Identity is essential to technology—and protecting identity data is a crucial component of cybersecurity. The notion that security is about preventing unauthorized access by suspicious or malicious unknown accounts misses the mark because at the point of compromise most attacks are perpetrated using valid credentials. That is why identity security is imperative.
There has been talk of eliminating passwords for decades, yet people have more passwords than ever. Devices, applications, and services rely on being able to authenticate the identity of the individuals, devices, applications, and services that connect to them—to verify that they are who they claim to be and that they have the appropriate rights or permissions to connect. The volume of passwords, and the various policies and frameworks for password complexity, or the frequency of changing passwords makes it challenging for users, and—ultimately—make managing access and protecting identity a more complex issue for IT security teams. That’s where a company like Okta comes in.
Okta Identity Cloud
Okta is a leading provider of identity solutions. Okta Identity Cloud enables organizations to manage identity and securely connect the right people to the right technologies at the right time. All three of those factors are important. It reminds me of the way we treated classified material when I was in the Air Force. Access is not simply a function of clearance. It is clearance and a “need to know.” Just because you have the clearance to view Top Secret materials, it doesn’t mean you need to, or that you should view the information right now. Okta provides a platform that makes the process simpler and more streamlined for users and enables organizations to manage secure access at the same time.
Introducing Bill Hustad
One of the pillars of Okta’s success is strategic partnerships. Okta Identity Cloud has more than 7,000 pre-built integrations to applications and infrastructure providers—highlighting the crucial importance of partners and alliance. Okta just welcomed Bill Hustad as SVP of Global Partners & Alliances to build that momentum.
An Okta blog post announcing the addition of Hustad shared, “In this role, he will lead Okta’s global partner team, where he’ll be responsible for Okta’s indirect go-to-market strategy, execution, and bookings globally.”
He may not be a household name, but you might be familiar with Hustad. His background includes Splunk’s global partner organization, where he led Splunk’s strategy and execution in CSP, GSI, MSP, technology partnerships, and channel sales. He has more than 25 years of experience in go-to-market strategy and execution with a focus on customers, cloud operations, and services.
In 2021 and 2022, Hustad was named one of CRN’s Channel Chiefs of the Year. Now, he will apply his background and insight leading Okta’s global partner team with responsibility for Okta’s indirect go-to-market strategy, execution, and bookings globally.
Hustad noted that he joined Okta because he believes the company has a tremendous future. “Unique to Okta is that we support the core engine of any and every single company – The “known user”: Who, what they do and why is at the heart of any business.”
Okta is an established brand with a solid foundation, but there is always a need to innovate and to invest in partnerships that expand the value Okta offers. Hustad explained that he intends to take action and drive broad communication of these efforts, Okta’s performance, and the opportunities that exist. His focus will be to listen, learn, and prioritize.
Hustad believes that a strong partner go-to-market is a shared strategy—one where everyone at Okta is invested in the success of partners. “One of the biggest things I look forward to is building on Okta’s partner program such that it is core to the design of our overall company and go-to-market strategy.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to see Bill join Okta. I experienced firsthand Bill’s partner expertise during his tenure at Splunk and believe he’ll be a great asset to the Okta team,” said Chris Grusz, General Manager, WW ISV Alliances & Marketplace at AWS. “Okta and AWS are well positioned to continue building on our relationship — from new go-to-market strategies to serving our partners and their customers. I look forward to working together and harnessing Bill’s strong leadership to continue achieving world-class partner organizations at AWS and Okta.”
Hustad summed up, “Our job is to inspire, create predictability, and demonstrable wins together that help us grow both businesses.”