Telephony is the broad term for technology that provides telecommunication services. It includes technology used to transmit voice, fax, or data between parties through land-line, internet, or satellite service providers. Depending on your Okta org, you can use telephony (SMS messages and voice calls) to allow your users to authenticate, recover their passwords, and enroll their devices.

For organizations that use Workforce Identity Cloud to manage employee profiles, application access, and provisioning, telephony provides the foundation for using SMS messages or voice calls for multifactor authentication (MFA) or account recovery.

For organizations that use Customer Identity Cloud, telephony enables the partners, resellers, suppliers, distributors, and consumers to authenticate using SMS messages or voice calls. Telephony also supports users who are most likely to interact with the organization using a smartphone or telephone service.

Common use-cases where you can send SMS messages or a voice call to the user's phone are as follows:

  • To issue a challenge that requires a response from the user to verify an authenticating factor.
  • To enroll a device for MFA by verifying that the phone is in the possession of the user who is authenticating.
  • To authorize a password reset.
  • To authorize an account unlock.

Depending on your configuration, you may also customize certain attributes to tailor the customer experience or comply with local laws and regulations. For example, a phone number, a short code, and the text or voice message.


Choose telephony provider

Before you configure telephony, make sure that your telephony provider meets your business and regulatory needs.

Regulatory compliance

Learn about options to customize telephony to comply with local regulations.

Prevent or mitigate telephony-based fraud

Learn how to monitor, prevent, and mitigate telephony-based frauds.

Configure and use telephony

Learn how to configure SMS messages and voice call for your use case.

Customize your telephony service provider

Learn how to add an external telephony provider using the telephony inline hook.

Also see

Multifactor authentication