Okta unlocks the decision-making power of financial data

Cloud identity platform leader accelerates finance and sales operations and improves decision-making through integration and automation

Watch videoContact us

Cloud identity platform leader Okta built finance and sales solutions with Anaplan that shortened finance processes by weeks and took the company from startup to IPO. Later, the environment was refreshed with additional automation and data integration capabilities and played a key role in supporting a successful multibillion-dollar acquisition. Today, the solution provides trustworthy financial information for day-to-day operations and accelerated decision-making.

Anaplan delivers a significant decrease in the time to close and a significant increase in the speed to decision-making.

Will Lederer, Director, Business Technology

Okta’s single sign-on and identity management services enable people and companies worldwide to use thousands of cloud applications – including Anaplan – with confidence. Since its founding in 2009, Okta’s customer base has grown to more than 16,000 organizations. And like many fast-growing cloud software startups, Okta had to build a high-performance finance organization rapidly, from scratch. That meant choosing applications that could scale, evolve, and perform as conditions changed.

Accelerated decision-making

Anaplan was among those chosen applications. Okta first implemented Anaplan for financial planning and analysis (FP&A) in 2015. That solution eliminated countless spreadsheets and reduced the time Okta needed to close its books by several weeks. It also supported Okta through years of remarkable growth, culminating in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2017.

That’s just part of the story. As Okta’s finance department embraced Anaplan, the company’s sales operations group simultaneously implemented Anaplan for sales capacity planning – that is, determining the number of account representatives Okta needed to meet its ambitious revenue growth targets – followed by sales territory and quota planning. About five years after the initial launch in finance, Okta refreshed its Anaplan environment and created automated integrations with NetSuite, Salesforce, Workday, RevPro, and Coupa, using a Snowflake data warehouse and Boomi as the integration platform.

Implementing Anaplan and adding automation and integration made the rapid financial close more granular and sustainable.  “It went from about two weeks to eight days; that’s a significant decrease in the time to close and a significant increase in the speed to decision-making,” observes Will Lederer, Okta’s Director of Business Technology, who now manages the solution. Lederer has also integrated the Anaplan models in finance and sales with each other to improve information-sharing and reduce the risk of error from manual data entry.

Adding dimensions on demand

The revitalized Anaplan environment proved its value in 2021, when Okta acquired identity platform provider Auth0 for $6.5 billion. When the acquisition closed, Okta leaders told Lederer that Auth0’s financial data needed to be brought into Okta’s financial systems immediately for reporting.

With Anaplan, Lederer’s path was clear. “I went to our consolidated model and added in the business unit dimension to bring in Auth0’s financial numbers so that they could report on a consolidated basis for the May period – when the acquisition just happened in May,” he recalls, noting that the financial reports were delivered as promised. “I can’t really imagine how we would have done it otherwise.”

Cornerstone for success

As Okta’s business journey continues, the need for decision-makers to have confidence in their data only grows stronger. That’s where Anaplan comes in, Lederer says. “If I’m doing my job right, financial planning is not a problem for the company,” he says.

Okta’s business leaders “can count on the numbers,” Lederer continues. “They have them when they need them and the information they need to run the business. Anaplan is the cornerstone of providing that.”