Land o'lakes cultivates cloud and mobile apps through identity federation
Jonathan May, Identity & Access Management Architect, describes how Land O’Lakes uses
Ping Identity to boost employee productivity with single sign-on (SSO).
How many passwords can one employee remember? That was the problem facing Land O’Lakes. Known for its butter, cheese and other products, the company is America’s second-largest food and agricultural cooperative, with 9,000 employees, 3,200 direct producer-members and 1,000 member-cooperatives serving 300,000+ dairy farmers. As trusted partner to the nation’s top food companies, Land O’Lakes uses a wide range of on-premises and cloud-based applications to ensure the delivery of supplies and products.
Land O’Lakes turned to identity federation to enable employees to access cloud apps and other business apps easily and securely at their desks or on mobile devices. The team wanted to reduce the number of passwords required, lower administrative costs, and improve the mobile experience while increasing app adoption.
User adoption dropped noticeably as the number of SaaS applications reached a new high, and Land O’Lakes employees were struggling to remember the many logins required for each system. Worse, the IT team was spending more of its time troubleshooting logins and resetting user passwords. Suddenly the situation was costing the company resources, expenses and time. To solve its problem, the Land O’Lakes IT team first looked to customize its .NET Framework to support SAML 2.0. This was time-consuming, and it soon became clear that the turnaround time to SAML-enable each new SaaS app was much too long: 100+ hours of work for every connection.
The Land O’Lakes team, led by Enterprise Architect Lee Tschetter, evaluated solutions from Oracle, Microsoft and CA but decided that they wanted a vendor-agnostic, standards-based solution flexible enough to integrate with all of their existing solutions. They needed OAuth and SAML support, secure mobile and remote access, and API security.
Tschetter saw that Ping Identity provided all this and more, including its unique PingFederate enterprise identity bridge software for cloud single sign-on (SSO). Tschetter’s IT team tried the solution with its cloud-based help desk ticketing application. Land O’Lakes was able to deploy PingFederate for their help desk ticketing app in just 45 minutes, and implementation was fully complete in 8 days. Nearly 300 members of the IT team were using the cloud identity solution on day one. Ping Identity gives the sales team easy access to sales tracking applications from their iPads and Androids—no VPN needed.
Land O’Lakes now offers simple, secure access for more than 6,500 users. The number of passwords an employee has to remember is greatly reduced, resulting in increased employee productivity and a reduction in help desk costs. Adoption of new cloud solutions has risen dramatically. Farmers, providers, co-ops and JVs have access to needed agricultural and business applications via CA Siteminder and the Land O’Lakes’ customer-facing portals. Today, more than 6,500 users can log in securely with SSO, including the company’s mobile workforce. The mobile support has also been a success for Land O’Lakes, as more than 400 sales reps now conduct business in real time from the field.
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