Oktane 2019 news: Advanced Server Access, Okta Identity Engine, and Okta Hooks

We’re at Okta’s show in San Francisco this week. Here’s a summary of the pre-announcements; stay tuned for more EUC news and notes from the breakout sessions.

Okta Oktane 2019 starts today in San Francisco. This is the fifth Oktane we’ve covered—by now, you’ve probably aware of how important identity is for EUC.

For a refresher, the big news at Oktane last year was Okta’s partnership with VMware, which was part of their strategy of collaborating with UEM vendors. More recently, I wrote about their informative Businesses @ Work report.

The first keynote is today at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time, but Okta has already published several press releases. Here’s a quick summary and a few of our comments.

Oktane 2019 news

The first announcement is Advanced Server Access. This is a new product, based off of Okta’s acquisition of ScaleFT last July, and as the name implies, it can manage access to cloud servers and infrastructure, as well as on-premises Windows and Linux servers.

While Okta isn’t technically calling this a traditional privileged access management (PAM) tool, some of the functionality of Advanced Server Access overlaps with what PAM does. Since PAM focuses on server and infrastructure workloads, some of it is outside of what we cover, but when it comes to the end users (often admins), it uses many of the same concepts, like zero trust and contextual access.

We’ll be curious to see what analysts and customers in the PAM space have to say about this. (I will note that one of the other PAM vendors we have covered, Centrify, chose to separate the PAM and cloud identity sides of their business.) (Also, I’m fully prepared for somebody at the show to tell me about how how Okta Advanced Service access is or is not PAM.)

Next up, Okta announced that their Okta Identity Cloud is being upgraded, and they’re now calling it the Okta Identity Engine. With this move, the big new feature is something called Hooks.

For the Okta Identity Engine, Okta says that new features will include passwordless authentication, progressive user profiling, and per-app branding, and of course, it will all be context-aware.

Okta Hooks are all about integrating and automating identity workflows. For example, they can touch user registration, authentication, and authorization, and integrate with things like CRM, ERP, HR, and marketing platforms, as well as products in the Okta Integration Network.

Okta recently acquired a cloud integration platform called Azuqua. Azuqua has no-code workflow building tools, which Okta says they plan to integrate into Hooks, as well.

Okta Identity Engine and Hooks skew towards the customer-facing identity management realm, but there’s certainly overlap with employee-facing identity, especially if your organization works with a lot of contractor, partner, seasonal, or app-based gig workers.

Lastly, Okta announced a new survey called the Digital Enterprise Report. One thing that makes it unique is that all of the respondents come from organizations with at least a billion dollars of revenue. A quick skimming showed plans for contractors and remote workers growing, but security is a concern; fortunately, most of the respondents are also working on zero-trust strategies.

Stay tuned

This is already a significant chunk of news, but we’re also going to spend the next two days attending keynotes and sessions. There’s plenty of end user computing-oriented content on the schedule, so watch out for more news and notes from Kyle and me.

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