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 and massively speeds up its deployment for our customers. But also flexibility, because we never restrict ourselves to one way of solving problems. What works for one customer may not be ideal for another, and customer challenges change over time. So the identity solutions they use need to be adaptable, and Okta brings that to the table.
Q: Being a trusted advisor comes with great responsibility. How do you ensure that you’re picking the right tools for your customers when it comes to identity management?
Selecting an identity solution doesn’t just come down to the Gartner and Forrester reviews. Those reviews do help to steer up conversations with customers because Okta has outperformed the competition in the last couple of years. But what’s also key for us is that Okta enables any company to link any user with any technology on any device, which means that customers have the freedom to determine how identity management can work best for them.
Q: How does Okta align with Bytes’ mission of helping customers stay productive and secure while reducing operational costs?
Tackling cost reduction is not always about reducing what customers are using. It's also about helping them to make smarter investments so they can make the most of what they already have. Sometimes, this means boosting their current setup with a third party solution like Okta. For example, we noticed a big surge of inquiries about enabling remote work securely in 2020. With Okta, we’re helping our customers adopt identity solutions that complement their work tools. This might mean adding a layer of MFA and Single Sign-On to Microsoft 365, which helps them adjust to dynamic work very quickly and securely so they can take advantage of the Microsoft investments they’ve already made.
Q: What does it mean for you to be an Okta partner today?
That’s a simple question, actually. Being an Okta partner means we get to lead with the very best. It means that, whenever we talk with a customer about any identity challenge they might be facing–be it workforce or customers–we get to help them explore the market-leading identity management technology that can tackle it.
Q: What’s next for Bytes as an Okta partner?
We’ve had many proud moments as Okta partners over the last few years, but we feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of this relationship. Okta brings so many potential solutions to our customers. Helping them explore their options makes us excited about the future. We’re in the process of growing our in-house team of Okta experts so we can continue to excel in helping our customers implement these great tools. We’ve got exciting times ahead of us.