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Daniel O'Leary

Sep 07, 2015 | by Thomas Hill

This month's Community Member Spotlight features one of our most active Community members, Dan O’Leary from Box. We've enjoyed getting to know Dan and, working with him on launching our new community. We hope,  you enjoy learning about how Okta has changed Dan’s role, how he uses the Community and most importantly, what his 10-year old self is most excited for at Oktane.

Name, Company, Title:

Daniel O’Leary, Box, Senior Manager and Principal Solutions Architect


Tell us a bit about yourself and your role:

I lead the global solution architecture team at Box. I use Box every day as a customer and integrate Okta and Box for mutual customers. I help people design identity and access management systems to quickly find, share and work with content!


How long have you been an Okta customer?:

I first met Okta five years ago. I met Phil, when Okta was one of those “four guys in a van” things. That was the first time I had heard about SAML and SSO so I began exploring it before my license ever started at Box. Then I arrived at Box, started seeing what Okta did, and it’s great!


How has your role evolved since first using Okta?

We’ve been continuing to add more Okta enabled apps and my style of work has changed to being about cross devices. I view mobile as a style of working, not just a device. So often, I need to pull up a resume in Lever, see who has time off in Workday, load something in Salesforce, and before Okta, it was all separate apps, separate logins, and that’s really hard to do on a tiny keyboard. With Okta, I have a single place to do all of this and that is very valuable. Regardless of what I pick up-- a tablet, phone, laptop-- it’s all there. As we continue, its governance matures, and our cardinal rule is it must integrate with Okta. If you don’t have it, we’re not going to take you as seriously.


Another big thing is the Okta and Workday integration which has allowed us to create a better initial employee experience.  Breaking your reliance on AD is awesome-- we are in a post-AD phase of our lives and we love it.


What's your best advice for someone just starting with Okta?

Just do it. This isn’t ADFS, you don’t need to go buy hardware, or talk to your CTO-- you just install it and go do it. The amount of time you spend time thinking about it, you’ll already have Okta set up--it’s that easy. No crazy hardware involved. You’ll know very quickly what problems it will solve for you. It just works-- so go figure it out. Or use the community for help!


How would you describe your company culture?

Quirky and authentic. Box employees bring their whole selves to work. Who you are here is who you are. You don’t have to put on a facade. It’s what makes our culture awesome and what I love about coming to work in the morning.


What keeps you coming back to the Okta Community?

Seeing what other people are doing and the types of problems they’re solving. It allows me to expand what is possible-- I can only be exposed to so much so to  see what others are doing that I might not ever touch, is very interesting. This also helps me to evangelize it to mutual customers.

Favorite Okta memory...

Freddy at last year’s Oktane-- getting to hug a COO is awesome. And just shows how much Okta loves their customers. I’m hoping my next favorite memory can be a “bro-down” with Todd, but we’ll see.

Okta in one word/phrase…

Everything I need to do my job, in one place.

Favorite technology (personal or business)?

Right now I’m really into home automation. I’ve been spending time outside of work making my house smarter and making devices talk to each other. The goal is to be able to walk into my house and just have everything turn on and work the way I want it to.

What would you do without Okta?

I’d have to get a cat, so I could to use my cat’s name for every password.

If you had more time in the day, what would you do?  

Spend more time doing cool things with enterprise software.

Favorite travel destination:

Disneyworld. I’ve been every year the last few years because it’s so easy to plan-- you just show up.


Best meal you’ve ever had?

Shake Shack. I will do a U-turn to eat there every time.


Words to live by:

Go faster.


Favorite sports team:

Chelsea Football Club


Why are you looking forward to Oktane15?

I’m hoping to play craps with Bill Nye, the keynote speaker. Ten year old me will be the happiest person ever if that happens.


How do you stay up to date with technology news?

I set my homepage to producthunt.com. It allows me to see trends around problems people are trying to solve and what cool apps are helping to solve them.


Thanks, Dan!


Learn more about Box’s use of Okta here. And don’t forget to register for Oktane15 so you can “bro-down” (and talk about the future of IT) with Dan too!