Event Recording

Best Practice: CIAM as Business Enabler for Digital Transformation


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Works. Yeah. So hello everyone. And I'm quite happy that we are able to follow up that great discussion because what we did in the last three years is actually right down that road. The project that we are talking about today is completely about business to business, customer identities. And I'm happy to share that together with my friend Roland here. So we'll just kick off. As you can imagine, we just do identity and access management, and I've been doing that for like 20 years with Roland. So just into the case, we're talking about lap here, L is a company that does this cables, connectors, very special cables, very special connectors. So the issue is that these are definitely not your everyday products and they've been selling them through mail order catalogs, like a thousand pages thick. You may remember those from the German audience auto, those are really, really heavy and really clunky.
And they started to exchange that to mailing out CDs. And then they come up with the idea, you know, we gotta get rid of that. We gotta get those online. So when we wanted to go there to the top, we quickly figured out that the guys were assuming that they had already made a very good approach. They had already selected a number of vendors. The problem was that we were actually at the base camp and needed to do some more evaluation to plot the path ahead and avoid that we were falling off the cliff like lemmings. And that was definitely something that put some pressure on us because the starting point, as I said, was a thousand page catalog and a huge number of completely separate B2B shops in multiple national environments with multiple backends behind that. And especially the language barriers and a completely separated set of identities, which unfortunately actually set in the backend E R P system.
So some of you may have encountered a similar situation where the people that were logging into the shop actually were SAP identities, which is definitely not something that you want in the future. So when we came in, there was already a short list for cm technologies there, but we felt that the requirements were still a bit fuzzy. What we understood was that they definitely wanted more agility. And please remember that L is a family run business. They've been around for three generations. And the youngest set of managers from that family decided that they definitely want to do stuff differently. They are really set up for digital transformation and they mean it. So they actually hired someone away from one of the large manufacturing companies in Southern Germany to run that e-business transformation in their organization. And for us, that definitely meant that we had to make sure that this B2B onboarding process, just what we discussed with the gentleman up on stage here a few minutes ago, that this was going smooth with all the different requirements from all the different countries, with all the different tax IDs, legal information for the stuff that you need to get your know your customer established and also separated segregated between the different nations, because naturally the sales in let's say Austria, weren't supposed to view customer data from Germany, France, Sweden, or Bangladesh, as you may imagine, on the other hand, they definitely wanted to reap the benefits of that customer funnel.
You all have heard about, they wanted to put up online content behind the registration barrier, which at the same time should be very low level. So people are not clicking away after finding that this white paper or this video might be of interest to them. So we had to make sure that we set apart the personal registration onboarding from the company registration onboarding to fill that funnel last but not least. They definitely wanted us to keep track of all the GDPR content and especially the additional opt-in from marketing and communications that was needed due to the fact that, oh, well, we were shifting their digital identities from an internal on-prem SAP system to another system that had to be defined. And well, when we were at that stage, they said to us, oh yeah. And by the way, we want to do our first implementation.
We want to do something within the next four weeks. And that was quite of a challenge. Remember that has been like three years ago. So not all of the vendors had their technology cloud ready yet. Some of them were still doing on-prem and I'm just going to go very briefly over that slide, because it just shows what we figured out that we shouldn't do or couldn't do because just getting the software selected, getting the contract, getting the hardware, setting them up in the internal on-prem databases and getting that into the data centers, setting up test dev product. That was just not gonna happen in the few days of time that we were allowed to do. So we figured out that we need to get a different approach and sort of cut some corners. And that's actually what we did. We said, we gotta do it in a new way.
So we figured, okay, let's not take that winding road, but rather go straight across. We chose to do a little test run with a SAS cm solution, actually myself. I was able to customize the demo for them or with the CI or with the logos and deploy that within 72 hours and to do a demo to the stakeholders. And then they decided that they should run that option because well, that other vendor that I had just asked, told me, yeah, we can make someone available onsite to help you with the installation, but it's gonna take you five to six months because we are fully booked. So yeah, that was not an option. And I'm not the guy who gets his hands too dirty in two technical terms. So I had to hand over to Roland and ask him currently to come in and that's what we do.
So first of all, the project was set up in an agile approach using scrum methodology. So all the architecture, engineering and development tasks happened in, in incremental sprints with user stories and feature list and stuff like that. And this gave us the chance to add incremental features during the whole project. Additionally, we edit, we, we set up an no, we, sorry.
We set up seeing hold up. Yes. Because the whole project, as I said, was going to go very much agile. So with
The introduction of the digital
Transformation program, they had actually started
Doing the, the whole thing in, in scrum with the agile methodology, they brought in many, many external scrum masters to actually get away from that waterfall model and do that whole thing with a little bit more agility. And we were able to get our first shop onsite, no online within a few months, instead of waiting half a year to get a demo environment. And we did that. Definitely not in a few days, but we had to do something. So yeah,
So we firstly deployed all the tenants and all the stances and infrastructure we needed for, for our project. We invited all the developers and all the business stakeholders on this platform in order to get common understanding of the requirements of what needed to be done and what can be done in a short amount of time, we set up the basic functionality like centralized logging, like single sign on between the applications and user management and moved on that platform and created a common test environment and also created test reference app. We can use to test our, our develop features independently of the actual applications and the shops and get the, the, the first experience gain experience between the developers and the business users. And we also use C I C D practices to track our development efforts on our changes on the development branch and replay those features to the test and then to the production branch really fast and, and incremental steps.
And, and that was a very, very important thing because we were working directly with the business units and not with somebody in it. So it was very, very important to show these people in marketing, in sales, how the UIs would look like how the emails would look like that we were sending out to the customers, getting the approval and stuff like that. So that, that agility definitely had a large impact here so that we could actually every two weeks get the new features tested and shown to the customer and, and evolve our MVP towards the major launch. But the problem is, well, we chose a SAS solutions. And as you can tell, we had some limitations with that one.
Yes. So in a couple, in a lot of projects like this, you find yourself with a couple of building blocks, which are ready to use out of the box, but then you figure out that there are some building blocks missing. So adding the glue is not everything you, we well, in our case, it was the, the content and the onboarding feature for new users, which were two specific. It had two individual requirements that could not be done with the platform with this platform itself. So we started to develop those tiny building blocks by ourself with a rapid application development platform. And this components helped us to,
To, to move on more quickly move on. Yeah. But, but the, the problem with that one was you couldn't just side car that to the SaaS application online, that was just not made for that. So we had to go with a hybrid approach and some extensions that we actually hosted. On-prem on a very, very small server that we could actually call upon depending on which country the company or person was registering from and served them with the localization in multiple languages, right from the start, which was something that the customer really, really liked and showed us that these little extensions that we had to buy with that hybrid extension were actually very good received. So just to give you an idea, what we have done and where we're going, we were now able to onboard roughly 15 of these shops completely. We still have like half a dozen to 10 apps and shops to go.
We have been growing these numbers over the last few years. We started with a very, very small shop. Also something that I highly recommend do not start with your diamonds and pearls, start with something that is not that important, that secondary tertiary market and test drive the technology there, see how the responses are, make adjustments and then go for the larger implementations. So currently we are at 38,000 registered users of which like roughly 9,000 monthly active users, also something that was highly appreciated by the customer because some other vendors had said, oh yeah, you have like 50,000 registers users. Yeah, well, that's half a million. I said, well, only a few of them are active. Well, we don't care. So that idea of doing monthly active users as a licensing model was highly appreciated. CRM is going to be exchanged in the back end. They are currently working on a technology that will not continue to be used while they will stick with their core E R P integration and do not change that.
But we're also using an agile approach for that. What we did on behalf of security, we were able to just with a click of a few buttons at two factor authentication, for some of the, let's say more security, aware people and procurement officers of the larger organizations on that B2B. And as we said in the beginning, one of the first tasks we did when we deployed the SA solutions was actually do a full integration with Greylock Lockte so that we can do the lock processing on prem and well, that sort of brings us to, to, to the wrap up and what we did to get the customer successful and happy. Yeah.
Well, from, from the project and technical perspective, the agile development approach was really quick. One because it enabled us to develop incremental features and put them from Def to test into production really, really fast. And we ended up with a modernized shop and customer identity management platform was built in security, built in features, which, which just needed to be activated and used right out of, of the box and overall with increased flexibility and feature set, for example, for IOT features.
Yeah. And this is actually what you can see on the right hand side here. As I introduced the customer, they are a manufacturer of hardware in, well, like passive hardware, like cables and connectors. So those cables can be very, very expensive, like thousands of euros per meter of length, because they are like really special for automation. And they are also for example, used in Wimbledon. So if, if anyone has been to Wimbledon has seen that they have this foldable roof, the cabling of that roof is actually from a lap. And you can understand that these cables are under a lot of stress and they tend to well deteriorate over time. So what they started to do as a side project here is that little orange box that you see on the right hand side here, it's an integrated cable tester system that actually does predictive maintenance for the customer.
And they said, okay, we want those to be able to talk to us on behalf of the customer, get their identity and tell them, you know, what, you, you gotta create one of those very special cables very soon because they are going to fail within the next three months or so, get them ready, same applies for some other technologies like Kaban boards, where they actually deliver their products. They more mainstream products in an industry, 4.0 environment at the customer site where they put this Kaban boards. And if the users deplete the local sourcing of the devices that Kambu board would actually get out to the cm solution and order new parts on behalf of that customer. So that was definitely something they were planning for when they started to deploy that solution. So, yeah, finally, from a business perspective, the major achievements that we were able to do here is that unified identity onboarding process and B2B customer onboarding process, which was quite difficult to solve because well, multiple national regulations that apply, we require multiple user fields to not be visible or be visible depending on the nation that you are registering.
The company from that actually led to a much improved data quality and easier compliance here. And in the end, the excellent user experience that had those log in password reset and registration processes, sort of like ceremonies that to a situation where we could achieve some of the goals quite quickly and ended up with, I would say, quite a happy customer, and we're continuing to add features across the board and extend to the next chops. So in the end, we have a happy customer who allowed us to present on their behalf here. And well, if there are questions from your side, thanks for being our audience here and happy to exchange ourselves around the challenges here in the afternoon.
Thank you very much.

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