W2O Group recently introduced Okta as our Enterprise Identity management (EIM) system to enable Single Sign-on (SSO) via Microsoft Active Directory integration and license governance for our internal and SaaS delivered applications and services. Say what?!?

Cutting through the techno-speak, Okta makes it very easy, efficient, and cost-effective for I.T. to enable Single Sign-on for internal and SaaS applications. Okta also makes it very easy and efficient to track license utilization, ensuring we are using the licenses we have purchased and letting us know when we need to acquire more licenses. Most importantly, Okta helps increase our security profile:

  • With SSO enabled, you only need to remember one username and password to access your company applications and services
  • It’s easier for you to comply with a corporate password policy because the same password is used across all your applications
  • Any change you make to your password – typically required on a regular basis by a corporate password policy – is automatically synced to Okta and your applications
  • Okta is available on your mobile device for seamless access to all your applications
  • Helps I.T. ensure that people have access to the applications and services they should and none they should not

Okta’s features, efficiency, ease-of-use, security, and cost-effectiveness made the decision to purchase a no-brainer. Okta’s excellent customer service, a pleasant surprise, has made me a huge fan.

So…how did Okta get me to start promoting the product for them? Gamification.

Recently, I received an email from Okta inviting me to join an “exclusive new customer advocacy hub called the Okta O-zone.” Generally speaking, when I see the word “exclusive” in an email, I usually hit the delete button – if it’s exclusive why are you sending me the email equivalent of a form letter? Just before clicking the delete button, the word “game-ified” caught my attention and long story short, I ended up joining the Okta O-zone because:

  1. Clearly, I do think Okta is a great product and represents the future of Enterprise Identity management
  2. I really wanted to learn how they were gamifying influence

Once you complete the sign-up process, you’re taken to the O-zone portal (aptly named because an Okta is a unit of measurement used to describe cloud cover) where you are presented with a series of challenges, e.g., Tweeting Okta marketing messages, Facebook posts, conducting reference calls, etc., to complete. Each challenge you complete earns you points which can be redeemed for Okta gear (t-shirts, etc.) and progressively cooler rewards. You also have the opportunity to interact with other Okta influencers/evangelists and network.

Well, I’m hooked on the O-zone and here’s why:

  1. I know what the company gets from me when I promote on its behalf, now I know exactly what I get from the company and what I have to do for it
  2. I like the competition
  3. It’s dead easy – click a button and the tweet goes out, click a button and Facebook gets a post – and doesn’t require a lot of my time to participate

Over the past few days, I have completed challenges and earned points which I plan to spend on a great, big…charitable donation. Yep, a donation to the charity of my choice through Okta’s partnership with FirstGiving.com. I’m not looking for kudos here, I just thought it was cool that I could contribute $100 to a charity on a regular basis for what amounts to 30 mins. of my time a month. Kudos to Okta for making charitable contribution an option.

You know a company is doing something right when one of their customers – an I.T. decision maker – finds their product and gamification of influence exciting and innovative enough to write a blog post.