Dan Abushanab: What Esri is, is a geographic information systems software company. What is GIS? If you have a map and then you have layers of information on top of a map then you have a GIS. Essentially, places important, in almost every walk of life and Esri software is probably there powering how people are making decisions.

We had a distributor portal. The way the distributor portal was done ... First of all, it was a one way conversation. Each distributor had a single login in the distributor portal which they shared with as many different employees in their distributorship as they wanted.

It was not the same content as what we used in our internal Esri systems because it was only for the distributor so stuff had to be copied there. You can imagine the challenges. The content gets stale. There's this login that changes every ... I don't know what it changed. Every 90 days, maybe, so people don't have access to it.

The distributor portal was a necessary evil, I think, in the eyes of most distributors. What we wanted was a truly global collaboration system that let every person participate as themselves. That's how to came to find out, eventually. When we set out to build out this collaboration platform we started with identity with the idea that we needed each person in each distributorship to be able to own their own content, own their own conversations, and we were looking for how were we going to do that.

We've done it in Sharepoint. We also are box customers. We are also customers. We have many other places that we can go. We started with wanting to get one federated source of identity for all of our distributors and ourselves and then we plumb to that Okta solution to our on premise Sharepoint 2013 environment.

The other solutions we looked at besides okta, at that point, we were baking off a few different solutions. When we got to this requirement of okay, we have 80 active directories that we're connect into your platform, the line just went dead, essentially. okta's architecture really allowed that to happen.

We're finally connected to our distributors. We've had a goal of being one Esri for probably 10 years but we didn't have a plan in our systems to make that actually happen and I think we do now. The values are the values you get from any collaboration system but the key is that I've got everyone in the conversation. That's really what we got from okta is we're getting everyone into the conversation.

Geographic information systems company ESRI has had the goal to better connect to their distributors for years – but they lacked the right architecture for their vision. Initially, they had to work with a distributor portal that required cumbersome sign-in tactics and stale content that was infrequently updated. Through Okta’s cloud identity management solutions, whether Single Sign-On or Active Directory Integration, they finally have a system that makes the enhanced collaboration they need a reality.