Direct Relief



Thomas Tighe: Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, working in all 50 states, about 100 countries worldwide each year, and the idea is to make sure that people have access to the things that can keep them healthy, or get them well if they get sick or hurt. Founded in 1948, 70 years ago, by two war immigrant businessmen who had fled the Nazis and ended up in Santa Barbara of all places.

Thomas Tighe: The scale now at Direct Relief, it really has been multiplied profoundly by the application of technology to our world of non-profit humanitarian medical assistance, for which the same benefits that exist in business can be applied, and we have certainly seen that at Direct Relief, the profound expansion of what we're able to do with the same number of people with new technology.

Dawn Long: We've just been trying to be more and more efficient, and leverage technology even more than we were. When I first joined, everything was basically on-prem, we didn't have any cloud based solutions, and since I've joined, we've done a massive move to the cloud. We have a really lean IT staff, and so the cloud enables us to be even more efficient as an IT team.

Dawn Long: Last year we shipped over $930 million worth of medical supplies and prescription drugs to approximately 1,600 recipients here in the US as well as abroad. That was about over 13,000 individual shipments that went out. Identity is very important. Right now we have Okta enabled for all of our employees. In the future we'd also like to have Okta enabled for our downstream partners that actually order prescription drugs. The reason for that being is we want on make sure that we have as secure of a supply chain as possible, especially when you're dealing with prescription drugs.

Dawn Long: Prior to Okta, things were managed on sort of a one-off basis, so things were in an active directory for our identity management, but certainly, all of our cloud subscriptions that are just growing by the day, were not easily identifiable. We've really been able to consolidate those into Okta and really understand who has access to what subscriptions, which has made it much easier to manage.

Dawn Long: We chose Okta because of the simplicity that it offered. Implementation was very easy. The Okta team was well versed in the solution, and we were able to get up and running with Okta very quickly. Okta's improved our security profile across the organization, so not only did we deploy MFA with Okta, but we also just tightened up security in general.

Thomas Tighe: It is practically impossible to do things at scale securely, as fast as they can and should be done these days, without a close embrace and adoption of technology.

Direct Relief provides medical aid and resources in response to worldwide crises. After a rough year of environmental and humanitarian emergencies, Okta helps the fast-growing nonprofit protect itself from data breaches and streamlines access so its global staff always get the resources they need.