Why Identity



Frederic Kerrest:  Thank you, good afternoon. It's nice to be here with you all.

My name is Frederic Kerrest, I'm the Chief Operating Officer and one of the two founders here at Okta. It's great to be here in New York. I was actually born and raised in New York before I migrated to California just over 20 years ago.

How many Ranger fans are there in the audience? Ah, there you go. So big game tonight. For those of you that don't know, there's a hockey league in America. It's called the National Hockey League and there's a very important game tonight that the New York Rangers are playing Madison Square Garden.

And I know that's why you all came today, to talk about that and also a little bit about identity. We'll focus on the identity part first. So thank you very much for joining us. I'm going to spend a few minutes here just talking to you a little bit about how we think about identity here at Okta. We'll talk a little bit about some customer examples that we have. I'll have a few customers come up on stage and join me and talk about their experience and then we'll go right into the rest of the program.

So the first I want to start with is our mission. At Okta, we are very passionate about this and our mission is to enable any organization to use any technology. And we think that identity is the key to making that happen just because of how technology is moving today, how mobile and web technologies are reshaping organizations and industries. And a lot, frankly working with you, our customers is how we've seen that.

We're very fortunate we get to work with some of the largest organizations in the world across a wide set of industries and geographies, including here in New York. So we have ... How many customers here in the audience? Okta customers raise your hands. Great.

If you're a prospect or a partner or someone else, look around. Keep your hands up customers. Talk to some of these folks at the break, look around, look to your right, look to your left. Ask them a little bit about their experience, about some of the opportunities and challenges they found their businesses. About what is like working with us, not only as a company and as people but also the product and technology and obviously  ultimately the solutions that we can help provide. I think that'll go a lot further than having me tell you about how great we are. It's a lot more valuable to talk to some of our customers out here. 

If you're here, if you've taken time out of your busy schedule to come and spend an hour or a few hours with us this afternoon, you obviously are thinking about modern IT. You're thinking about a transformation is happening either within enterprise IT in your organization or digital transformation externally facing with your customers and your partners. So none of this is news to you.

But the cloud is really mainstream now. Right? North of 90% of organizations out there are thinking about or are already leveraging cloud technologies. This is a huge change. And one of the biggest technology changes and the quickest one that I think also at least seen in my career. And the change that we've seen over the last even five or ten years in technology is phenomenal. And it's accelerating if anything.

Yesterday's IT paradigm. Everyone knows what it looked like in IT 10, 15, 20 years ago. You focused if you were an IT practitioner, you focused largely on your employees, your contractors, your consultants. Kind of the internal enterprise IT base. There were largely using Microsoft Windows machines so one operating system. They had access to a small set of applications. The accessed those applications when they were inside the office or inside the four walls of the building or accessed it via VPN access when they were outside the four walls. And it was complex, but given all things, all other things being equal, managing a set number of employees with a set number of application access, a set number of operating systems was still relatively straightforward.

Obviously that's changing. That's changing very quickly. Everything from not only taking advantage of the existing infrastructure and investments that you've all made in your data centers in your organizations, you're adding different cloud platforms that you can leverage now. You add on top of that the myriad of applications that are out there. There's over 5,000 of them that are pre-integrated into the Okta application network today. And in order of magnitude more than our customers can integrate themselves. You think about all the different operating systems, on all the different devices. People here in the audience I'm sure you have laptops and you have tablets and you have phones and you have watches and all these other ... The internet of things is coming so all these other devices have to communicate and connect.

And it's also not only just about your employees and your contractors and consultants anymore. It's about really taking advantage of modern technologies to provide a much better interface and solution for your customers interacting with your partners and your supply chains, which is very exciting.

Obviously it provides a lot of complexity when you think about all those things, which is why identity has become so important to many of you in the audience and has been great to work with you as you think about some of these new opportunities in your businesses.

Identity has become the linchpin of the ecosystem, of a cloud and modern technology ecosystem. And it's really come out of the platforms. If you think back to 10, 15 years ago, your organization might have been an SAP shop or a Microsoft shop or an Oracle shop. And that's kind of the suite of applications that you bought and they were all vertically integrated. And they worked pretty well together. That's not the case anymore.

People are doing best of breed, they are selecting applications that make sense for the functionality they're trying to use, the industry they're in, maybe the geography they're in. Maybe the constituency whether it's employees or customers that they want to access. And that complexity is just accelerating. It's a huge opportunity but a huge challenge as well and one that we're excited to work with our customers on.

Because identity has come out of the platforms and because identity has become a first class platform in and of itself, that is why we create the Okta identity cloud. So we create it from the ground up, today thousands of organizations as you heard, Ryan talked about thousands of organizations, tenths of thousands of applications and millions and millions of users authenticate everyday using the Okta service. They do that when they're interacting with their own employees, when they are interacting with their customers. They do it on mobile devices, they do it from around the world, they do it on all sorts of industries. It's very exciting, it's a great opportunity to help companies move forward with their businesses.

There are a couple of key attributes of the Okta identity cloud that I want to just touch on briefly. And ones that we think a lot about as we continue to build our company and our service.

The first one is born and built in the cloud. We designed the Okta identity cloud from the ground up to be a multi-tenant on-demand service. So that we can provide this best of breed functionality in a rapid agile development environment. One of the challenges that I think has happened over the last 20 years with existing identity management, was that in an on-premise infrastructure each of those implementations was different. So each of those connectors was different. 

And one of the things that we can do with the power of having a cloud native solution is provide a core set of integrations, an integration hub that really everyone can leverage. So that when a customers promotes an application integration, it can instantly be used by all of our customers across the entire customer base. Very, very powerful. And built to scale, obviously. Not only geographically but across  industries, large organization trying to solve all sorts of problems.

The second one is about connecting everything. I just talked about the integrations to applications but that's just the start. We have very aggressive goals of helping all sorts of organizations, public and private, connect not only all their applications but all their devices, all their people, and all the other companies and organizations that they do business with as well. And you need to keep pace with innovation. These new applications are coming up very quickly you saw some examples in the businesses work report. Where new applications are coming to the forefront all the time. And we want to make sure that we empower our customers to leverage the best of breed technology not only today but in the future.

We also want to help our customers preserve choice. What we hear from you is "I don't want to buy everything from one vendor anymore. I want to do best of breed. I want to choose different applications for different parts of my organization to solve different problems. There might be applications that are specifically designed for me in the healthcare industry or me in the financial services industry and I want to leverage those." And we want to provide that flexibility for our customers to do exactly that.

I talked a little bit about the future and future proofing. This is actually a term that we coined by actually borrowing it from our customers. Our customers started telling us, "Hey the reason I love Okta is there's a number of problems that I'm trying to solve today. I'm trying to roll out a new application, like Office 365 or Workday, or ServiceNow or Box to all my employees." Or "I'm trying to put up a new customers facing portal for my customers to access very easy, get better information, do better business with me. And so I got a specific problem I'm trying to solve today. And Okta is very good at that, we really appreciate it."

"But I'm also thinking about the future. I want to solve a problem today but build a foundational platform, a foundational technology that I can use in the future." So our customer started using future proof, which is one that we've adopted and we think does very well.

Next is security. Obviously if you are going to run an identity and access management service for enterprises and organizations of all sizes, security is paramount. You can go through the acronyms that we have here. Things like SOC 2, ISO 27001, 27018. But in particular, also we think about industry specific. We're doing more and more with the federal government, with local and state governments, which is why being FedRAMP certified is very important. We're starting to do a lot with healthcare organizations, which is why being HIPAA-compliant is so important. And just making sure that we are helping our customers ber successful with a secure, reliable platform, which is what they'd expect when they work with someone like Okta for key mission-critical infrastructure.

And then finally it's about being always on. Obviously if you're running an identity service in the cloud, being up and reliable and always on is key. You can't take it down for maintenance windows. It's something that we believe is very core to what we do. We want to be very transparent about it, which is why if you go to okta.com/trust you'll see how we've done and behaved over the last six plus years with our service. We're not perfect. We think we're pretty good but we're not perfect. Things happen. When they do an important thing is just to communicate, talk about what's going on with the service, what we're doing about it, how we're going to make it better and continue to learn and improve as we go. But making sure the service is always on and maintaining that reliability availability performance security is key for us in what we're trying to do.

So with that, I want to talk briefly about the products that we have on the service. There is a set of six products that are pre-integrated that we've all designed and built that are sitting in one platform. Single sign-on so federation; lifecycle management so provisioning, deep provisioning, change of role, change of profile; MFA, multi-factor authentication in our adaptive multi-factor authentication for strong authentication, two-factor; opti mobility management, which is a smart way of doing application management on devices in particular on the bring-your-own-device type of world. We talk about API access management, which is our latest product that we released just last year, not only about ... Our services is not only about helping people connect to applications but helping applications integrate to applications much more intelligently too from an identity perspective. And then finally underpinning of these products that I talked about is our universal directory, which is our meta directory in virtual directory that sits in the public cloud that it's highly extensible, highly configurable for all your business opportunities out there.

And then finally, all those six products are available via powerful STKS that you and your developers can both use and integrate into your products and also just leverage and skin them and make them have your look and feel.

So again, if you think about our mission, which is helping organizations enable any technology, it's one thing for me to stand up here and talk to you about it, it's another just to walk through a few customer examples and talk about those. So I want to give you a couple of examples of that. In particular when we started the company in the first set of years was really around enterprise IT. The idea that we had was hey there is a modern set of technologies that are coming. Obviously we had front row seat to that, when we were at Salesforce.com for a long time before started Okta. So we knew about the enterprise IT problem. Just helping CIOs, IT departments, [CSOs 00:12:07] think about all these modern technologies, cloud collaboration suites, like Office 365 and Gmail all the way to HR suites, CRM and so forth that people wanted intelligently integrate into their environment for employees and contractors and consultants.

And that's how we spent the first half of the company's life, really focused on that problem set. What happened was our customers started saying okay this is great, it works very well for my internal constituents, my employees but I want to use your universal directory, which is a powerful meta directory that sits in the public cloud to better interact with my customers, my partners, my suppliers.

And so we kind of got pulled into the second business, which people use the term digital transformation, which I think is overuse and doesn't really mean much. But basically helping companies become more digital and have better experiences and interactions with their customers and their partners. So I want to walk you through just a few examples of that today.

The first one is Adobe. The sixth largest enterprise software company in the world. About $4 billion of revenue today. Over the last three to five years, Adobe's gone through a very big shift, from packaged software of Photoshop and Acrobat that you would buy and install and manage and maintain on your servers to cloud services. Creative Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Document Cloud where you can go an access all their products in the public cloud.

We started working with Adobe about five years ago for internal identity management, they wanted roll out Office 365 and a couple of other applications for their internal constituents, that went very well. And then they said, hang on, we actually need an identity service for our product because their enterprise customers authenticating into the Creative Cloud, they didn't want if Boeing is a customer of Adobe's, which they are, Adobe didn't want to provide Boeing with 300,000 usernames and passwords to manage and reset and maintain. That's just going to end up with a lot of Help Desk reset password calls on a Monday morning.

So instead, they integrated the Okta service into their product as the authentication layer so that companies like Boeing could easily federate into the Adobe Creative Cloud and Document Cloud and Marketing Cloud. So the first way that we help our customers is when they're building products themselves, we can help them with an embedded authentication layer inside their products.

The second one is in the business to consumer environment. So MGM, have resorts worldwide. They run a number of large hotel and casino properties. If you've been to Las Vegas and you stayed at the Aria or the MGM or the Bellagio, they're all MGM properties. We started working with MGM about four years ago, again on some internal deployments, they wanted to roll out some applications quickly to about 65,000 employees, which we did very well.

At the same time, they were starting on a new digital path where they wanted to create M life, which is their affinity program. So next time you go to Las Vegas, if you're staying at an MGM property you'll see it plastered all over the place get your M life number, it allows you to basically get rewards and points. It also allows you to start personalizing your relationship with MGM. They have credit cards and all the rest of it as well.

And the vision for MGM is they want to have a much better idea of what you care about. So that when you go to an MGM property, if you're more interested in shows, they'll make sure that your points goes to those shows. Or if you want your room configured a certain way, they're going to want to know that. So that in the future you can actually just walk into an MGM property, they will send you your room number actually on your phone directly. You can go right to the room and using NFS get into the room, and that room will be configured the way you like it.

So those kinds of things are paramount to how MGM is thinking about moving their business forward, providing a much better interaction and relationship with their customers. And that entire M Life user base, which is millions and millions of consumers is sitting inside the Okta universal directory. And those are the kinds of solutions that we can help our customers with when they think about the end consumer. 

And then finally in our B2B environment. So Flex, formerly known as Flextronics, second largest contract manufacturing company in the world by revenue after Taiwan Foxconn. We started working with Flex a few years ago because they called us and they said, "Hey we have a great supply chain, it's very powerful, it's highly configurable. We've developed it over the last 20 years. But we want to provide a more modern interaction to it." Because they were going from working with companies like Broadcom and doing chip manufacturing to starting to work with companies like Nike, where the next time you buy a shirt that has smart sensor in it so that it can sense your saline constituency and all the rest of it, that was actually probably made by Flex, on behalf of Nike.

And so if you think about that, Flex wanted to go talk to Nike and talk about this modern supply chain while at the same time, the way they built the supply chain over the years, you could actually have north of ten different sets of credentials and websites to go login to. Just to understand what was happening on the supply chain, if you were the customer. One for order management, one for invoice management, one for shipping, one for purchasing, just to understand all the different components.

So if you think about you're Flex, you want to go talk to Nike about how they should use your modern supply chain but you're going to provide them a large set of credentials to manage the different components. That's not the best end-user experience. And at the same time if you think about the backend of that story, there are hundreds of suppliers that work with Flex on Nike products.

But they want to make sure that the supplier only has access to the right information in that supply chain. And that when that supplier maybe rolls off that their credentials are taken away, that they're de provisioned from the service so they can't access it anymore. So working with Okta we helped Flex with their supply chain. We helped them modernize the front end so that Nike has one experience now when they go and talk to Flex and look at their supply chain. One place to go that all the information across the different components on the backend. And Flex now can much better manage the supplier roll on/roll off which they do around the world.

Now of course, Flex also has 200,000 employees. A lot of contract workers and there are hundreds of factories around the world then they roll over, north of 10,000 a quarter. So after we helped them with their supply chain, they said well, there's probably a lot you can help us with as well in an internal enterprise IT, just helping manager the process of on boarding and off boarding employees, which we did as well.

So those are just a few examples of some of our customers and how we are helping in their again, overused, digital transformation whether they're trying to build their own products in the cloud, whether they're trying to provide a much better service and interaction experience to end-consumers or whether they're trying to provide a much better B2B experience as well for corporate customers.

Why does identity matter? Why should it be the foundation of your business initiatives? How can it drive your business forward? Okta COO and co-founder Frederic Kerrest will answer these questions and discuss how identity is the lynchpin of the cloud ecosystem in his morning keynote.

Watch this opening session to learn more about the Okta Identity Cloud, what differentiates it from any other identity offering on the market, and how it makes Okta customers successful.