Okta Publishes Okta Scale and SaaS ISV Guidance to Accelerate the Secure Adoption of Enterprise Cloud Applications

Okta Scale helps IT identify more manageable SaaS Applications, Developer Guidance helps SaaS ISVs address Identity Management Requirements

SAN FRANCISCO – March 10, 2011 – Okta, the leading on-demand identity and access management service, today announced that it has published a rating system for companies adopting SaaS applications, as well as guidance to help developers create more secure and manageable solutions for their customers.

The Okta Scale rates each SaaS application based on its ability to meet enterprise identity management requirements and gives enterprise IT teams a way to better gauge the overall manageability of cloud applications. For SaaS Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Okta’s developer guidance provides real world, actionable steps ISVs can take to address customer identity management requirements in their applications.

Enterprises everywhere are adopting a larger number of SaaS applications that power key business processes and contain sensitive company data. The lack of support for integrating with a centralized identity management solution in those applications can dramatically slow down their adoption across the company. It can also create security risks for enterprises if unauthorized users are able to gain access to the applications and related critical data.

Okta developed the Okta Scale and the related ISV Guidance based on broad engagements with customers around identity management and after spending thousands of engineering man hours integrating hundreds of business and consumer cloud applications into its current offering.

Okta Scale

Over time, Okta will release a comprehensive set of metrics that measure cloud application manageability on a scale of 0 to 8. In this first release, the scale ranges from Okta 1 to Okta 3, and focuses on the user management and authentication challenges that are central to all enterprises adopting SaaS applications today.

“Okta has become our standard identity management solution across all of our cloud and web applications,” said Tom Ta, Director of IT, Drobo. “The Okta Scale gives us greater visibility into what is possible as we select new cloud applications and our strategy is to work across all of our vendors to achieve deep integration with Okta that is aligned with their ISV Guidance. The result for Drobo will be a dramatic increase in security and manageability across our cloud applications.”

Today, the highest available rating is Okta 3, which indicates the application provides the most comprehensive support across user authentication and management, allowing for deep integration with a centralized identity management service such as Okta. Business applications such as BigMachines, Citrix GotoMeeting, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Successfactors, Workday, and Zendesk are great examples today of SaaS applications that achieve a high rating against this initial scale. For more detailed information about the Okta Scale, visit www.okta.com/why-okta/okta-scale.html.

Okta ISV Guidance

Okta is also providing real world guidance for SaaS ISVs to help them address the identity management requirements of their customers. Okta’s ISV guidance is written for developers of cloud and SaaS applications and provides them with both requirements for and examples on how to build best of breed user authentication and user management features into their application.

Based on the engineering integration work Okta has done across hundreds of SaaS applications, this guidance provides developers with a detailed how-to for implementing federated identity management capability such as the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). In addition, it provides guidance on implementing delegated authentication, and user management capability that spans the entire identity lifecycle from user creation to de-activation. It also discusses the importance of directory integration. By enabling richer user management and authentication capability in their application, ISVs will be able to reduce friction in their sales cycles, meet their enterprise customers’ security and manageability needs, and accelerate adoption.

"For the last eleven years, BigMachines has been delivering SaaS solutions that empower customers to sell more faster, so we understand the fundamentals of what business users require in a successful SaaS implementation," said Tim Handorf, VP Product Management, BigMachines. "As part of our continued product innovation, we wanted to offer our customers a more convenient and secure way of accessing distributed information without losing control over sensitive identity information. Okta’s identity management expertise was extremely helpful as we developed our identity and access management strategy. I strongly recommend that other ISVs, looking to accelerate their enterprise adoption, partner with Okta, leverage their expertise, and implement this customer critical functionality now.”

Okta’s solution provides customers a centralized way to address these identity management challenges, and comes pre-integrated with all of the leading business SaaS applications. As a result customers have asked Okta to provide better visibility into what is possible from an identity and access management perspective across the SaaS landscape, so they can make more informed decisions and achieve improved security, visibility, and control with Okta.

"Okta was founded to help enterprise IT organizations address the security and management challenges they face when operating a Cloud First IT infrastructure,” said Todd McKinnon, CEO, Okta. “With the Okta Scale we can now more clearly answer the questions our customers and prospects pose about which apps have what capability and the developer guidance formalizes the dialogue we have been having with many of our ISV partners to ensure that jointly we can enable enterprise IT to run more secure and manageable Cloud Services Networks.”