Identity in the driver’s seat.
“We understand that identity management means giving the right people, the right access at the right time. In order for us to succeed, it is really important for our pivot to becoming a mobility company.”
— Tomas Rollo, SailPoint Program Manager and Project Owner of Toyota Enterprise Architecture at Toyota Motor Europe
Toyota Motor Europe oversees the European wholesales, sales and marketing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, parts and accessories as well as manufacturing and engineering operations.
As their business began to pivot from car manufacturing to a full-fledged mobility company with new product and service offerings, they needed a robust identity solution that would deliver more than just access management. They needed a solution that would automate their user lifecycle and ensure they stayed compliant.
- Streamline the entire user lifecycle process
- Automate timely manual processes
- Meet compliance requirements with data oversight
Toyota Motor Europe joined forces with SailPoint back in 2017 to build a robust identity governance program. By automating the workflows for lifecycle management and access requests, they have increased operational efficiency and have cleaned up data inconsistencies as well. With better visibility and governance around employee access, the organization is more secure and compliant.
A Conversation with SailPoint and Toyota Motor Europe
Nicole Thomas: Hello and welcome to our viewers. I’m Nicole Thomas and today we’re going to hear from SailPoint customer, Tomas Rollo. He’s the SailPoint program manager and owner of Toyota Enterprise Architecture at Toyota Motors, Europe. Toyota Motors Europe oversees the wholesales, sales and marketing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, parts and accessories, and Toyota’s European manufacturing and engineering operations. Tomas thank you so much for joining me.
Tomas Rollo: Hi Nicole, nice to be here.
Nicole Thomas: Question for you, can you tell me a little bit about you and what you do at Toyota Motors Europe?
Tomas Rollo: Yep, sure. So I’m actually not with Toyota for that long. I joined Toyota about two and a half years ago, and it’s been about the last 18 months since I’ve been in this role overseeing the Toyota SailPoint into all of our markets through Europe.
Nicole Thomas: Fantastic, can you share a bit about what the company’s identity journeys look like so far?
Tomas Rollo: Yeah so, in Toyota, we actually started thinking about identity management program already in 2017. So even before I joined Toyota. And already at that point we knew that, one of the key reasons to go for a fully fledged identity management implementation program was that we up to then we’re always managing just accounts. And we knew that we needed to go for management of identities and link identities to people, so that we can better track the „joiner, mover, leaver processes“ of how, or when people move in and out of the organization. Also up to then, there’s been a lot of manual work when it comes to managing accounts in the systems. So you would typically create a ticket, the ticket would go to people, they would click into their systems to give you the necessary right. We wanted to automate this also because it was creating quite a bit of inconsistencies in our data, which made it hard for us to be fully compliant where we needed to. So the increased compliance was also something that we hoped to solve via our implementation of an identity management product like SailPoint.
Nicole Thomas: Why is this program been important to the business?
Tomas Rollo: Yeah, so you’ve probably saw it, but just like a lot of other car manufacturer Toyota has announced recently that we’re trying to pivot from being just a car manufacturer to being a fledged mobility company. And that of course comes with a brand new suite of products and services and processes that we want to implement all around Europe for our customers, and that needs strong ID capabilities. And we understand that identity management and having the right people have the right access at the right time is also really important for the turn to the car mobility company to actually succeed. And that’s also how we’re explaining to our business counterparts, why our implementation is so important for them.
Nicole Thomas: So how has the program improved over the past couple of years?
Tomas Rollo: Yeah, it’s been quite a ride. So we very first want to implement country per country. And we always wanted to do one after another and trying to do kind of a big bang in every country. And it’s turned out quite fast that it’s skewing us towards over fitting our implementation to the needs of every single country. And it was introducing quite a lot of complexity into our code because after all, we want to have just one single instance for the whole European market. So in start, we made a pivot and we’re now looking at identifying patterns and use cases that we can implement in a more standardized way into our product or in our implementation. And we can then roll them out from country to country with a much less customization.
Nicole Thomas: What else do you have a plan for the identity program?
Tomas Rollo: Up to now, we have been trying, and I think we’ve quite succeeded in conquering the basics of identity management, the account management, and the JML processes. But what really awaits us is trying to measure and go higher. And I know, in the vertical go all the way up to things like account requests, role management and ultimately, and with things like periodical recertifications and certification campaigns.
Having said that it’s quite a journey because we will also need to make sure that we mature our organization to be able to adopt the things like role ownership, defining role owners and being able to have people responsible for different pieces of the entitlements all the time. So that we can properly strike the right balance between giving people the access they need, and at the same time knowing whether they still need them to always adhere to the basic need to know principle, right.
Nicole Thomas: You were just starting your program. What advice would you give yourself?
Tomas Rollo: Now from a retrospective and the hindsight is always 2020, right? I think I would definitely start with bringing in a really good and a really strong business analysis skills because what I see that is really crucial is to be able to sit down with your business counterparts and look at the way things are done at the moment, but also understand why they are done like that. So we can propose meaningful changes so that you do not just re-implement the old way of doing things and to just a modern product, but you really can propose meaningful adaptations that will streamline. Also because when you try to automate things, you’re trying, you’re always going from things that, from processes that people do themselves and people can always understand corner cases. And you’re trying to re-do that and give it to a program the computer to do, and the computer always needs a very good algorithm to run, right? So that’s why you will need to explore every single dark corner of the business logic to have it all right. And to try it out several times before you kind of strike the right balance.
One thing that absolutely helps with that and think that we maybe have not always been doing at the beginning is just looking at the data. So connecting SailPoint to the systems, even before you start implementing your logic and just looking at what you have and the systems which accounts people have, what properties those accounts have, what entitlements you have on the accounts, so that you can see the patterns emerging. And based on what you see in the system, really, you can then interact with your business counterpart because sometimes even they do not necessarily have the very proper understanding of what’s actually in the system.
One thing that we’re really looking for when it comes to our future with SailPoint, is I’m quite glad to see the recent announcements as to what is going to be in 8.1 version when it comes to machine learning, and the ability to actually spot patterns and identify patterns and the data using machine learning. Because I think that’s going to help us tremendously. And soon it’s going to save us quite a lot of effort.
Nicole Thomas: So glad to hear that. It’s been a pleasure talking to you Tomas and learning more about Toyota Motors Europe, identity journey. Thank you so much for joining me.