How Alma Media Got to Market 50% Faster With Auth0
Unifying identity creates a customer and enterprise-friendly ecosystem
About Alma Media
Alma Media is a media and service company focusing on digital services and publishing. In addition to news services, our products provide useful information related to lifestyle, career and business development. Alma Media has approximately 1,500 employees and operates in 11 countries in Europe.
Alma Media is a media and service company operating in 11 European countries with over 100 websites and online brands, reaching 80 percent of Finns every week. The company pivoted from the TV business in 2005, and today operates nationwide news media, financial and professional media, online education and training services, and a network of sites including classified ads in housing and cars as well as job recruitment services.
With a goal of turning its array of disconnected websites into a genuine ecosystem, Alma Media sought to allow users to effortlessly navigate from one site to another without the user paywall getting in the way. However, with such a diverse array of sites and users, identity proved to be a major stumbling block.
Alma Media found that a cumbersome login process was cutting their conversion rates in half. The company needed a way to manage identity for millions of customers across their brands without losing users in the process.
One Login System for Millions of Customers
The problem with Alma Media’s vast array of properties? Different sites and users had different login methods. Enterprise customers have varying login requirements that demand federation. On top of that, B2C users often prefer to log in via social media rather than with a username and password.
Alma Media knew they would require an identity solution that was customizable and scalable for all of their users. Simo Syrjänen, CTO of Alma Media, says, “We had our own login systems on most of the sites. Basically, there were no connections between them.”
The solution needed to be adaptable to “different purposes and different branding,” Syrjänen says, “so we don’t have just one single way for registration or logging in. The platform had to easily integrate to customer services, so we wanted to have APIs communicating to other systems and the identification system.” Having a disconnected platform would have been impossible to scale efficiently, so this was one reason why Alma Media turned to Auth0 for a solution.
Solving Consumer and Enterprise Identity With Auth0
Alma Media uses Auth0 to facilitate SAML access for enterprise customers, eliminating the users’ need to maintain multiple passwords or ID credentials in different locations. The company also uses Auth0 to handle authentication for their external-facing websites and new apps, part of an ongoing initiative to expand the company and acquire even more users. A key feature for these users is social media authentication providers, such as Google and Facebook, which was setup with minimal configuration for in-house developers. Depending on the service, the option for social media logins provides a low-threshold way to authenticate, which has a high impact on signups.
“One of the biggest reasons why we chose Auth0 was that it is very easy to use,” Syrjänen says. “We have many sites, and many developers in each of those sites, so we want to make it as easy on them as we can.”
Alma Media also uses Auth0’s AWS Eventbridge integration for enhanced reporting, analytics and change management on customer data but also solution performance and health monitoring based on general system event information. “Eventbridge log stream is our main source now for log information. As we rely on AWS services in many ways, the Eventbridge integration was the natural choice for the log data.”
Alma Media Cut Months From Their Time to Market
In the end, Alma Media brought their ecosystem to market 50% faster by streamlining identity management and reducing the amount of time the team has to spend on maintenance and security. Every day, the company uses Auth0’s Anomaly Detection to prevent malicious login attempts. “Without Auth0, we would have to develop that feature on our own,” Syrjänen says. “Anomaly Detection helps us identify bad actors and prevent attacks.”
Auth0 is currently on two-third of all Alma media sites, including all of their largest sites. Alma Media will implement Auth0 on the remaining sites by the end of 2021 to support their plans of doubling the number of registered Alma Media users in the same time frame.
Part of this growth strategy involves targeting a younger audience. Syrjänen says Auth0’s social logins will play an important role in converting younger users.
Faster scaling and time to market weren’t the only benefits of using Auth0. Alma Media cites a 10% reduction in licensing charges from reduced maintenance burden and 30% total cost-of-ownership savings as part of their Auth0 return on investment. Syrjänen also commented on Auth0’s reliability and lack of downtime as a benefit. “I sleep better at night knowing we have a service where we can trust that it stays up.”
Read more about Alma Media’s implementation of Auth0 here.
The Auth0 Identity Platform, an independent product unit within Okta, takes a modern approach to identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. Auth0 is a highly customizable platform that is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit https://auth0.com.