Amazon Launches New Sign-On Products Service

Amazon Launches New Sign-On Products Service

A whole week had to pass after curtains came down on the AWS re:Invent 2017 conference before Amazon could announce their own “one more thing”. The company quietly unveiled a single sign-on product for their Amazon Web Services cloud platform. Although the release wasn’t accompanied by a lot of information, the new feature appears to focus on providing a single sign-on for products in the AWS family.

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Steve Jobs, the late Apple founder, and CEO had a famous way of ending his keynotes: “there is one more thing…”

A whole week had to pass after curtains came down on the AWS re:Invent 2017 conference before Amazon could announce their own “one more thing”. The company quietly unveiled a single sign-on product for their Amazon Web Services cloud platform. Although the release wasn’t accompanied by a lot of information, the new feature appears to focus on providing a single sign-on for products in the AWS family.

From now on, Amazon customers will be able to seamlessly manage their SSO access and other user permissions to all their user accounts across various AWS Organizations using AWS SSO centrally. This is a major paradigm shift from what competing single sign-on platforms like OneLogin and Okta allow.

These other services provide users with a more comprehensive way of approaching single sign-on, allowing for central login into all their cloud services, as well as on-prem in some cases. With such an approach, there is no need for users to have different usernames and passwords for each account separately; logging in just once gives you access to all the services included in your cloud
subscription.

Very soon, we may start seeing AWS taking that route as well. In fact, AWS SSO already comes with built-in SAML integration capabilities for business applications like Office 365, Salesforce and Box. That is exactly how OneLogin and Okta operate.

Okta introduced its own cloud single sign-on in 2009 and is still the main player in this market segment. After raising more than $229 million in April this year in a public offering, the company just released its earnings report the other day. It had clocked a revenue of $68.2 million against an analyst prediction of $62.84 million. With a whopping 40 million customers on the entire Okta platform, currently, the service has more than 3000 users.

According to Todd McKinnon, the CEO of Okta, this is not the first time that a huge company like Amazon has tried entering the identity market space; Salesforce Identity, Google, and Microsoft have also done that before. McKinnon says Okta is very confident in their ability to remain the market leader and continue steering the direction of innovation as the top independent identity service provider.

Only time will tell whether Amazon Web Services will be offering a service with the same ease of use as competing brands like Okta. However, Amazon seems to be keen on laying a strong foundation for a much more comprehensive experience with its AWS single sign-on service.

Just because a vendor backed by a huge company like Amazon has entered the market, it isn’t a guarantee that they will be hugely successful. But that doesn’t mean that OneLogin and Okta aren’t feeling a little uneasy. “One more thing” indeed!

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