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Personalization & Identity: Building Blocks for the Ultimate Guest Experience

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Body: 

Overview

Industry

Hospitality Services

Company Profile

MGM Resorts International is one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands, including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and The Mirage. The Company controls and holds a 76 percent economic interest in the operating partnership of MGM Growth Properties LLC, a premier triple-net lease real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition, ownership and leasing of large-scale destination entertainment and leisure resorts.

Business Situation

Over the years, MGM Resorts built a complex IT environment that included corporate machines, personal devices, kiosks, and home-grown and purchased applications—all housed in a large on-prem infrastructure. Heading into this decade, the company began adding cloud services, such as Workday, Cornerstone OnDemand, and NeoCase, to the mix. It became an increasingly complex task to deliver customized service to millions of visitors, while also protecting the privacy and property of those visitors.”

Solution

MGM Resorts hired Okta to connect several cloud-based HR systems to a single user provisioning platform. Within a matter of weeks, Okta connected all 62,000 MGM Resorts employees to the platform, simplifying application access and strengthening security. As demand for cloud applications grew internally, MGM Resorts IT integrated more apps into their identity platform. Recognizing the power of the Okta solution, the MGM Resorts team extended Okta to the company’s growing number of mobile devices. Next, MGM Resorts unified its properties under one website and implemented OpenID Connect protocols for web and mobile Single Sign-On and authentication. Today, millions of patrons connect to the company’s M life loyalty program through Okta. As MGM Resorts continues its M life integration, the company gains deeper insights into patron needs and preferences, and patrons receive more personalized experiences.

Benefits

  • 3 weeks to stand up an HR system in the cloud
  • 62,000 MGM Resorts employees using Okta to log into enterprise apps
  • 3.5 million patrons logging into M life via Okta protocols
  • Decreased IT costs and increased security
  • Increased patron adoption of the M life loyalty program, resulting in increased direct-to-consumer sales and better online engagement
  • Deeper insights into patron profiles, resulting in more effective cross-sell and up-sell targeting and messaging
  • Happier, more satisfied, and more loyal patrons

MGM Resorts’ Journey

HR moves to the cloud

MGM Resorts’ human resources team adds cloud solutions, such as Workday, Cornerstone OnDemand, and NeoCase, to their toolkit.

Internal identity management

In just a few weeks, Okta connects MGM Resorts’ HR solutions onto one identity platform so that 62,000 employees can access what they need easily.

The cloud takes hold

After the success of its HR project, the demand for cloud apps grows and MGM Resorts quickly adds apps across the business to its single identity portal. 

A security cornerstone

CISO Scott Howitt realizes he can build an entire security strategy around identity and access management. He extends their usage of Okta to MGM Resorts growing number of mobile devices.

A strategy to cover millions

MGM Resorts begins plans to extend its identity platform to its loyalty program, M life—bringing stronger, simpler security to millions of patrons around the world.

  • 3 weeks to stand up an HR system in the cloud
  • 62,000 MGM Resorts employees using Okta to log into enterprise apps
  • 7 hours of restful sleep every night for MGM Resorts’ CISO

Story

A new CISO takes on MGM Resorts

If you’ve been to Las Vegas, you know MGM Resorts International. As one of the world’s largest gaming, hospitality, and entertainment companies, it’s the big name behind such destination brands as the Bellagio, MGM Grand, and the Mirage. Over the years, MGM Resorts built a complex IT environment that included corporate machines, personal devices, kiosks, and home-grown and purchased applications—all housed in a large on-prem infrastructure. Heading into this decade, the company began adding cloud services, such as Workday, Cornerstone OnDemand, and NeoCase, to the mix. When Scott Howitt walked on to his new job as chief information security officer in the spring of 2015, identity management wasn’t the first thing on his mind. Yes, he had some experience with Okta at his previous company, and was glad to see that his new team had Okta lined up for a human resources project. But identity was just one of a hundred concerns on his list. Howitt had a lot on his mind: Protecting the information systems of 20 popular resorts. Keeping employees safe and productive. Helping the company deliver customized service to millions of visitors, while also protecting the privacy and property of those visitors.

Identity, handled

MGM Resorts chose Okta to connect several cloudbased HR systems to a single user provisioning platform, and when Howitt saw the timeline, he did a double-take. Within a matter of weeks, Okta made user provisioning for MGM Resorts’ new cloud-based HR system simple as pie for 62,000 employees. “I’ve been involved with two identity access management programs before and it had been a multi-year effort,” he says. Getting that initial user load up and running within weeks? That was impressive. When another department wanted to bring a new project management solution in house, Howitt agreed to extend the Okta platform, adding the new solution to the new MGM Resorts identity portal. The solution was up and running within a few days, and Howitt was seriously hooked. “That’s something I had not experienced before, ever,” he says. “[The new app] was just there. It was easy. The next day, it popped up on the menu.” By this time, Howitt was starting to realize that he could cross identity off his list of concerns. After sitting down with the Okta leadership team, he could see they were setting MGM Resorts up with identity management that would evolve with whatever the future held, be it smartphones, smart panels, or new-fangled widgets. “If the brand new iPhone… comes out and I’m unprepared to react to it, Okta will be, because that’s what they do all day long,” he says. “Okta can be the partner that adapts with us.”

A CISO finds his cornerstone

Howitt was starting to understand something else, as well: He could build an entire security strategy around identity and access management. For example: Mobility. MGM Resorts manages a growing number of mobile devices, including those that associates use when they’re cleaning rooms, doing checkouts, and so forth. Today, Okta helps the MGM Resorts team connect all those devices, and the applications that reside on them, to a single, cloud-based identity platform. From experience, Howitt knows that traditional mobile device management solutions are fraught with problems. With Okta, he sees another solution. “If I manage identity well on the device,” he says, “how much mobility device management do I really need?” 

Extending the platform to patrons

In addition to 62,000 employees, MGM Resorts interacts with millions of patrons through its loyalty program, M life. That program helps the company provide customized service from the moment patrons walk through the doors. It also facilitates a rewards program which, for a gaming company, translates to loyalty points with some serious dollar values. The loyalty program presents a security challenge that Howitt is eager to solve. “Pretty much all day is consumed with potential security threats,” he admits. With Okta on the job, he sees a way to protect sensitive patron data, keep loyalty points secure, and scale to meet the demands of millions of users. It’s a plan he knows MGM Resorts patrons will love for its simplicity—and one that will make it easier for him to sleep at night.

About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International is one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands, including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company is in the process of developing MGM National Harbor in Maryland and MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.

"[The new app] was just there. It was easy. The next day, it popped up on the menu." – Scott Howitt CISO, MGM Resorts International

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 5,000 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.

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Personalization & Identity: Building Blocks for the Ultimate Guest Experience