Photo: Julie Bort/Business Insider
As expected, Salesforce.com yesterday announced a couple of soon-to-come new products, including a cloud password management service that takes aim at startup Okta.It’s called Salesforce Identity and its scheduled to be available sometime in 2013. (The other product is a cloud storage service that takes aim at Box and is also scheduled for 2013.)
Business Insider caught up with Okta cofounder and CEO Todd McKinnon hours after the public announcement.
Although McKinnon frankly admitted he’s worried about the competition, he also told us that this was “the most satisfying day of my career, actually, to see my idea be validated.” Okta and Salesforce Identity manage employees passwords for all the software and cloud apps they use.
That’s especially sweet since Benioff declined to be an angel investor in Okta, says McKinnon.
McKinnon cut his teeth as Benioff’s disciple, as senior vice president of engineering for Salesforce.com. He grew the team from 15 people in 2003 to over 250 engineers until leaving to found Okta in 2009. McKinnon previously told Business Insider that the breakup wasn’t smooth. After he left Salesforce, McKinnon asked Benioff to be an angel investor in Okta. Benioff turned him down.
That didn’t hurt Okta much. It was the first cloud startup to be funded by Andreessen Horowitz’s fund and Ben Horowitz sits on Okta’s board. It’s since raised $27 million total and just hired its 100th employee.
McKinnon is ready for a fight with his old boss, too. “I’ve known about what they are doing for a few months. What Salesforce.com will soon find out is to do this business, you have to be neutral.”
He thinks that Salesforce Identity will work better with Salesforce’s own cloud services than it will with services competitive services.
Ultimately though, Salesforce’s attention to his market is good for everyone because Salesforce is convincing more enterprises to buy more cloud services and he’s out there trying to nab as many Salesforce customers as he can.
“The cloud market is now a roughly $20 billion market. When it gets to $40 billion, $60 billion, $80 billion that will be good for us. The fact is that it’s a cloud religious revival going on down the street,” he said, referring to the Salesforce.com conference, Dreamforce, happening in San Francisco this week. “We’re spending a ton of money on that show with two booths.”
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