Authy & VMWare: 60 Days In
Back in February, Twilio announced that VMware will offer Authy 2FA for VMware’s Identity Manager™, an identity management solution that delivers on consumer-grade expectations with one-touch access to nearly any app, from any device, optimized with AirWatch adaptive access.
Rather than build security from scratch, VMware looked to Authy for a battle-tested, reliable 2FA service that scales with business and customer needs.
At the time, Twilio’s VP of Authentication, Marc Boroditsky said: “Secure authentication can’t be an afterthought for the enterprise, and integrating 2FA offers an additional layer of security to enterprises.
Well, it’s been about 60 days since that announcement, made during the Mobile World Congress in 2016, so we decided to check in with Marc and see how things are going.
AUTHY: In 2015, when Twilio acquired Authy, the move was made to use APIs to make it simple for developers to add 2FA to their applications. Up until then the Authy client roster included mostly mid-sized and start-up companies. Was it always your business strategy to partner with large enterprise organizations like VMWare?
MB: Yes, that has been our strategy. Prior to the acquisition, we had started to ramp up a plan to go after major customers in SaaS apps, Access Infrastructure, Hosting, Fintech and Gaming. As a result, we closed a partnership with Dell before the acquisition and made great progress in all other categories.
So, who approached who?
We approached VMWare and uncovered their plans to add 2FA to their product line by building it themselves.
There are currently many providers of multi-factor authentication, some using old technology and leaning into uncharted biometrics. Why were you VMWare’s 2FA provider of choice?
I’d say that maturity of our 2FA offering was the most important factor. Authy is built for easy integration and is already operating at a massive cloud scale.
How long was the VMWare partnership in discussion before being announced?
From start to finish the entire deal took about 5 months
Describe what both VMWare and Authy hope to gain from this partnership.
Sure thing. On one hand, VMWare will bring Authy into its massive enterprise as a part of its existing planned products for virtualized access from any device. On the other, Authy will provide VMWare with a mature next generation 2FA capability that matches their vision for safe virtualized access on any device to any corporate app or database.
Alignment of core values, or the lack of alignment, can really impact the success of a partnership. What core values do you feel Authy & VMWare share?
Our shared focus on simple UX and strong technology made it much easier getting this partnership established than it might have been if we were each focused on dissimilar attributes.
On top of all their other responsibilities, many IT departments are tasked with developing and maintaining their own proprietary two-factor authentication services. In the case of IT departments utilizing VMWare, how will having access to Authy impact them, now and in the long term?
VMWare’s inclusion of Authy will greatly simplify the use of 2FA and reduce the costs. In addition, VMWare customers won’t need to buy, integrate and maintain a 2FA solution and live with potential risks. What we’re really excited about, and we think VMWare’s customers will appreciate, is that VMWare is adding Authy as a feature with no added cost that customers simply need to turn on. Increased security adoption is always a good thing, especially when it’s free.
Authy has made a big impact in the FinTech and online gaming industries. With VMWare you’re being exposed to the enterprise mobility management industry. What do you feel is the next area or industry in which 2FA will have an important impact?
Easy to answer: SaaS Apps. And stay tuned for more major announcements as customers recognize that 2FA is table stakes.
Will there be future projects between VMWare and Twilio?
Both companies are excited about the opportunities for further collaboration, for sure.
Are there other corporate partnerships—like the one with VMware—over the horizon?