Okta helps AutoTrader change how vehicles are bought and sold



Andre Gold:  Autotrader is looking to dramatically change the way that users buy and sell vehicles. I can't do that if I'm sitting, supporting a CRM system. I can do that if I'm out in a dealership, understanding what their problems are, and how we could help partner with them and build technology that makes that a lot more efficient and effective.

So Autotrader.com, in its most simplistic form of viewing it, is both a digital media company, with Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.com, as well as a software company that develops software that helps independent dealers better manage their dealerships. Four years ago, Autotrader.com was a singular website offering one product to the consumer and customer. Now we're a portfolio of companies, offering anywhere from upwards of seven to eight different products to our consumers. And guess what, these are all SaaS-based applications, with disparate identity stores underneath it, right?

And so now dealers are coming to us and saying, "Hey, you know what? All these products are part of Autotrader.com or Autotrader group. Can I have one user name, one password for all the products that I leverage across a portfolio?" Okta plays a huge role in that. As I mentioned earlier, we have over seven different authentication stores. We certainly, on the back end, could have exercised our technology muscle to make that happen. But I don't think that would have been the best use, nor most efficient time, for our internal resources. Once again, it's not a new product out there that we're trying to develop. It's actually synergizing the products that we have, and Okta certainly can do that better and a lot faster than we can internally.

So when we first started evaluating Okta, there were three use cases we were trying to solve. First was, we had a huge complex SaaS space applications that required numerous user names and passwords that we're trying to provide the single sign-on for our employees. The second one was, we were going to a new collaboration and social platform internally, actually leveraging Jive, and Box in the back end, both Okta partners, that we're trying to provide single sign-on into that respective experience. And then the third one was actually establishing a common portal that we internally have dubbed Dealer Hub, that takes all of the seven products that we offer to the independent dealer and put them under the umbrella of one portlet, negating the need for a dealer to have to have multiple user names and/or passwords to engage with us.

So we chose Okta not only because of the great partnership that thought we could have with Okta, and currently do have with Okta, but there were also some compelling technology reasons. One is, just look at the litany of number of connections that they already have built. In one of our product lines, specifically VIN Solutions, we were going out there and building single sign-on capabilities to people like ADP and Russell Reynolds. Well, guess what? Okta already has those, right? Okta already had the ability to integrate within our active directory, which was great.

And one of the other big reasons why we chose Okta was, with your integration of Salesforce, Box, Jive, Taleo, these are all big SaaS-based applications that we're now starting to adopt, and so it's nice to see that they already established a connection with those.

So when you start thinking about actually wrapping a portal around the portfolio of capabilities that we have, I think harnessing those synergies and making it easy for independent dealers really allows us to become a huge differentiator within the automotive industry and actually helps us deliver upon our brand promise of making buying and selling vehicles a whole lot easier.

The AutoTrader today is already a far cry from its origins. Initially starting with offering only one product to offer its consumers, it now has up to eight different SaaS applications with their own complex identity stores that help independent car dealerships run their business. Okta stepped in to help streamline their customers identities through Single Sign-On implementation for all these products, as well as help AutoTrader enhance its own internal collaboration platforms.