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Okta Taps Former Insight President Steve Dodenhoff To Lead Channels

Former Insight North America President Steve Dodenhoff hopes to help Okta partners incorporate more consulting, managed, implementation and support services engagements into their practices.

Okta has brought on former Insight North America President Steve Dodenhoff to drive more services opportunities for partners and tighter relationships with CSPs and ISVs.

The San Francisco-based identity protection provider has tasked Dodenhoff with integrating cloud service providers and Tier 1 software vendors into Okta’s go-to-market motion so that customers with pre-existing cloud and SaaS relationships can enjoy a more seamless experience. Dodenhoff started Monday as Okta’s SVP of worldwide partners and alliances and replaces Patrick McCue, who will be pursuing other interests.

“I can really wear the hat of our partners and ensure that Okta is working with them collaboratively,” Dodenhoff told CRN exclusively.

[Related: Okta To Acquire Red-Hot Identity Vendor Auth0 For $6.5B]

Dodenhoff spent more than eight years leading Insight’s $6 billion North American business before mutually agreeing to part ways with the Tempe, Ariz.-based company, No. 15 in the 2020 CRN Solution Provider 500, in May 2020. Dodenhoff was replaced at Insight by former Dell Technologies global channel chief Joyce Mullen in October 2020.

At Okta, Dodenhoff hopes to help partners incubate more consulting, managed, implementation and support services engagements as their clients look to accelerate their digital transformation journeys. From a consulting standpoint, Dodenhoff said channel partners can help their clients formulate long-term strategic plans around identity from both a workforce and customer perspective.

Okta represents a tremendous opportunity for partners to have a strategic dialogue with customers around building a sustainable identify practice that simplifies onboarding new workloads, according to Dodenhoff. Partners that take identity security seriously and follow through by building modern data platforms and architectures can drive infrastructure and services opportunities for their business.

“I really believe in this identity platform and vision,” Dodenhoff said. “There’s a strong foundation here.”

The company’s proposed $6.5 billion buy of developer-centric identity provider Auth0 is an “amazing opportunity” for traditional channel partners that are looking to build cloud-native applications, Dodenhoff said. The Auth0 integration should also benefit ISVs (independent software vendors) that are looking to build on or enhance their existing capabilities around identity protection, Dodenhoff said.

Similarly, Dodenhoff said Okta’s new offerings in the privileged access and identity governance spaces unveiled last week at Oktane21 will create a bigger addressable market for partners. Customers are generally looking to reduce the number of vendor relationships and technologies they need to address critical issues, so Dodenhoff said Okta’s market expansion will allow partners to have a bigger impact.

Okta has traditionally enjoyed success with scale solution providers, and Dodenhoff said the company is looking to expand its practice around systems integrators (SIs), managed security service providers (MSSPs) and other boutique or specialty partner types. There’s also an opportunity for Okta with direct market resellers (DMRs) like Insight as they evolve and invest in new capabilities, Dodenhoff said.

From a metrics standpoint, Dodenhoff wants Okta partners to grow faster than the overall identity market, receive high customer satisfaction scores, increase the share of business that’s going through Okta, and build out services capabilities that go in and around their platform.

Alchemy started working with Okta in early 2018 around the company’s single sign-on and multi-factor authentication offerings and has added more Okta identity products to its line card in subsequent years, according to Wes Davis, partner at the Houston-based solution provider. At the onset, Okta’s technology was a good fit for what Alchemy was putting together, but there wasn’t a well-formed partner program.

Under McCue, Davis said Alchemy had substantial input on what Okta’s partner program should look like and those efforts have paid dividends as far as training, enablement and marketing is concerned. Alchemy has also in recent years built strong relationships with Okta’s channel team from both a local and regional standpoint, according to Davis.

“We’re been very pleased with the progress and the relationship over the years,” Davis said. “They’re great to work with, and their technology and time-to-market is very quick.”

Although Davis doesn’t know Dodenhoff personally, he’s pleased to see that Okta has brought in key players like former Splunk executive Steve Rowland as chief revenue officer to accelerate their growth strategy.

“It seems like Steve [Dodenhoff] comes from the channel and understands our business,” Davis said. “As Okta continues to grow, so will we.”

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