How Okta Premier Partner SIA Became Okta’s Largest Pipeline Generator in Iberia in Just Two Years
In 2019, Iberian cybersecurity specialist SIA had no involvement with Okta. Fast forward two years and SIA is not only Okta’s only Premier Partner in Iberia, it’s also our largest pipeline generator in the region.
During this time, SIA also acquired the German cybersecurity firm MSS and has been increasingly targeting the customer base of its parent company, the Spanish technology, and consulting group, Indra.
To discover more about how SIA developed such a strong relationship with Okta in only two years, we spoke with SIA’s Digital Identity Business Development Manager, Daniel Fernández Rodríguez, who explained SIA’s approach to protecting customers from cyber vulnerabilities, and why it selected Okta to help bring this mission to life.
Q: Hi Daniel, please could you start by explaining what SIA’s main business mission is?
SIA’s mission is to provide the highest quality cybersecurity services and solutions to protect our customers’ digital businesses from cyber threats. We do this by combining technologically advanced solutions with excellent customer service. This allows us to build long-term relationships with our customers, and they implicitly trust us to deliver. We also aim to go further than any of our competitors in terms of the scope of our services and the commitment, flexibility, and innovative ideas we give to our customers to help them tackle all of their security challenges.
Q: What does being SIA’s Digital Identity Business Development Manager involve?
I'm in charge of developing the company’s commercial strategy and overseeing different initiatives based on digital identity. As part of this, I manage our portfolio affiliation with our technology partners, such as Okta. It’s a very interesting job, there’s always something new to learn about the different solutions we help our customers to implement.
Q: How do you assess whether a technology company is a good fit for SIA’s portfolio and customers?
We are charged with protecting hundreds of organisations from cyber threats, so we heavily scrutinise any new technology before deploying it for our customers. We also check to see that the technology company has strong values that match with our own. Like us, it must be a trusted partner to its customers and strive to be better than its competition.
Q: How did your partnership with Okta come about?
Okta approached us first and it was perfect timing. Okta knew that we were a leading cybersecurity provider in Iberia, and the local Okta team was keen to work with us. That was about two years ago, just at a time when many of our customers were struggling with multiple sign-ins for all of their different apps and SaaS systems. They each had different security access requirements that often triggered time-wasting password resets, and potentially increased their exposure to data breaches. It was clear to us that they would save time (and make their organisations more secure and efficient) by opting for one of Okta’s core offerings—a single integrated digital access control that would cover each individual worker’s needs. That was the initial motivation that led to SIA’s partnership with Okta.
After a lengthy assessment, we realised that we could trust Okta’s access management platform to deliver the high-quality and secure service we required. I also identified a number of synergies between Okta’s offerings and our own. In particular, we saw how our customers could benefit from centralising and modernising their processes around authentication and access control. Okta fits perfectly into our portfolio.
Q: You’re now Okta’s only Premier Partner in Iberia and our largest pipeline generator in the region, what do you attribute this success to?
SIA has an excellent reputation in the industry and so does Okta. Our customers trust us and when we recommend a product, they instantly know they can trust it. It also helps that Okta has a great international reputation. Our customers have heard of Okta, and they talk to each other; so when an Okta solution works well for them, they recommend it to others. Success breeds success.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about working with Okta solutions?
That you can deploy Okta solutions really fast and, when it’s all up and running, it’s incredibly easy to use. SIA prides itself on providing dynamic and flexible, frictionless digital solutions tailored to each of our customer’s specific needs. These solutions must be installed with minimum disruption to their services, and we know that we can rely on Okta to deliver this. Okta allows us to provide our customers with a state-of-the-art identity management platform that is quick to deploy, easy to set up, easy to use, and very scalable.
Q: And what else would you like to mention about Okta solutions?
Its ability to scale. We never expected to be able to grow the Okta solutions so successfully in just a couple of years. That success is largely due to how quick and easy it is to roll out Okta’s identity and access management tools across multiple departments and locations—within days.
Q: What’s next for SIA?
We are now moving into new territories. In June 2021, SIA acquired the German cybersecurity company, MSS, and that will help us to take Okta’s solutions into Germany and further into Europe. It really helps that Okta provides a localised European service that is compliant with European Union regulations. Okta offers hosting inside the European Union, for example, and that is crucial for our own and our customers’ compliance needs. To comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is simpler for EU-based companies to store any data that they hold within the EU.
We really hope to grow on the European mainland. Plus, we are also increasingly targeting the global customers of our parent company, the Indra Group. We are definitely still on an expansion drive!