I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months identifying some underlying themes within the cloud space, and some corresponding big opportunities which dropout of those themes. One bucket of opportunities that I’m excited about is services that straddle a number of different IT resources – this could be heterogeneous infrastructure management, application integration or whatever, but platforms that bring various solutions together are hot.

One of these big areas of opportunity is in single sign on. As organizations, and the workers within those organizations move to using a wider variety of applications, they are looking for solutions that ease the pain they feel around authentication and provisioning. IT is also searching for solutions that reduce the tedium and low value work involved in rolling out solutions to users.

One vendor working hard on building significance in this identity and access management space is OneLogin – I’ve written about them a bunch in the past. I took the opportunity recently to spend some time talking with company founder Thomas Pederson for an update into the business.

Pedersen was quick to boast about the success that OneLogin is having in the marketplace – they’re seeing a number of customer sign on with 10k plus users. While the sweet spot that Pederson sees for identity vendors is in the over 150 user bracket – OneLogin is actively moving up the food chain somewhat – they’ve recently won deals for Steelcase, a furniture maker with over 35000 users, as well as a variety of customers in the tens of thousands of users category.

OneLogin has also recently open sources a SAML toolkit and they’re seeing significant take up of this from new SaaS startups that are enjoying being able to offer backwards integration into directory services. Of course the win for OneLogin is that if a startup uses their SAML toolkit, they are well poised to easily integrate with OneLogin itself – and one important aspect of the opportunity for identity vendors is that the larger the number of applications they integrate with, the easier it is to convert customers.

OneLogin has also introduced a free plan that gives companies the ability to use the product free across three different apps. I put it to Pedersen that the three app limit is fairly tight and that most prospects would use a far higher number of apps than this – however he rightly pointed out that many of those customers will use Google Apps and at a later date will add other SaaS applications. It’s also the case that Google Apps users can leverage the Google Apps Marketplace and the SSO offering it has so in a round about way the three application limit on the free plan makes sense..

OneLogin has recently introduced modules for a number of additional applications, including Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and Jira/Confluence from Atlassian – again the integration with these applications just increases the proposition for the product. Alongside this a new reporting engine is proving popular with customers to give visibility into the use of different applications and the like.

The cloud SSO space is an interesting one to watch – I predict there will be significant consolidation in the space over the next year or two as large traditional vendors acquire startups to build out their own portfolios. OneLogin is well placed in all of this and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow in the months and years ahead.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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