With big rivals on its heels, Okta extends ID management to custom apps, Android devices

Okta is betting that it can expand its identity and access management (IAM) service faster than big-suite (here’s looking at you Salesforce.com) competitors can do likewise.

The company, a pioneer in this space, says it already integrates with more than 3,000 existing business applications — things like Workday(s wday), Box, Salesforce.com, Google Docs(s goog), et al., but the new release will enable customers or partners to integrate with their own custom applications.

While Okta and Ping Identity focus on IAM, they’re seeing increasing competition from big enterprise players that are starting to offer their own IAM. Salesforce.com(s crm), for example, just announced Salesforce Identity. 
Okta_On Devices

Okta CEO Todd McKinnon told me recently that his advantage is that this is not Okta’s first rodeo. McKinnon, a Salesforce.com veteran, founded Okta in 2009 and it’s taken that amount of time to build all those aforementioned integrations. Salesforce.com, on the other, hand just got started. “Doing all that work takes time,” he said.

And, the value of IAM lies in its being applicable broadly across all on-premises and cloud applications. What good does it to you as a company employee if some applications are covered and others are not?

Okta is also rolling out an Android version of its Okta Mobile client software to join its existing iOS version.

As McKinnon might say — to be effective, identity and access management has to be ubiquitous across not just all apps but all devices.

Sure if a business uses one vendor for all its marketing, sales, and social networking applications, it might make sense to use that vendor’s identity management as well, but to date, McKinnon said, no one company, not even Oracle(s orcl) or Salesforce.com or Microsoft(s msft) owns all those applications.