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With the Okta Identity Cloud, Team Rubicon can respond to any disaster, quickly and efficiently.

See More from Team Rubicon:

Team Rubicon

65

full-time employees

43,000

volunteers world-wide

36

cloud applications

160+

disasters sites helped by Team Rubicon responders

See More from Team Rubicon:

Team Rubicon

A fast-growing organization

With over 60 full-time employees, organizations in four countries and thousands of volunteers ready to deploy disaster areas all over the world, Team Rubicon needed a way to keep its members secure, connected, and as mobile as possible.

A full suite of solutions

When Team Rubicon began looking for new IT solutions to improve security, agility, and mobility, Box was quick to recommend Okta. Team Rubicon soon rolled out a full suite of best-of-breed products to their employees and regional leaders.

Building a leaner organization

As a disaster response organization, Team Rubicon constantly looks for ways to help more people, while keeping costs manageable. Integrating Okta with products such as Box, Palantir, G Suite, Everbridge, DocuSign and Salamander makes it all possible.

Keeping data secure

When you’re providing disaster response, the last thing you want to do is put a victim’s personal information at risk. The Okta Identity Cloud keeps Team Rubicon data protected so they can focus on what they do best: helping people get through some of the worst days of their lives.

Maintaining agility

New and better technology emerges all the time. Okta’s catalog, with thousands of pre-integrated apps, eases Team Rubicon’s adoption of best-of-breed applications to support business and field operations.

Focusing on what matters most

With Okta behind them every step of the way, Team Rubicon is much more efficient and secure. Now, all key volunteers use Okta Identity Platform, which makes it possible to quickly deploy them across geographic locations, saving and improving more lives than ever before.

With Okta, we can manage user accounts, and we have a much faster turnaround time. It enables us to have a smaller staff while still supporting something akin to a medium to large-sized company.

Travis Harris, Cloud Systems Administrator at Team Rubicon

Driven by the desire to do more

When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake wreaked havoc on Haiti in 2010, marines Jake Wood and William McNulty wanted to help—and they knew they had the disaster response skills and medical training to make a real difference.

So they gathered a small group of veterans, pulled together a shoestring budget, and went to Port-au-Prince, where they treated thousands of victims who may never have received care otherwise.

Team Rubicon grew out of that initial aid effort, and now it’s a highly effective disaster response organization that sends teams of veterans and emergency responders to volunteer all over the world.

“We tend to go to places where people don’t have the resources or the ability to respond in a way that is meaningful, so our volunteers go and do it,” says Art delaCruz, Team Rubicon’s chief operating officer.

We tend to go to places where people don’t have the resources or the ability to respond in a way that is meaningful, so our volunteers go and do it.

—Art delaCruz, Chief Operating Officer at Team Rubicon

Since 2010, Team Rubicon has responded to more than 160 disasters, and it’s had no trouble finding people to help. It now has more than 60 full-time employees and over 41,700 volunteers—an impressive feat, considering the organization mainly relies on social media for recruitment. But the process of activating so many volunteers can be challenging in terms of efficiency, security, and cost.

“We are a digital NGO. We’re almost 100% cloud based,” says Hunt. “If you take a look in the closet here, we have a network switch and a router and a bunch of laptops and mobile devices. We’re a very mobile organization, about 36 cloud-based software systems.”

We are a digital NGO. We’re almost 100% cloud based.

—Steve Hunt, Chief Information Officer at Team Rubicon

This kind of mobility is an absolute necessity for Team Rubicon because when disaster strikes, disaster response teams are deployed quickly. But the team needed more than speed—they also had to protect the data of employees, members, donors, and patients.

So the organization searched for an identity solution, checking out Centrify and Microsoft solutions along the way. During Team Rubicon’s search, an executive director at Box introduced the company to Okta, and in the end, Okta’s products won out. Team Rubicon went with a combination of products, including Lifecycle Management, Single Sign-On (SSO), Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication (AMFA), Universal Directory (UD), and Okta Mobility Management (OMM).

“I really do try to go after the best technology first, and Okta was more mature in terms of its implementation,” says chief information officer Steve Hunt. “Okta’s impact on our ecosystem in terms of integrations with DocuSign, Palantir, and Box greatly influenced why we chose Okta.”

Deployment made easy

While Team Rubicon may be a small organization in terms of employees, it is mighty. With tens of thousands of volunteers, the organization is complicated by its need to quickly send people across the globe, as well as its distributed business model.

“All of a sudden, we start looking like a big company when it comes to the level of sophistication we have to deal with,” says Hunt.

When they deployed Okta to their employees and volunteer leaders , Team Rubicon quickly saw the benefits of a streamlined deployment process and an improved ability to communicate with volunteers on the ground.

Okta gives us a fleet of vehicles, and we make sure we have drivers that can drive safely to really maximize the potential of what Okta delivers. Those wins really have to come together. We’ve been very fortunate.

—Steve Hunt, Chief Information Officer at Team Rubicon

“Those volunteers need Okta so we can secure the information from the command centers,” says cloud systems administrator Travis Harris. “Then we have the individuals at the national operations center in Dallas, who are actually creating the accounts and making sure that we have the software that they need on the ground.”

Before Okta, managing operations was a complicated, difficult process. “We couldn’t identify who was necessarily working as an analyst and who was working on the ground, but now we have direct control,” says Harris. “We can spin out accounts on the spot, and it’s making operations really easy for us.”

Prior to this, our operations were fairly difficult. We couldn’t identify who was necessarily working as an analyst and who was working on the ground, but now we have direct control. We can spin out accounts on the spot, and it’s making operations really easy for us.

—Travis Harris, Cloud Systems Administrator at Team Rubicon

Now, since Team Rubicon’s skill management software integrates with Okta, Harris says he can see—at a glance—which apps each volunteer has access to, and which skills each person has.

“Having that all on Okta is really crucial for us,” he says. “When we finally start getting everybody into the system, it’s going to be invaluable.”

The Okta Identity Cloud is creating a more enjoyable experience for the volunteers as well. Single Sign On makes signing into their operational tools a lot easier says Harris. “You show them how to do it, and then they’re good to go. Once you’ve signed in, Okta is very simple to use.”

Next-level data protection

For Hunt, the key benefit is the security Team Rubicon gains from Okta’s Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication, Mobility Management, Single Sign-on, and Lifecycle Management. The organization has needed to scale rapidly from the very beginning, and Hunt knew they needed to be careful to keep sensitive data protected.

The extra layers of security provided by AMFA make it possible for Team Rubicon to move into dangerous territory quickly and confidently, without worrying about risking the security of the people they’re trying to help.

Integrating Okta with Palantir has enabled us to send out our teams to perform community damage assessments using mobile devices, helping us to securely deliver resources at scale. It has a very compelling community impact.

—Steve Hunt, Chief Information Officer at Team Rubicon

SSO and Lifecycle Management made a big difference, too. Not only did they make it easier to quickly provision and deprovision users, these programs both reduce the risk of human error--Lifecycle Management cleans up loose ends and ensures that users have access to the right apps, while SSO eliminated the need for users to manage and remember a pile of different passwords.

“There’s often confusion about that in the operational community,” says Hunt. “They think security holds them back. In fact, it empowers them, and emboldens them to do more because we’re able to provide the protection measures that are needed.”

It didn’t take long for Team Rubicon to leverage that protection. During a recent operation in Houston, just after integrating Okta with Palantir, they were able to send out team members to perform damage assessment in the community with mobile devices—something they wouldn’t have been able to do as securely as they can now that they’ve improved their mobile capabilities. Okta Mobility Management has been a game changer. The product not only gives Team Rubicon better control of its devices, it also lets the organization manage its data securely.

Making a difference, together

At first glance, the financial implications of all these changes seem like a lot for a non-profit organization to take on, but joining the Okta For Good community benefits everyone involved. Team Rubicon has not only gained access to special perks for non-profit organizations, it’s also found a new way to make a difference–by joining ImpactCloud, an alliance made up of humanitarian organizations like NetHope and IRC, and cloud vendors like Okta, Box, and Salesforce.org. These organizations and others work together towards the goal of helping emergency responders access cloud solutions so they can save more lives and restore more communities.

If we work at this together, we all benefit. It’s hugely valuable for us to have that intellectual firepower, the exposure, the education, and experience that the SaaS industry brings to us, and the problems that we can bring to them. We both benefit.

—Art delaCruz, Chief Operating Officer at Team Rubicon

Ultimately, Okta’s partnership with Team Rubicon is based around a strong desire to do good in the world. Providing non-profit organizations like Team Rubicon with the Okta Identity Cloud means that those organizations are then able to help more people and make a bigger difference. Joining forces on ImpactCloud has the same effect.

For delaCruz, it’s beneficial to have allies in their efforts to help disaster victims. “If we work at this together, we all benefit,” he says. “It’s hugely valuable for us to have that intellectual firepower, the exposure, the education, and experience that the SaaS industry brings to us, and the problems that we can bring to them. We both benefit.”

About Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Learn more about Team Rubicon: www.teamrubiconusa.org.