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Unified Login Flows and Data Location Choices in DACH

Companies in the DACH region use Auth0 to streamline their login flows and consolidate their user data

February 21, 2022

Customers expect a great user experience (UX) from their web apps. They also expect the companies behind those apps to keep their personal data private and secure. The challenge for businesses in this environment is how to create a low-friction customer experience (CX) while seamlessly integrating the necessary security features, privacy features, and data flows. Data from Auth0’s global survey, including more than 2,000 consumers and 200 IT/marketing decision-makers in Germany, shows that in the DACH region, there are some mismatches between these two forces.

Nearly one-third of German consumers (31%) are more likely to sign up if an app offers biometric authentication. Yet a mere 17% of German businesses offer it. Similarly, 40% of German consumers are more likely to sign up if they can use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), but only one in four businesses (27%) offer that security feature. These consumers also cited lengthy login and sign-up forms (42%) and entering personal information (38%) as their top frustrations with the sign-up process for new applications.

The question companies in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland need to answer is, “how do we address these mismatches when designing customer-facing web applications?” We’ve been looking at various ways Auth0 can assist in this process with our series on customer identity and access management (CIAM) in Central Europe. We’ve looked at how a robust CIAM solution can help bridge the gap between legacy and cloud-native infrastructure, as well as how organizations can have options to support their data residency needs when partnering with an identity as a service (IDaaS) provider. In this post, we’re going to discuss how three particular businesses are doing all of that, and more, with the help of Auth0.

Using Auth0 to Bridge the Legacy-cloud Gap

According to a recent study by McKinsey, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digitization of customer interactions by three years for companies in Europe. The same study found an impressive seven-year acceleration when it asked about services being digitized. While this trend started before the COVID-19 pandemic, that global event certainly sped things up for many organizations. What many are discovering is that it can be complicated to develop a single CIAM tool that can connect customers to both legacy on-prem systems and those they have already migrated to the cloud.

Auth0’s extensibility, along with the ease of integration provided by Auth0 Marketplace and low-code Actions, simplifies the process of closing this gap. Rather than developing in-house identity solutions that only work on a single asset, which leads to siloed customer data and authentication systems that are difficult to maintain, Auth0 gives you a single intuitive login box that’s connected to whatever systems a customer is supposed to have access to. And you get a single source of truth (SSoT) for your customer data, aiding in regulatory compliance as it simplifies your access to that data.

Offloading IDaaS While Maintaining Control Over Your Data

The second challenge is easier to address when you have that SSoT for your customer data in place. By bringing all of your properties under one CIAM solution, you’re able to store all user data in a single database. And in the case of Auth0 in DACH, that database can be located in an AWS facility in Frankfurt for public cloud options, and we also offer private cloud deployments on Microsoft Azure and AWS infrastructure. Multiple cloud deployment options, along with our expertise in privacy regulations in the region, mean you have a greater set of tools at your fingertips, giving you choices about where and how your data is stored.

CIAM is a need that crosses industry verticals and markets, so we’re going to look at three organizations that span the business world in the DACH region: energy provider Energie Baden-Wurttemberg (EnBW), infrastructure leader Siemens, and travel platform HolidayCheck.

EnBW: Expanding Their Reach While Staying Close to Their Customers

Energie Baden-Wurttemberg, or EnBW, is one of the largest energy companies in Germany and in Europe, serving millions of customers daily. Their menu of services includes gas, water, electricity, and a growing number of ancillary services. They’re experiencing solid growth and found themselves needing to consolidate identity for both their business and private customers.

EnBW needed to streamline their login process by consolidating decentralized login interfaces and ensuring their customers understood everything they were doing to ensure the security and privacy of that data. All while providing a seamless user experience across platforms. Auth0 extensibility and integrations allowed them to create a single, unified login experience whether the customer was a business or individual homeowner, and regardless of whether they needed to pay a gas bill or ask a question about their water service. As they looked at their expansion plans, the digitization team at EnBW saw the need for an identity solution that would help them move closer to their customers while they continued to grow their service offerings.

Digital transformation is more than just an isolated project or the development of an app. Rather, it is a matter of laying a long-term technical foundation for improving proximity to the customer. By using the Auth0 solution, we are able to do just that. This enables us to offer a consistent customer experience across all digital services...

Florian Riedl
Head of Digitisation

Local data storage options was one consideration for EnBW when they built their strategy for maintaining proximity to their customers. Auth0’s certifications and regulatory expertise, along with the ability to store data locally at an AWS data center in Frankfurt, provide EnBW with verification to show their customers while ensuring the company has easy access to downloading their own data for their compliance audit requirements.

Siemens ID: Powered by Auth0

As part of their recent pivot to adopting a more sustainable growth model, international infrastructure and manufacturing automation leader Siemens understood they were going to need an identity solution that could scale with them. With a history going back over 170 years, they already had an extensive ecosystem of back-office systems, front-end services, and web applications that all needed to be consolidated under a new identity platform.

Prior to their pivot, Siemens was applying internal policies to external accounts. This set-up caused confusion on the part of partners and customers, was prone to breaking down and led to problems related to broken authentication. The goal for their identity project was to create a uniform login experience for their customers and partners with a single IDaaS solution. Bringing everyone under one log-in system would allow Siemens better control over who had access to what data and put an end to their authentication problems.

For help, Siemens turned to Auth0. They were drawn in by our extensibility, customizability, and centralized control over their multi-tenant setup. The latter means that each division within Siemens retains control over the customer experience for their product, yet all user data ends up in the same centralized data store. This ability helped sell the project when it came time to get buy-in from new product teams.

When Auth0 stepped in, we could improve the processes around identity management, reducing efforts while increasing the acceptance of the internal stakeholders.

Hugo Francisco
Service Owner
Siemens ID

HolidayCheck Uses Auth0 to Increase User Trust

Providing trustworthy reviews (9 million and counting) of hotels and other destinations to their user base of 13+ million monthly visitors is what HolidayCheck is all about. They also host over 10 million holiday pictures submitted by their dedicated users. And all of this user-generated content (UGC) needs to be available regardless of the platform the customer uses, whether a smartphone, tablet or laptop. With so much UGC, HolidayCheck knows that trust is a key component of their success.

This is why HolidayCheck partnered with Auth0 to develop an IDaaS solution that would engender trust in those users. Trust that a review or photo is from who it claims to be from and that those users are who they say they are. That trust needed to extend to the value HolidayCheck puts on their users and have the privacy of their data top of mind at all times. The security of their UGC is of paramount importance to HolidayCheck, and Auth0’s deep knowledge of regulations that are important to customers in the DACH region was another reassuring factor for their decision-makers.

I think this is what we at HolidayCheck stand for: to provide the best information so that you don't get any bad surprises. Knowing that a real, verified person is behind the content is a big benefit.

Bjorn Zadadlo
Director of Technology

Prior to partnering with Auth0, HolidayCheck used an in-house identity solution. They soon understood how resource-intensive maintenance and support had become, along with how low the ROI on those expenses was. This led them to search out a secure, private IDaaS solution that would deliver the same great CX their customers had come to expect.

If authentication works well and reliably and becomes very low friction for the user, that just means to the user that you're building a well-working website. It's important that users can also trust you with providing their data. That's what you're doing with login or identity management: you're providing data to a company, and you usually don't do that if you don't trust them.

Stefan Lau
Software Developer

The partnership with Auth0 brought them the right combination of these features while allowing their expert development teams to focus on delighting their customers with new site-wide features while we handled the authentication service, support, and maintenance.

Organizations Across the DACH Region Trust Auth0 With Their Identity Needs

Maybe you’re expanding your portfolio of web applications and need an identity solution that can bridge the gap between legacy and modern cloud-based infrastructure while you iterate a migration strategy. Or perhaps you’re looking to centralize your identity management with a single log-in box that connects your diverse user base to whichever property they need while keeping your customer data private and secure. Whatever your situation, Auth0 can help. Reach out to our DACH team to learn more about how you can put our expertise to work serving your customers today.

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