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How Okta Customer First Accelerates Your Time-to-Value and Mitigates Risk

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The world’s largest organizations partner with Okta to drive innovation by bringing their identity and access management (IAM) into the cloud. As the technology and security landscape rapidly evolves, fewer people are tethered to physical offices, making enterprise identity critical for worker’s productivity. In addition to easing access to cloud apps, IAM can be a transformative enabler for all kinds of employee and customer experience initiatives. When you give every user—from employees and contractors, to partners and customers—smooth, secure access to the right digital resources, you’ll gain agility and a competitive edge. To help companies make the most of this opportunity, Okta created what we call our Customer First team.

What do we mean by Customer First?

One of Okta’s core corporate values is "love our customers." This has been embedded in our DNA since the company's inception and continues to be a guiding principle in everything we do. It is encapsulated in the people and processes we have in place, and is why we have a global team in the Customer First organization who are 100% dedicated to helping our customers achieve the business outcomes that matter most to them.

Okta leads our industry as undisputed experts who’ve developed the only trustworthy, unified solution for everything surrounding IAM. We bring lessons and strategies from thousands of collective years of experience with the 7,000+ organizations who rely on Okta as their foundation for identity. And we recognize that identity is more than a crucial layer for all your IT resources, apps, and users. It isn’t defined only by the first project you complete, it’s an ongoing transformation. Okta’s Customer First advisors take the time to partner with you and guide you throughout your entire journey.

Customer First is not something we take lightly, because we know your experience with Okta is about a lot more than the technology we build. Working with specialists who are relentlessly focused on understanding your goals, your environment, and your needs is the best way to ensure that your identity strategy delivers the greatest possible return. We believe the ultimate success of each Okta deployment relies on strategic partnership with our Customer First team, since the faster you extract value from IAM, the more you’ll be able to leverage from and grow with Okta.

Every week, Okta Professional Services was there with us, jumping through different hoops for different, nuanced applications.

Kris Wilson
Senior Director, Product and Technology | T-Mobile

Key elements of Okta Customer First services

Okta Customer First delivers value for you during four primary stages along the road to modern IAM. On, or even before, your first day as an Okta customer, we’ll start you on a path to success by helping you learn about the technology you’re bringing into your organization, deploy Okta quickly, adopt our powerful identity platform, and grow its impact on your business.

 

Learn

Talented instructors from Okta Education Services will fast track your project by arming you with in-depth product knowledge and showing your team how to harness the power of Okta technology. During this stage, we’ll work with you to select a training plan that will build confidence amongst your admins, developers, helpdesk agents, and end users. You can choose whichever learning model best fits your team—from a range of role-based public or private courses in interactive instructor-led and on-demand learning formats.

We want to help IT professionals and developers grow their skills, become innovation drivers at their company, and gain competitive edge by validating their knowledge with certification. With the help of our trainers, you’ll join a world of Okta experts, including the over 5,000 people to date who’ve completed our instructor-led classes and more than 3,000 who’ve been granted Okta certifications. A recent salary survey found that, of the 9,000 IT certifications out there, Okta-certified experts hold both of the two top earner spots.

Deploy

We know identity management deployments can be complex and we want you to rest easy, so we’ll customize Okta Professional Services for you with our proven methodology. Over the years, our team of IAM experts have captured best practices from supporting thousands of customer deployments. We’ll use those processes and tools to deliver reliable, measurable, and predictable results that help you mitigate risk, ensure a fast, seamless rollout, and maximize your return on investment.

“Customer First was very helpful from the beginning,” said Paul Timmins, CIO of global operations at Dentsu Aegis Network. “They understood our needs and had insightful ideas on where we could go. It was clear that their experts had seen our challenges before with other customers, and that they would bring the expertise to ensure our deployment would be successful.”

Customer First was very helpful from the beginning. They understood our needs and had insightful ideas on where we could go.

Paul Timmins
CIO of Global Operations | Dentsu Aegis Network

Our tailored services meet a variety of common IAM needs, from assessing your team's readiness and designing your identity architecture, to building and testing Okta configurations and integrations with key applications. We’ll help you prioritize and align key value drivers, manage your project, and collaborate right alongside your team to prepare a mutual delivery and plan for fast, flexible execution. Of course, we’ll report back on the project’s ultimate success by validating the business value you realized and measuring that against your original business case.

Adopt

Additionally, Okta offers Premier Support and Success packages which include a designated Customer Success Manager (CSM), who acts as a strategic business advisor. They will develop a deep understanding of your business’ unique requirements, work with you to align Okta’s capabilities to your initiatives, and help you drive the outcomes that matter most. Your CSM will also monitor, in near real-time, your deployment status, product usage, support case health, customer satisfaction and more, so we can make sure Okta keeps meeting your needs.

Grow

Long after your initial implementation, Okta’s Customer First organization will continue to have your back. Your CSM will provide insight into our product roadmap and proactively identify where and how we can help you extract incremental business value from your identity architecture when you’re ready to do more with Okta. They’ll act as your conduit back to the rest of Okta and as an extension of your team, helping you demonstrate ROI to IT executives and other stakeholders. Customers often tell us how much this approach means to them. “Okta is always happy to talk about new features and new technologies, and it's not about ‘what can we sell you,’ it’s about ‘how can we better your organization.’ Overall, my experience with Okta has been 100% positive,” said Joe Dropkin, principal engineer at Priceline.

I feel that my relationship with Okta is a partnership.

Joe Dropkin
Principal Engineer | Priceline

Three ways Okta’s Customer First team adds measurable value to your identity strategy

Throughout all four of these stages, Okta Customer First serves as advocates, product experts, and trusted advisors to provide consistent, dependable value. Our overall mission is to accelerate your time-to-value, help you mitigate risk, and guarantee your continued success and ROI over time.

Accelerate time-to-value

Together, our comprehensive solution for identity-as-a-service, along with unparalleled expertise, make it possible for customers to attain their business objectives quickly. Okta’s holistic Customer First approach wraps our powerful product with world-class services to ensure the absolute most efficient path for your successful deployment. Every person on our team is committed to helping you realize value from Okta starting on day one, no matter how large or complex your environment or use case may be.

For example, Okta Customer First has supported single sign-on (SSO) rollouts to 700-70,000 users in just weeks at enterprises including MGM Resorts and Seventy-Seven Energy. Organizations like Cengage and T-Mobile also partnered with us to dramatically speed up more intricate IAM projects—solving complex, massive scale customer identity challenges in under six months, as well as highly performant, stable, and reliable solutions for adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), lifecycle management, and custom workflows.“Four months of planning paid dividends in terms of how quickly we’ve been able to onboard apps,” said Kris Wilson, senior director, product and technology at T-Mobile. “We had upwards of 80 application servers and multiple data centers that we had to maintain. That’s now down to about six virtual machines, for a massive cost savings to our operational budget.”

Mitigate risk

With Okta’s Customer First services, you’ll know your IAM foundation is designed and configured optimally from inception, which greatly reduces risk when you go live. For example, Okta’s Customer First team worked side by side with Cengage engineers to build and test a prototype platform that could meet the stringent performance and scalability requirements of their digital learning portal. “Our products are complex, and our scaling requirements are unusually large,” said George Moore, chief technology officer at Cengage. “But the teams, both Okta and Cengage, came together and gave us all confidence that we could do this. Everyone worked hard; we even set up war rooms to get the final push.” With Okta’s help, Cengage hit new records for logins—over 250,000 per minute—without a hitch.

Post launch, Okta’s support teams are always available to help with timely issue resolution if needed, ensuring a smooth experience for your end users. Thanks to our vast experience across the Okta customer base, we know how to avoid common pitfalls, as well as how to prepare for the evolution of zero trust security. As a result, you can be confident your new identity architecture will stay one step ahead of emerging threats, and be able to support whatever your future roadmap brings. “The kinds of rigor and processes they put around making sure they secure that information is bar none,” added Moore from Cengage.

Security is not our expertise; we focus on learning. For Okta, security is job number one.

George Moore
Chief Technology Officer | Cengage

Ensure continued success and ROI

Okta Customer First constantly looks for ways to increase the value you get from our solutions and help your organization reach new levels of workforce IAM, customer identity, and data protection. Since we conduct regular business reviews and closely monitor your Okta adoption and satisfaction metrics, we know how and when to recommend ways you can extend IAM’s impact on your business. In doing so, we’ll help you transform your identity platform from an elementary digital workplace enabler, into a business differentiator.

We’ve seen how customers in similar situations take advantage of Okta's strengths to boost their return, so our CSMs will bring those ideas directly to you and stay engaged to ensure you realize the expected value down the road. “I can’t think of many weeks I’m not on the phone with Okta for multiple calls, and it’s not just issues or challenges we’re facing,” shared Wilson from T-Mobile. “Usually, it’s the opposite—it’s roadmap discussions, strategic conversations about where we want to take the platform. I don’t value that lightly. I can’t think of many partners that have been there with us every step of the journey in the way that Okta has and continues to be.”

We offer fee-waived Business Value Realization engagements to help you quantify the IT cost savings, increased productivity, and security benefits of advanced IAM in an executive-ready document. Customers like Priceline and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRF) have worked with Okta Customer First to make such a case for change. Okta helped NRF create a better employee experience through SSO and password reset self-service, which resulted in $120,000 of annual employee productivity and IT cost savings. The organization also reduced its costs $300,000 per year by eliminating legacy VPN, and is saving 5,900 IT hours through automated account provisioning and deprovisioning. Quantifying the value of technology investments like this not only gives your IT leadership a win, but also identifies new areas of opportunity to unlock additional value based on your business goals.

business value diagram for okta customers

 

Fueling transformational identity initiatives through trusted partnership

For many companies, the IAM journey begins by implementing SSO and MFA to support a transition to cloud and mobile IT, and then shifts towards taking the friction out of IT onboarding and offboarding with automated provisioning. Organizations with frequent mergers and acquisitions (M&A) might first work on consolidating access across Active Directory domains to centralize security policies. Still others start with zero trust, perhaps centered around securing a mobile workforce or protecting hybrid IT environments against data breaches.

Businesses like T-Mobile and Cengage also recognize how Okta can help accelerate growth by opening new markets and sources of revenue, and creating competitive differentiation. They look to our Customer First team to facilitate secure, seamless customer experiences and partner collaboration that facilitate these strategic initiatives.

We understand that there are a variety of routes each business might take towards maturing their IAM capabilities, and when your organization is ready to tackle more identity use cases, our Customer First team will assist you with increasingly sophisticated IAM projects. Even during a downturn when many companies are budget-strapped, we add value by helping you adapt to evolving business demands so you’ll successfully find your way through changing market dynamics.

 

Understanding Potential Value Diagram

In your corner every step of the way

Customer First is a core value for Okta, and it’s our full time job. Our network of certified experts are fully dedicated to ensuring you achieve your key business objectives and maximize return at each phase. We know how critical your identity platform is, since it touches so many parts of your business. By making a concerted effort to truly understand your distinctive needs, we’ll ensure that you get the results you need to stay with Okta over the long run.

Our comprehensive Customer First offering is structured to set you up for success through:

• Education Services, developing Okta experts across the globe through interactive on-demand or instructor-led learning courses and certifications.

• Professional Services from a globally integrated team of experts who follow a six-phase, prescriptive methodology from strategy and design to implementation.

• Customer Success and Support Services, with tiered success packages based on your needs and aligned with the complexity of your Okta deployment.

• The Okta Community, where you can engage with us and your peers to find answers, submit product ideas, and stay current on new features. Our robust customer community includes a self-service Help Center for • Business Value engagements that help you quantify the ROI of mature IAM.

Learn more about how you can engage with Okta Customer First to gain peace of mind as you progress along your identity journey.

About Okta

Okta is the leading provider of identity for the enterprise. The Okta Identity Cloud connects and protects employees of many of the world’s largest enterprises. It also securely connects enterprises to their partners, suppliers and customers. With deep integrations to over 6,000 apps, the Okta Identity Cloud enables simple and secure access from any device. Thousands of customers, including Experian, 20th Century Fox, LinkedIn, Flex, News Corp, Dish Networks and Adobe trust Okta to work faster, boost revenue and stay secure. Okta helps customers fulfill their missions faster by making it safe and easy to use the technologies they need to do their most significant work. For more information, visit us at www.okta.com or follow us on www.okta.com/blog.

How Okta Customer First Accelerates Your Time-to-Value and Mitigates Risk