OKTA, Microsoft E5, & Identity Competition

Former Chief Information Officer at Sainsbury's

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Former Chief Information Officer at Sainsbury's

The executive has 20+ years experience as a security executive and is the Former Chief Information Security Officer of Sainsbury's with prior experience at JP Morgan and Citi. He has decades of experience buying and implementing security and compliance enterprise technology.Read more

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Is Okta still a clear leader in this industry, or do you think other products have, by and large, caught up?

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There's lots and lots of early entrants into this market space who want rapid enablement, ease of implementation, low friction, low code and generally, high regulation, controlling environments, which Ping Identity certainly provides a pretty good option. Things like SailPoint IdentityIQ, that's one where I've had some experience of using it; I think it's good as a general identity management solution, thinking about organizations which have a strong SailPoint implementation. A lot of heavy ERP implementation, resource management implementation, as organizations tread grounds and move more away from on-prem implementation – certainly my experience tells me if I look at the last two years and businesses I work for – very, very hungry in M&A activity.

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Just going back to Okta versus Microsoft, I do sense that there's still a meaningful differentiation for Okta versus Microsoft, or has that collapsed?

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Do I sense that there's many of the differentiation between Okta versus Microsoft and the Azure products? I think there is still differentiation and I think differentiation isn't at a product and feature and capability level; there's very little in it that differentiates the core products in terms of the identity, the management, the federation, the SSO, the MFA, the security. If you look at the core tenants on the tools, there's very little in it. I think the differentiation still goes back to the point I was saying to your question around what's in the bag for Okta here? Are they going to be able to play the long game? Because Okta still is recognized as an IDM, SSO management framework, product capability, and all of the above, I think that sees them almost as an entity that plays in that space and leads that space. That's also because that's what industry says, that's what the research or the analysts say. That still remains the case. The differentiator still is brand, robust presence and reference ability.

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