Company: Ping Identity
Located: Denver, Colorado
Market: Cloud Identity Management
Key Customers: 3M, ADP, Aflac, CBS Interactive, Disney, Kraft Foods, Lilly, McDonalds and OfficeMax
Blog: Ping Talk
I asked Roger Oberg, Vice President of Marketing at Ping Identity™, a few questions about his company and view of the SaaS market in 2012 and beyond.
Did you start out as a Software-as-a-Service company?
No, Ping Identity actually started out as an open source tools company that was founded by our CEO and Founder Andre Durand. He was also the founder of Jabber.org, a unified messaging platform organization, that linked different technologies from providers like Yahoo!, AOL, and Google. The Jabber solution allowed for real-time cross-domain linking using open source protocols. This is where Andre learned the importance of providing a secure user experience across multiple technologies.
Ping Identity was founded in 2002 with the goal of delivering professional services for open source tools. By 2005, we had transitioned to a Single Sign-On (SSO) software company with the launch of our first product PingFederate®, a Cloud identity management platform. The company has quickly become a pioneer in open standards for identity management protocols, including SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language), OpenID and OAuth.
By 2009, we had deployed a virtualized, single tenant, version of our SSO Software-as-a-Service. We realized that a single tenant product was really not scalable enough for the number of customers we were going to be servicing. At the time we had about 125 customers using this single tenant product; and we knew that it was just an interim step towards developing a true SaaS-based solution.
By early 2011, Ping Identity formed an On-Demand group, which in 2012 released PingOne™, a multi-tenant, SaaS version of our SSO platform. PingOne is a service for Cloud application providers and one for business employees who want to access Cloud applications securely. It’s the simplest, most cost-effective way to provide and use Cloud applications securely and it works with not only Ping Identity but also with Microsoft, CA, Oracle and other on-premise identity SSO products that may already be installed.
Why do your customers buy from Ping Identity?
Generally our 800+ customers and 200+ SaaS partners say they like working with a leader in Cloud identity management. Ping Identity has built a great reputation with a 99% customer satisfaction rating.
Our customers also like that we can offer features, functions and competencies that can only be developed by an independent provider. For example, interoperability between different ecosystems is highly valued, but hard to find. Our solutions can be deployed in 1/10th of the time and at significantly lower cost than many of the competitive solutions in the market.
What do you see as the key trends emerging in the SaaS industry?
The big trend now is secure mobility. Now that bandwidth has dramatically increased, this enables all types of applications to be much more easily spread across the enterprise and beyond. Thousands of employees can all have multiple apps they use as part of their work, anywhere at anytime. This dramatic growth of systems and applications has really made the CIO’s world a lot more complicated. The big question now is — How do you manage all of these systems securely?
In the old days, the answer was simple. You had to go to work, use a card key to get into your building, and then log on at your desktop to get to the company’s secure network. Today, businesses are really quite happy to give their employees laptops, tablets and smartphones because they often work harder. However, they are challenged to make these devices secure because they are not inside the security of their office or on their internal network.
Ping Identity’s answer is Identity Management (IdM) using open standards. Several years ago if you wanted to securely connect devices like mobile phones, laptops and desktop-based browsers, you needed a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Now with our Cloud-based PingOne solution, enterprises can handle all types of devices, not only authorizing and authenticating each user, but now these processes can be managed down to specific pieces of product functionality. The best part — our IdM solutions are all transparent to the user.
What is your market outlook for 2012?
Ping Identity has exceeded revenue goals for 10 consecutive quarters and we don’t see that trend changing. Our new PingOne division is on target to exceed our plan.
The IdM opportunity is large and cuts across all types and sizes of companies, including big enterprise brands like BMW and mid-market businesses, that may be trying to integrate to Concur and Salesforce. It is really difficult to provide a common, integrated, secure application platform without having a scalable IdM solution in place, like those offered by Ping Identity.