Alma Media streamlines its Identity management with Okta
faster to market
total cost-of-ownership savings over prior solution
“Without Customer Identity Cloud, we would have to develop that feature on our own. Attack Protection helps us identify bad actors and prevent breaches.”
Simo Syrjänen, CTO
Unifying Identity creates a customer and enterprise-friendly ecosystem
Alma Media is a media and service company operating in 11 European countries with more than 100 websites and online brands, reaching 80 percent of FinServe organisations every week. The company pivoted from the TV business in 2005, and today operates nationwide news media, financial and professional media, online education and training services, and a network of sites including classified ads in housing and cars as well as job recruitment services.
With a goal of turning its array of disconnected websites into a genuine ecosystem, Alma Media sought to allow users to effortlessly navigate from one site to another without the user paywall getting in the way. However, with such a diverse array of sites and users, Identity proved to be a major stumbling block.
Alma Media found that a cumbersome login process was cutting their conversion rates in half. The company needed a way to manage Identity for millions of customers across their brands without losing users in the process.
One login system for millions of customers
The problem with Alma Media’s vast array of properties? Different sites and users had different login methods. Enterprise customers have varying login requirements that demand federation. On top of that, B2C users often prefer to log in via social media rather than with a username and password.
Alma Media knew they would require an Identity solution that was customisable and scalable for all of their users. Simo Syrjänen, CTO says, “We had our own login systems on most of the sites. Basically, there were no connections between them.”
The solution needed to be adaptable to “different purposes and different branding,” Syrjänen says, “so we don’t have just one single way for registration or logging in. The platform had to easily integrate to customer services, so we wanted to have APIs communicating to other systems and the identification system.” Having a disconnected platform would have been impossible to scale efficiently, so this was one reason why Alma Media selected Auth0, the technology that now powers the Okta Customer Identity Cloud, as its Identity provider.
Solving consumer and enterprise Identity with CIC
Alma Media uses Customer Identity Cloud to facilitate SAML access for enterprise customers, eliminating the users’ need to maintain multiple passwords or ID credentials in different locations. The company also uses Customer Identity Cloud to handle authentication for their external-facing websites and new apps, part of an ongoing initiative to expand the company and acquire even more users. A key feature for these users is social media authentication providers, such as Google and Facebook, which was set up with minimal configuration for in-house developers. Depending on the service, the option for social media logins provides a low-threshold way to authenticate, which has a high impact on signups.
“One of the biggest reasons we chose Customer Identity Cloud was that it is very easy to use,” Syrjänen says. “We have many sites, and many developers in each of those sites, so we want to make it as easy on them as we can.”
Alma Media also uses Customer Identity Cloud’s AWS Eventbridge integration for enhanced reporting, analytics and change management on customer data but also solution performance and health monitoring based on general system event information. “Eventbridge log stream is our main source now for log information. As we rely on AWS services in many ways, the Eventbridge integration was the natural choice for the log data.”
Alma Media cut months from their time to market
In the end, Alma Media brought their ecosystem to market 50% faster by streamlining Identity management and reducing the amount of time the team has to spend on maintenance and security. Every day, the company uses Customer Identity Cloud’s attack protection to prevent malicious login attempts. “Without Customer Identity Cloud, we would have to develop that feature on our own,” Syrjänen says. “Attack Protection helps us identify bad actors and prevent breaches.”
Customer Identity Cloud is currently on two-third of all Alma Media sites, including all of their largest sites, and the company will implement it on the remaining sites by the end of 2021 to support their plans of doubling the number of registered Alma Media users in the same time frame.
Part of this growth strategy involves targeting a younger audience. Syrjänen says Customer Identity Cloud’s Social Login will play an important role in converting younger users.
Faster scaling and time to market weren’t the only benefits of using Customer Identity Cloud. Alma Media cites a 10% reduction in licencing charges from reduced maintenance burden and 30% total cost-of-ownership savings as part of their Customer Identity Cloud return on investment. Syrjänen also commented on Customer Identity Cloud’s reliability and lack of downtime as a benefit. “I sleep better at night knowing we have a service where we can trust that it stays up.”
Alma Media is a digital service business and media company with a strong capacity for renewal. We are building sustainable growth from media to services, providing content and services that benefit users in their everyday lives, work and leisure time. In Finland, our best-known brands include Kauppalehti, Talouselämä, Iltalehti, Etuovi.com, Nettiauto and Nettimoto. Our recruitment services include prace.cz and jobs.cz in the Czech Republic, Profesia.sk in Slovakia and mojposao.net in Croatia.