i6 fuels expansion with secure and scalable authentication
to set up robust authentication with SSO
“The last customer we onboarded that required SSO took a couple of days to get configured and was signed off within a week.”
Alex Mattos, COO
I6 Group provides fuel management software for the aviation industry: airports, airlines, and fuel suppliers. Their platform ensures efficient and accurate fueling for big-name customers like Virgin Atlantic, ExxonMobil, and Boston Logan International Airport.
In the coming years, COO Alex Mattos anticipates rapid growth across the U.S., the Middle East, and Europe. “We're at 150 airports now, we want to be in 1,000,” says Mattos. But that's only part of the growth plan. i6 also wants to move up the supply chain to the logistics of fuel, connecting data the whole way. “Our standard problem,” according to Mattos, “is that we never have enough resources to do all the features we want to do.”
Mattos and i6 are ambitious: “We'd like to be opening five to 10 airport locations a week.” But each new location requires a new site with a new authentication stack, which threatens to slow down expansion.
i6 encounters turbulence as it expands
i6’s internal authentication technologies didn’t meet the organization’s needs as they expanded and grew, which could have led to lost business. Mattos highlights an example: British Airways. “British Airways has 4,000 pilots. And we don't want to be managing 4,000 pilots in our own database.” European data regulations, like GDPR, threatened to make this even more difficult.
i6’s customers have different regulatory needs, different integration needs, and different internal security needs. And when each client requires something unique, configuration can take months. That extra time leads to impatient customers and, often, less secure solutions. i6 needed a partner that could scale with them.
Before Okta Customer Identity Cloud, powered by Auth0, Mattos faced the prospect of having to “build, effectively, the Customer Identity Cloud” by integrating multiple Identity providers. “We'd build the first [configuration] and that would work well. And then the next one would come along so 'Oh, we better build that one then.' And then the next one, and the next one."
Each client is different, and each would have required its own configuration. Even if i6 built the underlying authentication service, Mattos said, configuration “would take many weeks.”
“It wasn't going to scale effectively and it didn't meet our customer needs,” says Mattos.
Single Sign-On allowed i6 to scale securely
The data i6 manages is sensitive. “It's fueling information and you could work out who gets a competitive advantage if you captured all of my fuel loads and things like that,” Mattos says.
As such, security became a focus. Customers wanted to control their own passwords and meet their own internal security policies. “Single Sign-On (SSO) just made a lot of sense,” Mattos said. “And that was the biggest buy-in, to be honest, around the security side of it.”
The first use case? i6. “There was some room for improvement regarding password discipline on our first servers,” says Mattos. An ISO 27000 audit revealed i6 could more effectively manage their usernames and passwords.
From an internal rollout to hundreds of external use cases, i6 kept expanding their relationship with Customer Identity Cloud. Seventy-five to eighty percent of the interactions with the i6 platform are through its web interface, and the other 25% are from system-to-system integrations among airports, airlines, and fuel support companies. All needed secure authentication.
“The last customer we onboarded that required SSO,” says Mattos, “took a couple of days to get configured and was signed off within a week.”
Configuring in days, instead of weeks
Switching to Customer Identity Cloud has saved i6 significant resources. “We have done the estimates internally as part of the business case for the migration versus building the solution ourselves. It's gigantic—it's not even worth talking about, frankly.” Mattos estimates that the solution achieved enormous savings for i6, yet delivering a seamless experience for customers who require SSO.
In an environment where “nearly every new customer” demands SSO, being able to set it up in just two days is a big advantage. Mattos is focused: “Our aim is to scale fast [...] Two days to get SSO set up is fantastic, that's exactly what we need.”
Robust authentication means saving money, saving time, and, most importantly, winning business. When customers make authentication a requirement of a contract, i6 can say, according to Mattos, “‘Yes, no problem,' rather than saying, 'We think so. Come back to us in six months.' That's absolutely helped us win more business."
i6 Group is the world's fastest-growing fuel management technology provider for airlines, fuel service providers, and suppliers. Innovative technology digitises the entire airport fuel supply chain, driving operational efficiency, transparency and sustainability. i6 technology is in use at more than 150 airports and has optimised over 30 million tons of fuel globally, helping to reduce costs and carbon emissions. Learn more at i6.io