Okta CEO: Auth0 partnership gives 'leg up' in customer identity space

Okta is advancing its customer identity with Auth0. Okta CEO Todd McKinnon joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss.

Video Transcript


- Welcome back to "Yahoo Finance Live", as we focus in on the opportunities here in cybersecurity. One of the names-- one of the giants we've been tracking in that space seeing a nice 10% pop over the last two days as investors digest the latest coming out of their showcase data, that would be Okta, and what they're doing to bear the fruit from their $6 and 1/2 billion deal to acquire Auth0. Of course, Okta, itself, has been a leader in the identity management space there online.


And for more on what the company has planned, very happy to welcome back in to the show the CEO of Okta. Todd McKinnon joins us once again. And Todd, there are a lot of things coming out of that showcase, but a lot more, in terms of what investors should expect with that partnership with Auth0. I mean, what has you most excited about maybe what lies ahead in the weeks, months, years to come?

TODD MCKINNON: The most exciting thing for our team at Okta is the market opportunity. We have a massive market opportunity, $80 billion TAM across both our workforce identity business, as well as our customer identity business. And you mentioned off Auth0. We're really excited about the leg up that gives us in this very important market of customer identity, which by itself is a $30 billion market opportunity.

And Auth0 brings to us this amazing developer experience, because if you think about every organization in the world from governments to private companies in every vertical industry, they all have to have better digital experiences for their customers, and their citizens, and everyone that they want to reach with a great mobile app or a website. They have to do that to stay competitive.

And that experience has to be identity first. It has to be specific to an end user. It has to be very easy to use. You can't have onerous registration and password resets. It has to be secure. And our customer identity products and the Auth0 product help us do just that.

- Have those opportunities you just pointed to shifted along with the security threats that we've seen? And it feels like we have seen a ramp-up in ransomware attacks. And I wonder what those conversations have been like for clients now, now that there's more awareness.

TODD MCKINNON: Well, every organization is trying to do more with technology. You talk about it on your network. Everyone talks about the opportunities with technology.

And that is impacting organizations on the tools they give to their employees, so they want those tools to be modern, and cloud-based, and easy to use, and let employees do their jobs. And as I just was talking about, they want their customer experience to be amazing, and have the great mobile app, and a great website.

And of course, all of these apps, and people accessing these apps from home, and from cafes, and different types of remote work, that increases the security risk. So security is on top of everyone's mind. And just like digital experiences or identity first, security is becoming identity first, meaning that the old world of trying to secure things with a firewall or a network just doesn't work anymore.

You have to have a system that really controls what an end user can do, what they can't do. Not make the policy tied down to the network or the device. Have that security rule and the security posture follow that end user, whether they're on your website as a customer, or whether they're an employee connecting from their home office, from your office, or anywhere in between.

- Yeah, and Todd, I mean, maybe some people wouldn't have known that this was a deal, the Auth0 acquisition was one that you pursued for years. So I'm sure you're stoked to kind of see it get put into implementation here and build out some real things. For me, just kind of around the showcase Okta Workflows, seems like it's pretty important when you're talking about the customer side, and kind of going through some of these things, not having to wait for kind of access to be granted.

I mean, what does that unlock? It sounds like it's going to begin rolling out in November of this year, so not too far off. I mean, how important is that step up for Okta as a company, as a whole, as you roll it out to clients now?

TODD MCKINNON: It's critical. It's called Workflows for any identity use case. And if you take a step back and look at the landscape, what's happening out there is there's thousands and thousands of different companies making technology and trying to provide it to every organization in the world. Thousands of different innovative solutions.

But customers are really standardizing on a few very important core platforms. They're choosing a platform for collaboration, for infrastructure computing, maybe for customer relationship management, HR systems. There's five, or six, or seven really core platforms.

And I think when we look at our market opportunity, it's really important that we establish identity and our identity platform, broadly speaking, as one of these primary clouds, one of these top five or six most strategic clouds that our customers and every organization in the world standardizes on. And if you're going to do that, you have to support every identity use case that a customer wants to accomplish, whether that's onboarding an employee and giving them access to all the accounts they need to be productive, or that's registering a new customer on your website and integrating that with the marketing systems and the other systems that you have to have integrated to make a great customer experience.

And at the heart of all this is workflows. And every organization needs to program those workflows to do exactly what they need to do for their business. And that's what this capability Workflows for any identity use case accomplishes.