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Okta receives rare endorsement from Google cloud chief

Google has in the past abstained from recognising its cloud technology partners with any preferential designations, but Tuesday, Okta, an identity management vendor, secured an endorsement directly from the internet giant's cloud chief.

Diane Greene, the former VMware CEO who took the helm of Google's cloud business about nine months ago, delivered a keynote revealing an "expanded alliance" with Okta, one of Google's preferred partners for identity and access management, at Oktane 16, the company's user conference in Las Vegas.

The tighter collaboration, along with Greene's appearance at the event, signals a recognition that the shift from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud increasingly hinges on effective identity management controls, Frederic Kerrest, COO and a co-founder of Okta, told CRN USA.

That "preferred" designation came with a list released last November of eight "Google For Work Recommended Cloud Apps." Okta won't be the last ISV on that list to have its status elevated, according to Google.

The shift to a more prescriptive relationship with partners is illustrative of Google expanding its cloud business, under Greene's stewardship, to enterprise customers that demand end-to-end solutions with best-of-breed ISVs, Kerrest told CRN.