Founded in 2014, SAASPASS is a comprehensive identity & access management solution. The company has a wide range of features like single sign-on, complex enterprise authorization capabilities, hardware integrations, and multi-factor authentication. SAASPASS currently works with large enterprises like Visa, Boeing, and NASA.
Selahaddin, the co-founder of SAASPASS, was my guest in the last episode of Glocal Podcast’s first season. We discussed SAASPASS’s competitive positioning strategies in a rapidly evolving market- thanks to the explosion of mobile connectivity, cloud applications, and multinational office structures.
Strategy shapes product decisions
Defining enterprise security as the core value proposition, SAASPASS enables advanced access management for admins on a department level. As cloud applications exploded, access management got even more complex and SAASPASS is developed to replace excels and manual processes for good.
Selahaddin believes that the CEO’s job is to be the product visionary who prioritizes features and decides on the roadmap after considering every customer touchpoint in the value chain. Fully grasping customer needs, pain points and potential partners is the first step of strategy formation. Navigating in a complex market with a lot of integration requirements, SAASPASS built an extensive platform to target overlooked customer segments and niches in an evolving young industry.
Know your competitors inside out
Single sign-on, authentication, access management and enabling developers to use all that through APIs, put SAASPASS in a unique spot - competing with a wide range of players on different parts. SAASPASS pursued a platform strategy and partnered with its competitors on different levels. Selahaddin closely examines these competitors, their target segments and product evolution in order to shape the company vision.
On the single sign-on and access management, the main competitor is the $15B public giant, Okta. While Okta offers configurations to 6k web apps, for SAASPASS that figure is 60k. SAASPASS further developed the unique feature of enabling multiple accounts to log in using the same corporate password after seeing demand from the market.
On the multi-factor authentication market, the main competitor is Duo which was acquired by Cisco for $2.3B after raising $121M. Focused more on internal use for corporates, Duo offers 1,100 SAML integrations compared to SAASPASS’s 1,700. Leading in terms of the number of integrations, SAASPASS’s main differentiation is the different hardware integrations that enable extensive hardware authentication methods.
SAASPASS also pursued a business2developer strategy and enabled developers to use SAASPASS features within their products, competing with Authy. Main question is, how do more integrations and configurations benefit the end customer?
"The explosion in the number of cloud applications and distributed workforce increased the importance of access management and security. With more integrations, covering everything an enterprıse can use, we make it 10x easier for the admin." - Selahaddin
How did SAASPASS build a superior product with limited resources?
While its competitors raised huge amounts, SAASPASS decided to bootstrap. Never losing its customer focus and product-driven approach, SAASPASS used technology to overcome problems - while its competitors were throwing money at problems.
It is a struggle to develop thousands of SAML integrations and over 100k configurations, let alone maintaining all that. Large competitors employed people to manually check and maintain these integrations to guarantee uptime. SAASPASS optimized for the long run and developed ML algorithms to auto-test integrations and automate their maintenance. This led to an extensive product with extra scalability.
"Necessity is the mother of all inventions." - Selahaddin
Rapid market growth created openings for SAASPASS to leverage
Old software providers already had identity access management solutions tailored for enterprises. However, given their legacy infrastructures, these players were not able to adapt to the changing market needs. The number of SaaS services exploded and a 250-300 people company nowadays uses more than 70 cloud applications - exponentially escalating management and governance difficulties.
One of the first new-age players in a dynamic market, SAASPASS took advantage of this opportunity. With an extensive platform, advanced integrations, partners and business2developer strategy, SAASPASS defined a new category in the market.
Dominated overlooked but upcoming sections
The majority of the security breaches originate from identity and password thefts - underlining the growing market need. The identity and access management needs of over 100k SaaS applications and even some consumer businesses encouraged SAASPASS to move towards a developer solution.
Ability to be embedded into different products proven to be a big need. With this platform strategy, the company developed full integrations with companies adjacent to the value chain and even with some competing directly. This ability to work together with competitors also sets the company apart from others.
SAASPASS gained attention from other prominent players in different fairs and tradeshows since 2014. Partnering and fully integrating with major players like Google, Salesforce and Office 365, SAASPASS provided flawless identity and access management to their customers.
Market and the opportunity continues to grow
SAASPASS is still in the early phases with multiple offices around the globe. With offices in the US, London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Istanbul, Selahaddin’s dispersed company structure enables him to get the best talent, no matter where.
Only very large corporates needed identity management historically, but this has changed. Nowadays, even a company with 5-10 employees require an identity system due to complex infrastructure needs and security breaches. Ping’s IPO shows how hot this market is and Salesforce’s Chief Information Security Officer Izak just joined the SAASPASS team. Now might be the right time to raise a substantial round and confront the large players.
"There is an explosion in the need for identity management. SAASPASS is democratizing access to these solutions through technology. I am confident that every company will adopt identity and access management in the near future, not just Fortune 500 companies." - Selahaddin