Telecommunication services have become the drivers of human connection in our digital and mobile-first world. As the largest provider of cable broadband services in Belgium, Telenet Group plays a crucial role in enhancing our country’s connectivity. For Telenet, connectivity means much more than offering high-speed internet and extensive networks. It’s about consistently striving to provide customers with flawless digital experiences, driven by the desire to make life easier and happier.
Collaboration is key when it comes to connecting people, and Telenet understands this very well. The company’s success is made possible by the collaborative efforts of over 3,000 internal employees, along with external consultants, partners, dealers, and subcontractors who collaborate to serve over 14,000 users. However, Telenet’s legacy access management solution was reaching its limits in managing a complex web of over 95 on-premises and 50 SaaS applications across hybrid cloud environments
Telenet’s on-premises access management (AM) platform required constant maintenance, with regular patching to stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities. These patches often took up to a week to implement. Furthermore, the platform required an upgrade every three years, which involved the participation of multiple internal and external employees, and could take over a year to complete. This highly time-consuming and resource-intensive process was both costly and inefficient, lacking the agility and flexibility that Telenet needed. Leading them to explore alternative solutions.
To select a new access management (AM) vendor, Telenet opted to build on their longstanding partnership with our team of Identity and Access Management experts. “We’ve been collaborating with Upright Security for over 10 years and are well aware of their unwavering commitment and exceptional support. They go above and beyond to support us”, says Mark Van Tiggel, Security Director at Telenet.
Telenet’s infrastructure is quite diverse, consisting of nine different environments ranging from development to testing and production, along with a wide variety of on-premises applications. To accommodate these complexities, the ideal solution for Telenet would need to be adaptable to these environments, providing flexible and dynamic authentication processes, such as header-based authentication. Okta’s superior multi-tenancy capabilities gave them an edge over the competition, making it the clear choice for Telenet.
“Within our Okta solution both security and convenience are prioritized. Our security team has complete ownership of the platform and can independently establish rules and policies, which ensures that our security requirements are met. With Okta, we can securely manage over 14,000 identities across multiple environments, while remaining compliant, cost-effective, and flexible. The end-to-end implementation by Upright Security further reinforced our security measures.” Mark adds.
Considering the convenience of over 14,000 users, Telenet’s security team opted to onboard identities and applications gradually, instead of going for a big bang approach. Which is often done during a complex digital transformation. “The initial setup with Okta was quick and efficient”, Mark explains. “Within days after signing the contracts, Okta’s connections to our nine tenants were up and running. Upright Security supported us in configuring everything properly. The process ran smoothly with no bottlenecks, enabling quick operationalization of t he different environments.”
Despite a huge number of applications and the complex hybrid environment, Telenet successfully integrated Okta with the legacy stack through programmatic IdP Discovery and inbound federation. “Upright Security helped set up this connection within the initial set up of a few days, laying the foundation for a smooth migration process with maximum convenience”, Mark adds.
By adopting Okta’s approach, Telenet simplified their authentication process and avoided the complexity of building solutions like MFA on top of their legacy solutions’ nine tenants. Okta’s SSO integration allowed for direct connections between apps, saving time and costs associated with reengineering. This optimization of Telenet’s authentication process allowed them to focus on core business operations, ultimately saving more time and cost down the line.
“With programmatic IdP Discovery and inbound federation, we can use Okta to authenticate applications that are still coupled with the legacy stack,” Cédric explains. “This allows us to leverage Okta features such as Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication right from the start.”
Today, Okta has become the go-to platform for Telenet’s 14,000 internal and external users, providing a seamless user experience for all. After logging in with Okta and securing their accounts with Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication, users at Telenet can access their applications via Single Sign-On from their home dashboard, or access the old stack (as it is being migrated over time), ensuring a smooth and seamless transition.
“Okta’s integrations made it possible to onboard users at their convenience, before making the change mandatory” says Mark. “This simplified the onboarding process and meant we didn’t have to migrate all the apps at once.”
Prior to implementing Okta, Telenet struggled to provide secure and convenient login processes for non-corporate devices, such as Salesforce. Their previous SSO solution required time-consuming certificate installations or tedious Captcha logins that didn’t account for stolen devices.
With Okta’s Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication, Telenet’s login processes have become more secure and convenient. Employees can use multiple authentication methods, such as Okta Verify, and quickly verify their identity by approving a push notification.
“Allowing application use on non-corporate devices used to be a hassle” Mark explains. “Logging in with Captchas used to take 45 seconds, but with Okta Verify, it’s almost instant,” says Mark. “Employees love the simplicity of Okta verify!”
As Telenet looks ahead, Okta will continue to play a significant role in enhancing convenience and security for both internal and external users, including customers. This empowers Telenet to deliver the ultimate digital experience, meeting the evolving requirements of both employees and customers. “Combined with end-to-end support from Upright Security, Okta will enable us to move even faster in the future.” Mark decides.
Learn all about Okta’s cutting-edge identity and access management solutions and unlock new opportunities for innovation and growth.