Flexible, central source of authentication meets the needs of complex and diverse business community
When more than 1.4 million New Zealanders rely on you for food each week, you know you’re doing important work. Foodstuffs North Island takes its role as the country’s leading grocery providers seriously, supplying a network of over 300 individually owned supermarkets alongside other businesses and individuals through its member owned stores.
“It feels great to be part of an organization that feeds New Zealand,” says Gavin Campbell, a solution architect with Foodstuffs. “Our retail network caters for all Kiwis while our wholesale division caters for business owners who need to buy in bulk.”
The internet has transformed the way Foodstuffs does business. The co-operative currently manages user accounts for thousands of employees and external suppliers – not to mention its growing base of online customers. With such a large user base of employees, store owners, partners, and suppliers that grows every day, authentication quickly takes on new importance.
“Online commerce and management of digital identity go hand-in-hand,” says Campbell.
The co-operative nature of Foodstuffs means that each of the stores in the company family is individually owned. The business as a whole is operating in excess of 250 different systems, all of which need to be protected. Lacking a single, overarching authentication solution, the company’s administrative footprint continues to grow, increasing the cost and effort associated with any project. Campbell wanted to bring the entire Foodstuffs brand under a single umbrella for authentication.
“We have around three and a half thousand external supplier companies who all need access to our online systems. For suppliers we used Auth0 Delegated Administration to delegate the management of users out to the supplier, removing a considerable admin burden from our internal workforce,” he says. “We’ve also have over 22,000 people in stores, support centers and supply chain, all of whose credentials would need to be managed separately for each of the systems they need to access. Centralization of authentication has made us more operationally efficient and provided a level of transparency that makes us more secure. We know who has access to what. It’s driven cost out of project delivery and allowed us to deliver sooner.”
Flexibility is critical for a business like Foodstuffs. With thousands of external partners, each with individual needs, it’s important to be able to customize access privileges and user management capabilities. The flexibility of Auth0’s identity services allowed Foodstuffs to customize these functions easily.
“Being from a development background, I prefer open solutions that present fewer barriers to innovation,” says Campbell. “There are a lot of other products in the marketplace, but I felt that developer-friendliness and extensibility of Auth0 would cause fewer headaches, which is how it’s worked out!”
Allowing an experienced identity services provider like Auth0 to handle authentication allows Foodstuffs to reallocate resources that would otherwise be spent on maintaining an in-house service. And with every new project deployed by Foodstuffs, the value of Auth0 grows.
“Our first major integration with Auth0 was an application called Supplier Promo Portal. To build the security ourselves that came out of the box with Auth0 would have cost more than a whole year of an Auth0 Enterprise license… not to mention the additional infrastructure that we no longer had to provide. So, we really did start saving money on the first project,” says Campbell. “Since then we have onboarded half a dozen other applications in the same financial year. I think it’s paid for itself within one or two projects going live.”
“We have chosen the best solution… We operate complex business scenarios and need an extensible solution that can provide single sign on for everyone,” says Campbell. “Now that Auth0 is our standard, we follow a single process to onboard systems quickly, using standard industry patterns.”
Auth0, a global leader in Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), provides thousands of customers in every market sector with the only identity solution they need for their web, mobile, IoT, and internal applications. Its extensible platform seamlessly authenticates and secures more than 2.5 billion logins per month, making it loved by developers and trusted by global enterprises. The company’s U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, WA, and additional offices in Buenos Aires, London, Tokyo, and Sydney, support its global customers that are located in 70+ countries.