Cloud identity for increased savings and security.
“With self-service password management we gave the organization something that they never had before: a password management tool that was accessible outside of the network.”
— Christopher Martin, Identity and Access Security Manager, AmeriGas Propane
AmeriGas Propane is the largest U.S. propane distributor with over 1.7 million customers and 1,900 distributors in all 50 states.
AmeriGas had time-consuming manual identity processes that created a poor user experience. They wanted a new approach with better identity management across the organization and a flexible platform that could evolve with their growth.
- Develop a cloud-first approach to identity
- Build a program with industry-leading best practices
- Automate processes for improved productivity and security
SailPoint’s cloud-based platform has allowed AmeriGas to do a complete identity rehaul. Using self-service password management, the company has been able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars. And with automated user access and certifications, they have accelerated their onboard and audit processes — while ensuring correct employee access.
A Conversation with SailPoint and Amerigas Propane
Hello, and welcome to our viewers. I’m Nicole Thomas, and today, we’re going to hear from a SailPoint customer, Christopher Martin. He’s the manager of identity and access security at AmeriGas Propane.
AmeriGas Propane is one of the nation’s largest propane distributors.
Chris, thanks so much for joining me today.
Sure, I’m glad to be here.
First question for you. Can you tell me a bit about your security experience and what you do at AmeriGas Propane?
I’m pretty new to the identity and access management space. Started out about three years ago. Kind of was given an opportunity to build a program for our organization and have done that since I started. We’ve been building kind of a program from the ground up and leveraging SailPoint as our product selection for identity and access management.
Can you tell me a little bit about how that journey is going and some of the progress that you’ve made?
Yeah, I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the last three years. We went from product evaluation and selection, settling on SailPoint IdentityNow — and from there, putting in all of the modules during our initial implementation.
Since then, we’ve just been kind of fine tuning and growing as the product has grown — and recently added on a few new features that we’re looking forward to leveraging quite a bit in the next couple of years.
Everyone tells me we’ve made a lot of progress in just the short amount of time, and I wouldn’t disagree because we worked really hard.
How has the SaaS approach enabled you to move faster with your program?
It certainly helped us to move faster because there’s limited choices, right?
There’s only so many ways you can customize the solution. We rely on a lot of the best practices and configuration that SailPoint has already put in, and then making any additional configurations as we can or where appropriate to the organization so that we’re able to stay kind of as true to the product as possible.
By doing that, like I said, we’ve been able to put in every single module and build up a program that is certainly innovative and done it in just a couple of years.
I think the product has certainly helped us a lot, and obviously we’ve had to work hard too, but certainly very helpful.
That’s why we picked SaaS, right? It was strategic.
I know your strategy also heavily relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. How do you see those technologies aiding in your program?
I think in that way, one of the big things that we’ve seen over the last couple of years is the value of roles. For us, we put in a pretty significant amount of roles when we went live with the program. Since then, we’ve found that there’s the good and bad of roles, right?
You put in roles, but you have to maintain them. They change as the business does. In that way, it is an ever-growing task to keep them correct, and it’s just simply not something that we can do by ourselves on our own.
Even with kind of the search capability that’s there today and some of the reporting that you can spit out, it’s just not something that we can do with the size of the team that we have and all the other responsibilities that we have.
We’re looking to leverage AI and machine learning very heavily in that way to help us build roles, govern roles and just do the complete life cycle roles for us.
What does the next few years look like for you guys, in terms of your program?
Yeah, I mean, I can tell you that the next year looks really busy already.
I’ll stick with that because I feel like that’s enough things to cover, but I think we’re planning to do some ServiceNow integrations, both ticketing and catalog.
That’s on the map for us to complete in the next six months, as is a complete redesign of our roles — which I kind of alluded to in the last question — and building a formalized role governance process leveraging those AI tools.
On top of that, some changes to our GRC integration. I know that we’re one of the few IdentityNow customers that have a GRC integration.
Our current one is custom that we built with SailPoint and our partner, but there is a new standard GRC connector coming. We’ve seen that, so we’re going to be switching to that connector when it’s available the next six months or so.
Last question for you. What advice do you have for those who may just beginning their journey?
I think be realistic. I think in that way, be realistic about the staff that you’re going to have.
The amount of time that it takes to do this — it will take kind of far more people than you’ll probably ever get approved for head count or for dollars to do.
In that way, part of the strategic decision for us was just being realistic about knowing how many people we’d be able to have on our team and trying to find the product that we can stand up and maintain using that amount of people.
I think the other thing I would say to people is kind of just be ambitious about it, too.
I think in terms of IdentityNow, right, to a degree the product does what it says it does, right?
In that way, there are certain things that do require a lot of configuration, and there are a lot of things that you stand it up and you let it run, right?
Be ambitious in the way that if you see something that you really want to do that is on the roadmap for SailPoint, chances are they’re going to deliver it.
It may be a few months later than expected, but chances are you’re going to be ready for it a few months later than you expected too.
There’s just a lot going on.
Those are certainly the two things; it’s just being realistic and also just being ambitious.
I think we’ve done that. I’m pretty happy with where our program is today, and I think where we’re going to be a couple of years from now.
Thanks, Chris. You guys should be very proud. Thanks for spending some time with me today and sharing more about your success. Take care.