Founders in Focus: Madhu Madhusudhanan of OLOID
Each month we highlight one of the founders of Okta Ventures’ portfolio companies. You’ll get to know more about them and learn how they work with Okta. This month we’re speaking with Madhu Madhusudhanan, co-founder and CTO of OLOID.
What is OLOID and what is your mission?
OLOID is driving a SaaS revolution to modernize physical identity and access in the workplace. Our overall mission is to be the single sign-on (SSO) system for physical identity, as Okta is for digital identity. We’d like to be the conduit that converges the two identity spheres—digital and physical.
What were you doing prior to OLOID that led you to this moment?
I’ve been a techie all my life. For a class project In the eighth grade, I built a basic door alarm system, which was my introduction to the world of access control. After graduating from college with a degree in electronics, I started my career as a software engineer. While building products at various tech companies, and finally at IBM, I observed the evolution of SSO systems like LDAP and Active Directory. Towards the end of my stint at IBM, I witnessed the hyper-growth of Okta.
I always felt the need for a system that managed physical identities with those of the cyber and physical worlds. After completion of my MBA, I started a company where I used Bluetooth / BLE as a form of physical identity. I built IP related to Bluetooth credentials, and the product was used by 4M+ users. It was around that time that I met my co-founder, Mohit Garg, who was mentoring me. Together, we saw a larger vision of building a true SSO system for the physical world, and from that idea, OLOID was born.
What is OLOID’s solution? What challenges does it solve?
Every year, millions of dollars are spent on cybersecurity. Yet, these same stakeholders neglect their aging physical security infrastructures—often siloed and outdated. In addition, most modern solutions promising frictionless mobile access require a “rip & replace” of existing infrastructure. This can be time-consuming, expensive, and in many cases, operationally hard to achieve—a requirement to re-badge 1000s of employees, for example.
OLOID is an advanced physical access software platform trusted by Fortune 500 enterprise companies and small to medium-sized businesses who want to modernize their physical access control infrastructure. We integrate with most commercially available, on-premises, and cloud physical access control systems. This eliminates the need to rip & replace existing hardware to modernize and integrate physical access. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, OLOID is backed by Dell Technologies Capital, Honeywell Ventures, and Okta Ventures.
Physical Identity & Access Management Platform
Connect and manage physical identities by integrating with various systems of records such as Okta and Workday. It allows for the merging of cyber and physical identities with elements such as badges and Bluetooth credentials.
Workflow and Automation Engine
A cloud and on-premises connector that includes legacy, physical systems such as existing PACS (physical access control systems) with end-end automatic user management and automation.
The industry's first software-based access reader that integrates with 90+% of backend PACS systems such as Lenel, Honeywell, S2, and Tyco. It also supports modern credentials such as Bluetooth, NFC, Facial Authentication, and QR codes.
Why did OLOID want to work with Okta?
Okta is the industry standard for online identity. OLOID’s goal is to become the industry standard for physical identity. Typically we see companies deploy Okta and automate the provisioning and de-provisioning of access to SaaS applications. However, when it comes to enabling/disabling badges or physical identity, for most companies, it’s a manual process. OLOID uses Okta as the source of truth and enables/disables badges in PACS. OLOID also facilitates automated and remote onboarding of physical identity, also a largely manual process today in most organizations.
How is OLOID working with Okta? What support do you look for in a corporate partner?
OLOID has certified hard-to-build integrations with all major PACS. Almost all enterprise companies that use badges have a PACS, and the majority are on-prem. As an integration partner, we are working to list OLOID apps in the Okta Integration Network.
What trends do you expect to see in the Access Control industry?
The Access Control Industry is moving towards modernizing aging, decades-old infrastructure. However, unlike the revolution of on-prem to SaaS applications, access control infrastructure is not as straightforward, especially for large, enterprise companies. Typically, upgrades require the complete replacement of infrastructure and the rebadging of thousands of employees. We believe that, although some companies will bite the bullet and go through this process, most will look for alternatives. They want to reap the benefits of a modern SaaS system without disposing of their existing infrastructure.
Cybersecurity will always be top of mind for all organizations. And while awareness of organizational security practices is on the rise, the physical security infrastructure has become the weak link. We believe that these missing links, such as deactivated employees with active badges, for example, will inspire a renewed interest in the convergence of cyber and physical Identity management.
Interested in joining Okta Ventures? Check out our FAQ here and feel free to reach out to our team or submit your business for review.