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February 02, 2011

Okta Launches On-Demand Service to Accelerate Secure Adoption of Cloud Apps

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

San Francisco, Calif.-based Okta, which is led by the former head of's (News - Alert) engineering group, has rolled out a new on-demand identity and access management customer service software that the company claims will help enterprises accelerate the adoption of their cloud and Web-based applications.

“Enterprises everywhere are realizing the inherent benefits of running their core IT services in the cloud,” said Todd McKinnon, CEO of Okta.

McKinnon said that this shift fundamentally requires them to rethink their IT infrastructure and how their employees access it.

He claimed that Okta is the only enterprise-class, on-demand service purposely built to help customer secure and manage their entire cloud services network and the people who need access to it, with no professional services required.

Todd McKinnon was most recently vice president of Engineering at from 2003 to 2009.

The company officials claimed that Okta can help IT staff to address the security and management challenges by integrating cloud applications with existing directory services, controlling access across applications, quickly provisioning and de-provisioning employees, and centrally analyzing usage across all applications.

For end users, Okta provides single sign-on across all of their applications, eliminating password fatigue and improving their productivity

“As businesses shift more critical applications to the cloud, they are challenged to maintain the same degree of control that they have with their on-premise applications,” said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner (News - Alert) fellow.

Plummer said that cloud services brokers focusing on identity and access management who can secure, and integrate multiple cloud services will facilitate more secure, cross enterprise adoption of cloud based services – and that will convince a lot of enterprises to buy.

Early Okta customers include Pandora, LiveOps, Enterasys (News - Alert), FusionStorm, and AMAG Pharmaceuticals.

“Okta helped us reduce costs, improve security, and accelerate cloud applications adoption,” said Ben Doyle, director of IT of Enterasys.

“We now have one active directory integration for all of our cloud applications, users have one-click access to their Web-based apps, and IT has centralized control of user access with a high degree of automation,” said Doyle.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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