The way we work has changed hugely in the last 5 years. We now do our jobs anywhere, any time, and from any device. While many of your applications might be on-premises, an increasing number have moved to the cloud. Employees need simple and secure access to their apps, and you need an efficient way to centrally manage identity, access and devices. I was reminded about this in a recent chat with John Munro, my co-founder at Globocol, when he was talking about an identity management application we recently installed at Globocol. So for this blog post I thought I would do a quick Q & A with John about that.
EP: What have you been working on recently?
JM: I have been working on a transformation project with Scottish ferry company CalMac. CalMac are moving their IT to the cloud and migrating from on premise IBM Notes to cloud based IBM Connections for mail and collaboration. They have a number of other SaaS products which are being implemented alongside Connections.
EP: What challenges have you faced?
JM: With all of these new cloud applications, CalMac were keen to streamline the user login process as much as possible and turned to Okta for a solution. Okta provides single sign on, multi factor authentication, user password management and comes with a catalogue of over a thousand applications which have been tried and tested with Okta.
EP: And how has Okta worked from a user perspective?
JM: I was very impressed with Okta’s ease of use and with its excellent admin tools. There are different ways to set Okta up. It very much depends on whether you run Active Directory or an LDAP directory, whether you want to set Okta up as your master directory or simply look up users in one of your existing directories, whether you want to use the Okta user dashboard or embed it on your own portal, and much more. Flexible, versatile, powerful, easy to use - all are key attributes of Okta. As you know it was this experience which led me to suggest using Okta as our user authentication solution at Globocol.
EP: What are the main benefits of Okta?
JM: I have been an Okta user both at CalMac and Globocol, for about 9 months. I have my dashboard set up to access all the cloud applications I use for business (Connections, IBM Partnerworld, Service Now, IBM Greenhouse etc.) and on a separate "personal" tab I have all my personal applications - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Pinterest, Amazon, Flybe, Virgin West Coast and many more. Gone are the days when I had to remember all the user names and passwords for this growing list of web applications. Add them once to Okta and it remembers them for you. Now I login once to Okta and it authenticates me with all my web applications, saving me at least 10 - 15 minutes every day. No more trying to remember the password, getting locked out when I cannot remember it and then going through the rigmarole of resetting the password.
EP: How do you find Okta as an administrator?
JM: As an Administrator Okta makes life so much easier. Users can manage their own passwords so helpdesk calls reduce hugely - what percentage of your helpdesk calls are about resetting passwords? There is an excellent reporting suite to let me run a host of reports about user login activity, and I can assign applications to users quickly and easily through the clean Admin UI.
EP: Where do you go from here?
JM: We are still scratching the service of what we can do with Okta but I see this as a very powerful, useful and necessary tool for any organisation looking to move their information systems to the Cloud.
Globocol is a UK Okta business partner