Microsoft disinvites sponsor and partner Okta from upcoming Ignite Conference over “broad competition” claims

Arif Bacchus


The technology industry has proven to be very competitive at times, and Microsoft is no stranger to falling victim to or defeating the competition. Today, competition has risen to a high level, as Microsoft has “disinvited” sponsor Okta from its upcoming Ignite tech conference.

The situation was first reported on by Business Insider, with a statement from Okta CEO Todd McKinnon.  In emails obtained by Business Insider, Microsoft claims that the event’s leadership team refused an Okta sponsorship and removed the company as an exhibitor due to “Okta’s broad competition between our companies in the mobility solution space.”

The primary products from Okta help companies manage employee passwords for cloud services and also help employees manage mobile devices. Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has recently introduced several cloud products that are similar to Okta’s. The “cloud-first, mobile-first” strategy is likely why Okta was ejected from the event.

According to McKinnon, being kicked out of this conference is a big deal:

“…rarefied air. Amazon, Google, and Okta are the only ones not allowed,”

Microsoft notified Okta of the ban last week. Ignite will be held from September 26 to 30 in Atlanta. The event brings together all of Microsoft’s customers and partners that relate to the company’s cloud products.