From Cloud Native to Zero Trust, Back Market's Okta journey
Okta service rupture since implementation
into the Okta website for a seamless access experience
managed with Okta Workflows
- A committed, fast-growing company
- Providing easy access to all cloud applications
- Automating manual tasks to speed up onboarding
- Ensuring a trouble-free everyday experience
- An approach that gives Back Makers peace of mind
Back Market, a company founded in 2014 by three French entrepreneurs, aims to fight planned obsolescence and encourage consumers to buy refurbished products. Back Market's client base has grown rapidly over the past two years, and its workforce has also quickly doubled from 250 to 500 employees.
To manage its dynamic and growing workforce while maintaining strict security standards, Back Market chose Okta from the outset. Its strategic approach has always been “cloud-first”, keeping operational tasks to a minimum.
Back Market uses Okta Workflows to automate processes associated with managing user accounts. Universal Directory and Lifecycle Management provide automated user access when a new employee comes on board. Single Sign-On gives employees easy access to their cloud applications, secured with Multi-Factor Authentication
With MFA and SSO, Okta helps the Back Market IT team make Back Makers' daily lives as trouble-free as possible and gives them peace of mind. The automation Okta provides leaves the IT team free to focus on tasks with higher added value.
The next step for Back Market will be to offer password-free access for its employees, using FastPass authentication as soon as it becomes available, combined with its ONE UEM workspace. On devices with biometric authentication, FastPass allows this to be done end-to-end without a password, providing an additional level of security for Back Makers.
Security is our priority. We're in a very buoyant market, and we want to make sure our data is secure, so our employees can be protected wherever they work in the world.
Rémy Angel, IT Manager, Back Market
In 2019, a record 54 million tons of e-waste was generated worldwide. That’s why reducing e-waste – the waste associated with new technologies – is a key objective in the fight against pollution. To achieve this, we need to fight planned obsolescence and encourage consumers to buy refurbished products. That is the mission of Back Market, a business founded in 2014 by three French entrepreneurs. By creating a credible and reliable marketplace, Back Market intends to change attitudes towards reconditioned equipment and make the adoption of repurposed products more widespread. Back Market only works with sellers who have been through a rigorous selection process to ensure each product is tested and verified, representing good value for money for buyers as well as an environmentally sound choice for the planet.
With a 12-month warranty offered on all products and 30 days to test them and change your mind, this is a very popular option. As a result, Back Market's customer base has grown rapidly over the past two years. Its headquarters are in France, with offices in seven other European countries and the United States. “Our target market is everyone,” says Rémy Angel, IT Manager at Back Market. “At the moment, most of our buyers are private individuals, but we hope to work more regularly with businesses as well.”
Back Market's workforce has grown rapidly, expanding from 250 to 500 employees within six months of Mr Angel's arrival at the company. Staff are based in the Paris, Bordeaux, Berlin, Prague and New York offices, although since the COVID-19 restrictions most are now working from home. Mr Angel’s job, and that of his team, is to ensure that Back Makers, as Back Market employees are known, have the tools they need to focus on fighting planned obsolescence. His team works closely with the cybersecurity section, which is responsible for security on Back Market platforms.
“Security is our priority,” says Mr Angel. “We're in a very buoyant market, and we want to make sure our data is secure, so our employees can be protected when they work around the world.” To manage its dynamic and growing workforce while maintaining its strict security standards, Back Market chose Okta from the start.
Automating manual tasks to speed up onboarding
In choosing an identity and access management (IAM) solution, one of Back Market's key objectives was to optimise the onboarding process, making it easy to welcome new Back Makers when they join the team. “Our goal is to automate as many tasks as possible and to eliminate the manual tasks associated with onboarding a new employee,” says Mr Angel.
To do this, Back Market uses Okta Workflows to automate user account management processes. Back Market uses its HRIS as a source of truth, integrated with Universal Directory and Lifecycle Management . This makes it easier to provide automatic user access when a new employee arrives. “Sometimes we have 20 new Back Makers to welcome every two weeks. If we did it manually, it would take us a long time,” says Mr Angel.
Providing easy access to all cloud applications
Since joining Back Market in 2020, Mr Angel has been trying to integrate as many apps as possible with Okta. One of his aims is to eliminate shadow IT and the use of unauthorised applications, which pose a security risk. “We have about 50 active cloud applications integrated with Okta, and our goal is to integrate all our applications with it,” says Mr Angel. “Okta already has a very extensive catalogue of integrations, and if a service provider doesn't offer integration with Okta, we prefer to look for an alternative supplier.”
Back Market uses Single Sign-On to give employees easy access to their cloud applications, such as AWS and Google Cloud, as well as Back Market's internal back-office tool, and apps like Zoom, Slack, and Google Workspace.
Back Market employees' access to their accounts is secured with Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA). Back Market prioritises the Okta Verify app as the second factor, but, if they prefer, employees can also use Google Auth, which will gradually be phased out in favour of Yubikey. “Many of our employees are digital natives and we haven't come up against any resistance to MFA,” says Mr Angel.
Switching quickly and easily to remote working
In terms of technology, Back Market's strategic approach has always been “cloud-first”. “We don't have any physical infrastructure. We do everything in the cloud, which allows us to minimise operational tasks,” says Mr Angel. “The ability to work anywhere, on any device the company provides, is also very important to us.”
Thanks to this approach, when the 2020 pandemic forced them to switch to remote working, Back Market employees were ready to continue operating securely from any location. “It was reassuring, knowing that our employees can work from home securely with Okta,” says Mr Angel. “We saw high demand on our platform during the pandemic, when people were buying devices to work from home, so it was important that our teams remained in action.”
Back Market can also onboard new Back Makers without necessarily welcoming them physically in an office, as employees can activate their Okta accounts remotely. This helps with Back Market's expansion plans, making it easier to hire employees in new regions.
An approach that gives Back Makers peace of mind
With MFA and SSO, Okta helps Mr Angel and his team make the Back Makers' daily lives as trouble-free as possible. “With Okta, employees experience fewer access issues, and they feel happier about their hardware and data security,” he explains. “This helps our Back Makers give their all, because they feel supported.”
According to Mr Angel, the automation Okta leaves the IT team more time to focus on tasks with higher added value. “In 2021, we want to recruit new team members to support our growth,” he says. “With Okta, I can focus on recruiting, and leave the management new employee access rights to Okta.” And what do the Back Makers themselves think of it? “The success of our Okta implementation can be seen in the lack of complaints from our employees,” says Mr Angel.
The next step for Back Market will be to offer its employees password-free access, using FastPass authentication as soon as it becomes available, combined with its ONE UEM workspace. On devices with biometric authentication, FastPass enables end-to-end password-free authentication, providing an additional level of security for Back Makers.
“We chose Okta because it’s the leader in the IAM market. The good working relationship we have with Okta's sales team is also important,” says Mr Angel. “We want to take a step forward by establishing a 100% Zero Trust system, and Okta is our partner on this journey.”