CLAAS enhances customer experience by unifying fragmented Identities


of users adopt social logins

3 months

from purchase to full deployment

“Customer Identity Cloud has high security standards, like brute force detection and Okta Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). And we can make use of them in one centralised place as well, which we couldn’t before.”

Johannes Storck, Deputy Head of IT

With over €4B in annual revenue, CLAAS’ agricultural machines have earned a reputation as some of the world’s best. And as digital technology has revolutionised every aspect of the agricultural sector, the company’s combines and tractors, for example, are now integrated with GPS navigation and data science services that help farmers optimise their production. But as CLAAS developed a portfolio of more than 10 digital applications to provide better access to those services, they found that their approach to Identity made it difficult for their customers to utilise them efficiently. 

“There was a gap in user experience with how easy it was for customers to access each of our applications,” Johannes Storck, Deputy Head of IT, explains. “Our goal was to provide our customers, mainly farmers, with the same Identity and access management approach they’d find at Apple and Google.”

Siloed Identity causes confusion and downtime

CLAAS purchased an on-premises Identity solution for the applications they’d developed for their customers when they began their digital transformation 10 years ago. However, that solution was rudimentary and each application handled signups and logins separately, which created a confusing user experience and a lot of complexity for the company internally. 

“If a customer created an Identity for one application but signed up for another one, they had to input the same information all over again,” Storck says. “But a lot of other processes like data management and authorisation were connected to Identity, too. So those were also duplicated from application to application.” 

The Identity solution also hadn’t scaled well as their digital products evolved, often requiring downtime for maintenance at critical times of the year for their customers. 

“Although most of the downtime happened on weekends, during the summer months, many of our customers are in the field 24/7 with their machines,” Storck explains. “And if Identity management isn’t working for our applications, like our spare part shop or farm management software, the applications do not work at all. Especially during the harvest time, some of our applications are a really business critical part for our customers which is why having the systems and their Identity management running is so important for us.”

CLAAS ID setup in under three months

CLAAS knew they needed to look for a reliable solution that brought Identity into a single location. But they also knew that whatever they implemented had to be secure, given the sensitive nature of some of the data they managed, like personal data or GPS positions of their customers’ machines. 

“We are a premium brand, and customers expect high-security standards for their Identities,” Storck says. “We realised we needed a new Identity provider with technology that was comparable to other systems we were already running as a company.” 

A quick Google search led CLAAS to Okta Customer Identity Cloud, powered by Auth0. After reviewing its documentation and running a prototype, CLAAS enlisted Customer Identity Cloud to help create a centralised Identity experience, allowing customers to log in to any app using a single CLAAS ID. Within three months, the solution was live and provided state of the art Identity and access management for the first applications, complete with social logins

“Customer Identity Cloud made a really nice first impression from the documentation, which made it easy for us to understand the system and its features,” Storck explains. “Then implementation was easy because everything was so clear and developer-friendly.”

Up to 50% of users adopt social logins

Since launching social logins, many of CLAAS’s customers have opted to sign up through Google, Apple, or Facebook. “We were really impressed with how quickly our customers adopted social logins,” Storck says. “In some markets, we’ve seen up to 50% of our users signing up with third-party Identity providers.” 

Centralising Identity has also “majorly reduced” the number of Identity-related support tickets the team has to deal with since CLAAS’s customers can now manage all of their data across each application with a single Identity. And Okta has made it easy for CLAAS to assure their customers that their data is secure as well. “Customer Identity Cloud has high-security standards, like Brute Force Protection and Okta Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). And we can make use of them in one centralised place as well, which we couldn’t before,” Storck says. 

Most importantly, solving Identity has enabled CLAAS to develop innovative applications for their customers faster than they could have previously. “Everything we need related to Identity is already pre-built in the Management API of Customer Identity Cloud,” Storck says. “We expect big growth in the future as we integrate many more applications.”

About customer

CLAAS is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural engineering equipment. Its modern harvesters, tractors, balers and farming information technologies help to serve the rising demand for food, energy and commodities. High-tech products from CLAAS are used in 140 countries. With more than 11,000 employees at its sites worldwide, the company generates turnover of 4 billion euros.