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Aaron Zander

Jan 03, 2017 | by Beth Wang

Name, Company, Title: Aaron Zander, Massdrop, Sr. IT Administrator

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role: I’ve been in the IT field for over a decade. I started in film and video arts education environment with some great mentors and moved into corporate Infrastructure world in 2013. In mid 2015 I moved to Massdrop, they were looking for someone who could handle the design buildout and management of their corporate IT world, focusing on unifying and securing existing tools and building better platforms for overall company success. I do everything from basic support to platform and tool evaluations.

How long have you been an Okta customer? We purchased Okta in September of 2015, though my previous company had evaluated and prepared a rollout with Okta that never came to fruition.

How has your role evolved since first using Okta? This is hard to quantify. My role began with an initial goal of creating an SSO platform and a directory tool. Okta was implemented very quickly and really became my management platform to run the IT org from. To tools Okta provides like universal directory, HRMS as a master etc. all allow me to automate and create an ease of use inside the organization.

What's your best advice for someone just starting with Okta? Roll out your big tools sooner rather than later. Let the automation tools in Okta relieve the day-to-day busy work of tool administration.

How would you describe your company culture? We like to put our community first, our employees and our users. We try and seek advice from within our company, as many of us are passionate about what we do at Massdrop. The level of openness at Massdrop is unlike any company I’ve worked with before.

What keeps you coming back to the Okta Community? There’s a lot of people who have done things with Okta that I haven’t, and vice versa. There’s a lot to share and help with. A lot of the people in roles like mine are trying to do as much as they can with as little as possible, not because they don’t have budget, but because they know that every dollar saved can be put towards something better.

Favorite Okta memory: I really enjoyed presenting at Oktane. There were a lot of people in that room that were sure running HRMS as a master wasn’t something that could be done at scale, but that was put to rest pretty quickly. I feel like many Oktane participants left that panel with a new outlook on how to run their directories.

Okta in one word/phrase: Efficiency

Favorite technology (personal or business): I’d lie if I said anything but my phone. I frequently run from one meeting to the next and couldn’t keep up with my job without it. I have an iPhone 7+. I never thought I’d be a big phone person but I was proved wrong wholeheartedly.

If you had more time in the day, what would you do? Spend it with my wife. Honestly, if Okta could take care of my commute for me that would be great.

Favorite travel destination: Costa Rica is pretty great, I also love Scandinavia and really want to get back.

Best meal you’ve ever had: I had some of the best food in my life at Prospect with a few people at Okta once, that’s high up there. But my wedding reception dinner was pretty amazing, we had to hit a minimum buy to get the venue, and the only way to do that was to get the best menu items. It was pretty amazing.

Words to live by: Never push an update Friday before a holiday.

Favorite sports team: Formula 1’s Redbull Racing is pretty high up there, but I was born a Giants fan, and will die a Giants fan.

How do you stay up to date with technology news? A mix between sites like Ars Techinca, Recode, Reddit and several forums and Slack channels.

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