Takeda provides millions of trusted digital experiences through Okta-powered TakedaID

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providers and patients using TakedaID

6 months

to integrate employees and apps following M&A activity


downtime over 2+ years of Okta customer identity services


faster to deploy identity with Okta than with an in-house solution


authentications per minute

  • A digital upgrade takes center stage
  • A cloud-based partner with a focus on identity
  • Unified identity across brands and business units
  • Identity is a catalyst for secure, streamlined digital transactions
  • Partner in continual transformation
A digital upgrade takes center stage

Since 1781, innovation and strategic mergers and acquisitions fueled Takeda’s growth. As the organization grew, so did the complexity of its technology and identity management processes — burdening patients, partners, and caregivers with complex, siloed experiences. Demand for simplified experiences increased, along with security threats. Takeda leaders realized that digital modernization would be key to success in the next century.

A cloud-based partner with a focus on identity

Okta’s singular focus on identity, cloud-native neutrality, and flexibility combined with an in-depth procurement process put it at the top of Takeda’s vendor list. Plus, Takeda had recently acquired Shire Pharmaceuticals, which was already an Okta customer, so unifying the combined company under a proven identity leader was a no-brainer.

Unified identity across brands and business units

To secure employee and contractor identities and unleash innovation across Takeda, the team implemented Okta’s full Workforce Identity Cloud. To secure and streamline digital experiences, and build trust among patients, partners, and caregivers, the team turned to Okta’s customer identity solutions. They expanded on their Workforce Identity Cloud foundation to create TakedaID—an identity platform unified across the entire Takeda ecosystem.

Identity is a catalyst for secure, streamlined digital transactions

Today, 70,000 Takeda employees and contractors access crucial business applications, and nearly 3.6 million providers, patients, and donors access healthcare services and resources using Okta-powered TakedaID. With identity at the center of every transaction, Takeda can speed up services, innovation, and seamless digital experiences, while executing a Zero Trust security strategy.

Partner in continual transformation

The Takeda team relies on Okta as they expand into direct-to-consumer business lines and continue to take an identity-first approach to building trusted digital experiences. With Okta’s support, Takeda is ready to continue breaking new ground in the pharmaceutical industry.

A community in need of trusted digital experience

Millions of patients around the world rely on Takeda medicines and care to manage or treat multiple medical conditions. Until recently, each business unit managed its own identity processes, leaving patients, partners, and caregivers to navigate siloed websites and patient portals. To streamline and secure those experiences, the Takeda team chose Okta as the foundation for TakedaID—a platform designed to unify identity across the company’s entire digital ecosystem. Okta’s single-minded focus on identity, its cloud-native neutrality and flexibility, and its history of offering cutting-edge identity tools made it the obvious choice.

Applications and resources that our patients rely on for life-saving care and treatment start with identity. Okta made identity simple so that patients, partners, and caregivers have access when they need it most.

Mike Towers, Chief Digital Trust Officer

Chobei Takeda started selling traditional herbal medicines in 1781, a century before his great-grandson began importing Western pharmaceuticals. Over the next 140 years, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company grew through continuous innovation as well as strategic mergers and acquisitions to become an industry titan with a presence in more than 80 countries.

To take the company into the future, Takeda leaders found themselves facing the daunting task of incorporating the company’s many diverse lines of business into a single digital experience. Mike Towers, Chief Digital Trust Officer at Takeda, set out to solve the problem by unifying identity and access management (IAM). His team launched TakedaID, an IAM platform built on Okta technology and today, 3.6 million patients, providers, and donors access everything Takeda with a single set of login credentials. 

TakedaID simplifies user experiences across the company and also furthers the team’s Zero Trust security strategy, bringing visibility and control to authentication processes by focusing on identity as the key to trusted digital experiences. 

It also sets the company up for future innovation and expansion. Today, Takeda is moving into direct-to-consumer business lines beyond traditional pharma, such as oncology therapy, patient monitoring, and plasma drive therapies. Those business lines depend heavily on trustworthy digital interactions. 

A digital upgrade takes center stage

Takeda’s 70,000 employees and contractors are known for their leadership in oncology, gastroenterology, neuroscience, rare diseases, and plasma-derived therapies. Over the past few decades, Takeda product teams around the world introduced new therapies to market through various product launch campaigns, which invariably included websites or customer portals—each with its own authentication process. 

That approach resulted in fragmented experiences for some individuals who interacted with the company digitally. “Each therapy had its own brand experience and separate login, ideally Takeda wanted a single login for all brands across the portfolio,” says Bob Durfee, head of digital engagement and DevSecOps at Takeda. 

“That’s when we decided to start handling things differently,” he says.

As a cyber digital trust organization, the team also realized that they needed to take stronger ownership of security policies for each digital Takeda property. “We needed to ensure that those passwords were secure,” says Durfee. 

Scale was also a concern as the company grew, he says: “Some of those branded websites had a million users, but could they handle a million people all logging at once?”

To secure and simplify digital experiences, the Takeda team recognized that they needed to centralize identity across the company. “Rock-solid identity has become key to security and to the user experience,” says Durfee. “Identity is the crux—the baseline of our trusted digital services.” For the next stage in Takeda’s centuries-old evolution, the team would revolutionize their IAM approach.

A cloud-based partner with a single-minded focus on identity

First, they needed to engage a cloud-native partner they could trust to manage identity. “We’re doing everything in the cloud because we need to be fast,” says Towers. “Speed and data are the new oil.”  

Fortunately, Towers knew just where to turn. As one of Okta’s first customers, he had successfully partnered with the company at prior organizations. “Okta features prominently in my career toolkit because it’s such an important piece of the security stack,” he says. 

Okta’s single-minded focus on identity was another big factor. “We all know companies that do identity as the third or fourth thing on their list,” he says. “When patients are managing a disease or accessing medical information, I can’t afford IAM that isn’t available or trustworthy.” 

Towers knew from experience that he could trust the Okta team to deliver cutting-edge tools to address any identity challenges Takeda may encounter. As the company expanded and modernized its digital presence, Okta would provide a technological cornerstone for Takeda’s long-held commitment to integrity and trust. 

Unified identity across brands and business units

When Towers joined Takeda, the company was going through the acquisition of Shire Pharmaceuticals, which had already been using Okta for several years. Durfee came to the company from Shire and knew Okta’s value, as well. Together, based on a thorough procurement process the two led a company-wide transition to Okta. 

To secure employee and contractor identities, improve productivity, and unleash innovation across Takeda, the team implemented Okta’s Workforce Identity Cloud. To secure and streamline external digital experiences and promote trust among patients, partners, and caregivers, they turned to Okta’s customer identity solutions. The team expanded on their Workforce Identity Cloud foundation to create TakedaID—a new identity platform, unified across the entire Takeda ecosystem.

TakedaID consolidates multiple, disparate identities from across the organization into a single identity. Okta’s ability to integrate easily with adjacent technologies means everything and everyone are part of a unified ecosystem. From mobile to therapeutic devices, patients and doctors can each be assigned a single, unified identity, usable across Takeda’s digital touchpoints. “Okta is our primary partner for getting and distributing all the credentials needed to stitch all these folks together,” says Towers. 

The team behind the team

Today, TakedaID boasts 3.6 million registered users. With Okta, the Takeda team is confident the platform can easily handle this volume and more. Testing has determined that the platform can easily handle 500 authentications per minute, with bursts of up to 5,000 authentications per minute.

To stay ahead of their anticipated user base and maximize Okta’s cutting-edge features, Durfee says the Okta Customer First team is an indispensable partner. “They don’t just answer questions—they ask them,” he says. “They have the experience to make our lives a little bit easier, and they don’t hesitate to use it proactively.”

The Takeda team invested in Okta’s full suite of Customer First services to help unify identity at the company, and they continue to engage Customer First for critical expertise as they extend TakedaID to far corners of the company’s digital network. 

“With Okta Customer First, I never feel like there’s a sales agenda,” says Towers. “Instead, there’s a 100% commitment to making sure I’m getting value out of what I currently own. To me, that’s really important.”

Takeda’s dedicated customer success executive has been a strategic partner throughout the company’s Okta journey, orchestrating go-live milestones and aligning key Okta stakeholders, when needed. With their help, the team was able to onboard hundreds of thousands of TakedaID users quickly and with little incident.

The increased security and scalability come with better reliability, as well. “Since TakedaID went live in April of 2020, we’ve had zero downtime,” says Durfee. 

The ripple effect of centralizing identity 

As the Takeda team explores new Okta features and gains expertise with the technology, they reap increasing benefits. 

On average, they spend five times fewer hours deploying new website components than they did before. Communication with marketing agency developers, whatever their sophistication might be with modern authentication protocols, is simpler now. “We just give them the Okta component and they run with it,” says Durfee. “It’s made life much easier for everyone.” 

The ripple effects of centralizing identity with Okta have surprised everyone. “Creative people on various teams can take these new capabilities and apply them to problems we never even thought of,” he says.

For example, Takeda marketing teams can now run more complete and reliable data sets to enable more targeted campaigns. “From a customer relationship management perspective, we now have a broader perspective of each user's interests: which websites they log into on a regular basis, and what types of brochures or videos they tend to download. With that information, we can do a better job of reaching out in an omnichannel way to alert them when new and relevant information becomes available,” says Durfee.

Leading the way to better healthcare access and efficiency

The ability of Okta-powered TakedaID to provide secure and personalized direct-to-patient services has huge implications as Takeda expands into direct-to-consumer lines of business. Beyond the company’s growth, improving healthcare access and efficiency is ultimately personal for Towers. Like most Americans, he experiences regular frustrations when dealing with his own or a family member’s healthcare.  

His vision is simple, yet far-reaching: “This year, I have one account for all of Takeda. Maybe in a few years, I have one account for all of my healthcare needs, whether I’m getting a prescription, going to urgent care, or filing an insurance claim. 

“Companies like Takeda, with Okta’s help,” he says, “can lead the way.”

About Takeda

Takeda is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan with offices in 80 countries and regions. The company is committed to discovering and delivering life-transforming treatments, guided by a commitment to patients, employees and the planet. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, rare genetics and hematology, neuroscience, and gastroenterology. It also makes targeted R&D investments in plasma-derived therapies and vaccines.