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Polaris: Authentication and Security for Businesses, Consumers, and Employees

Polaris manufactures recreational and utility vehicles for all seasons and terrains while authenticating their dealers, customers, and internal employees across several apps with Auth0. Auth0 was the right IDaaS platform to handle cloud-enabled B2B, B2C, and B2E use cases elegantly, easily, and securely.

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Overview

Polaris is a powersports company specializing in the manufacture of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), side-by-side vehicles, snow machines, motorcycles, and other motorsports products. Polaris’s vehicles are distributed by independently-owned dealerships.

Polaris needed an identity management solution to serve multiple use cases, including B2C, B2B, and B2E. They needed an authentication solution for their consumer application, called Ride Command, which is available both as a standalone app as well as in-dash in their motorcycles and some snow machines. They also needed authentication for their dealer portal to service both external dealers as well as internal employees.

Auth0 readily met Polaris’s needs across all three use cases, and provided cost savings as well. Polaris was able to implement Auth0 swiftly and with more ease than expected. Auth0’s robust and straightforward documentation made simple work of integrations that would have otherwise been complex and lengthy, such as ADFS Single-Sign On and SAML.

The Challenge

Polaris has a consumer-facing mobile app and owner’s portal as part of their Ride Command system. Riders can use the app to find new riding opportunities, track rides and coordinate with friends before, during and after their ride. In addition to the mobile app, Ride Command displays are standard equipment, and available as accessories, for select off-road vehicles and motorcycles. Polaris needed a cloud-based authentication solution to authorize Ride Command users anywhere on the go.

Polaris also has a dealer portal with authentication requirements for both dealers and internal Polaris employees. Employees at dealerships can log into the portal to check inventory, order new parts and equipment, engage with aftermarket vendors, and more. Polaris employees also need to be able to access the dealer portal to work with dealers and vendors to fulfill orders, etc. Polaris wished to avoid creating costly Active Directory accounts and data center database storage for dealers who weren’t employees. It was also important that data storage be cloud enabled, providing resilience no matter where users were located in the world.

In order to meet the needs of all use cases, Polaris needed a solution that manages B2B, B2C, and B2E. Finding such a solution would negate the need to implement multiple solutions to handle different use cases, which could potentially result in excessive workload and serious integration complications. Auth0 was the answer to handling all use cases gracefully, easily, and securely with one platform.
polaris screen app

The Solution: Selecting Auth0

Polaris explored options before selecting Auth0 to manage identity and authentication. They examined building an in-house solution and discovered that the amount of time, effort, and expertise needed was too prohibitive to undertake. They determined a cloud solution was necessary in order to avoid storing dealer data in their own data center and to provide robust resilience and performance.

Polaris went on to spend 2-3 months programming and exploring another cloud B2C offering, but arrived at the conclusion that the product was not currently viable as a solution for the scale of their needs and requirements.

Polaris then explored Auth0 and found it to be a “cleaner, easier, faster” solution.

“Auth0 is actually a cleaner, easier, faster mechanism to use. … We do have the background of exploring alternate products and trying to understand how to do this in-house and then change to cloud. … We actually now are very, very clear about why you are the leader.”

Tim Fowler, Polaris: Director, Global Infrastructure, Information Services

Auth0 provided the ease of implementation and robust features that Polaris needed to fulfill their B2C, B2B, and B2E needs holistically, while also addressing security, integration of complex enterprise identity, and excellent extensibility.
the new way to resolve identity

Ease of Implementation

After spending a number of months exploring in-house solutions and other market alternatives, Polaris found Auth0 to be straightforward and easy to implement. Aided by clear documentation and API specifications, Polaris was able to implement desired features with minimal hand-holding. When Polaris’s development team required assistance, Auth0 customer support quickly put them in touch with Developer Support Engineers specializing in their topics of concern to get answers as fast as possible. This fine-tuned support allowed Polaris to close open issues efficiently and quickly.

“We are closing our open issues very efficiently and very quickly. So the team has been extremely impressed with that. So not only is it easy to understand [Auth0] ourselves, but when we do run into a question, we can get past it really quickly.”

Jennifer Hansegard, Polaris: Project Manager

Polaris utilized Auth0’s dashboard, robust documentation, APIs, SDKs, and Quick Starts to get off the ground quickly. In addition, Polaris expressed appreciation for the analytics provided by the Auth0 solution. With the analytics dashboard, they are able to see how many users are coming in monthly from each of their applications. They feel these user metrics will be helpful moving forward with their products.

The Auth0 Ecosystem

Polaris leveraged Auth0’s robust ecosystem of features and extensions to save development and integration time and effort across their use cases. They were already using Splunk for operational logging and they were able to implement this in Auth0 easily. Utilizing Auth0 extensions allowed Polaris to save time by not needing to write a lot of custom code to implement logging.

Polaris was able to take advantage of Auth0’s powerful extensions to avoid manually building out features within their applications. Auth0 made the addition of advanced and complex integrations as simple as possible. Auth0 is a full IDaaS (Identity-as-a-Service) platform, providing clients with the ability to centralize complex features without requiring additional development.
Auth0 extensions

Enterprise Login and Single-Sign On

For their B2E use case, Polaris needed to authenticate internal employees in their dealer portal. To do this, they integrated their existing ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) with Auth0 and enabled Single-Sign On. This allowed employees to be authenticated in the dealer portal with their existing AD credentials.

In addition, Polaris had a new project within the dealer portal to issue and manage surveys. Their survey vendor requested SAML authentication. Auth0 enabled Polaris to implement SAML effortlessly, with an integration process that was far easier than Polaris anticipated.
Polaris Auth0 Lock

Authentication for Quality Control Application

Polaris has undergone product recalls and is proactively working to address the problem. One step of the solution is to build an internet-enabled mobile application that uses photographs to either spot-check or holistically assess parts to determine whether they’ve been installed properly. The photos will be stored to a database and analytics on them are recorded. If the person submitting the picture does not self-identify the improperly installed part, the system can analyze the photo and determine what’s wrong. When the app opens, it will automatically authenticate and connect to a wireless controller.

If a device with this application is lost or stolen, Polaris needs to be able to disable it. If the authentication mechanism was developed in-house, Polaris stated that on-the-wire detection and remote disabling would be impossible. However, by utilizing Auth0’s cloud-based identity management solution, they can authenticate the application and also effectively mitigate risk if devices are compromised.

Conclusion

Polaris implements Auth0 across multiple use cases, including B2B, B2C, and B2E as well as in multiple applications and vehicle smart screen dashboards. Polaris’s dealers, consumers, and employees are all authenticated with Auth0’s identity management solution with a variety of implementations and features. Cloud capabilities and high availability provide resilience and fast, reliable access to all users.

“Credentials are very, very sensitive. … We want to be very sensitive to the security and the ease of use of a product. [Auth0] nails both. We don’t worry about the security side and we don’t worry about the ease of use side.”

Tim Fowler, Polaris: Director, Global Infrastructure, Information Services

Auth0 has enabled Polaris to implement robust, powerful authentication solutions for their existing use cases, but it doesn’t stop there. Tim Fowler says that additional use cases for Auth0 are “just popping out of the woodwork. All of the sudden it’s like, ‘Hang on a minute, we have an easy way of doing things.’” Fowler cites Auth0 as a leader in the identity and access management industry and Polaris looks forward to additional Auth0 implementations in future products as well as current ones.

“If you just want authentication and authorization to work, [Auth0 is] there. It’s not something that we worry about.”

Tim Fowler, Polaris: Director, Global Infrastructure, Information Services

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