JFrog Launches First Partner Program, Forgoes Traditional Tier Structure

JFrog, a leading DevOps/DevSecOps platform provider, is looking to provide its reseller, systems integrator and consultant partners with incentives, resources, training and support services that meet partners’ own business models.


DevOps and software delivery platform provider JFrog is launching its first global channel program today, providing its reseller, systems integrator, and DevOps service and consulting partners with a range of incentives, sales and marketing resources, and technical enablement and training opportunities.

JFrog said the new channel program, which the company said is designed around a “customer first” co-sell motion rather than a traditional tired program structure, will create new revenue streams for partners and boost customer adoption of JFrog technology through third parties.

“If you think about how the world has evolved over the last 20 or so years, all the technology needs of the biggest companies in the world have significantly shifted or changed from managing servers [and] making sure they have secure connectivity across sites, to cloud and data and AI and machine learning,” said Kelly Hartman (pictured), JFrog senior vice president of Global Channels and Alliances, in an interview with CRN.

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“It’s just a very different world, but everything now is software. And even though all the technologies have shifted, what I’ve noticed is that companies are still using the same old partner program models that they used 20 years ago,” Hartman (pictured) said.

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JFrog, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., develops the JFrog Software Supply Chain Platform for mission-critical DevOps, DevSecOps and MLOps tasks including building, distributing and updating software throughout an organization. The company got its start in 2008 with its Artifactory repository manager for housing and managing software artifacts.

DevOps and DevOpsSec teams within corporations are JFrog’s core constituency, although Hartman said CIOs and chief information security officers are increasingly involved in buying decisions.

“JFrog continues to expand rapidly within the enterprise, offering both on-premises and cloud solutions. Our foundation was established through strong community support, and we’ve become pioneers in the DevOps and Security realms,” said Tali Notman, JFrog CRO, in a statement.

JFrog has long worked with resellers, global and boutique systems integrators, and DevOps consultants that work with the company’s platform. ReleaseTEAM, a Westminster, Colo.-based DevOps consulting, support and solutions provider is one of them.

“The reasoning behind the success of ReleaseTEAM and JFrog has been the quality of the JFrog products, and we’re able to collaborate with them very closely when we’re dealing with a potential issue at the customer sites. It’s like we have a lifeline into the JFrog product team,” said Shawn Doyle, ReleaseTEAM co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “JFrog is one of the prime reasons of ReleaseTEAM’s over 30 percent growth year-over-year.”

But until now, without a formal partner program, partner dealings have largely been on an ad hoc basis. The new program is being announced at a JFrog Partner Day in conjunction with today’s JFrog SwampUp 2023 user conference in San Jose.

DevOps Platform Creates Partner Opportunities

Hartman said JFrog is launching the partner program now because the company is evolving from a product vendor to a platform provider, which the channel chief said creates more services opportunities for partners.

And the company’s growth is also a factor in the timing. Publicly held JFrog reported $280 million in revenue in 2022, up 35 percent over 2021. The company doesn’t break out how much of its business is done through the channel, but Hartman describes it as “a significant part of our business and growing. We do know that a large portion of our growth is going to come from partners in the future.”

“As we’re looking at our growth trajectory, how do we continue to grow at the rates that we know that we’re capable of?” Hartman said. “Partners are absolutely key and so we’ve built into our strategy how we’re working with partners and really identifying that opportunity for them with our platform.”

Hartman said that in contrast to traditional tiered or “pyramid” channel programs, the new JFrog program is designed around a co-sell motion and doesn’t require the huge up-front investments that many channel programs do.

“What we’re doing that’s very different with our global partner program is that it’s customer first. It’s no upfront investments. There are no pyramids to climb. We’re assigning a partner manager from the start to work with partners and we’ve built a model that works backward from not a partner type, but what the customers are looking for,” the channel executive said.

Hartman said the new program is designed to provide partners with resources, incentives and support that meet the needs of their unique business models. In the announcement of the new program, JFrog said partners can build and scale their practices by working with the company’s solutions engineering, professional services, marketing and support teams.

JFrog said the program provides partners with “the flexibility to choose how [they] want to create customer value with several options for each customer engagement. Certified partners can choose to resell, co-sell or sell into US government agencies with dedicated programs to support each motion, pre- and post-sales.”

Partner Program Details

The program offers incentives and deal structures that provide partners with multiple ways to generate more revenue, according to the company. Hartman said partner rewards, for example, will consider such factors as whether a deal is a contract renewal or new business and whether the prospect was brought to JFrog by the partner or the lead was generated by the company.

Under the program dedicated partner managers work with partners starting with the onboarding process. The company provides curated sales and technical enablement resources that help partners train on the JFrog platform as well as sales and technical teams to support each qualified opportunity. Partners also have access to co-branded marketing kits and an expanded product and sales enablement resource library.

In addition to supporting existing partners, Hartman said the new program – which is now operational – will serve as a vehicle for JFrog to recruit new partners to help meet its global expansion and growth objectives.

“As we prepare for the future, I am enthusiastic to witness how our scale will further flourish through collaboration with our trusted third-party partners,” CRO Notman said.

New Platform Capabilities

In addition to the partner program announcement, JFrog said it has expanded the capabilities of the JFrog Software Supply Chain Platform with new AI and machine learning model security functionality, static application security testing, and an open-source software catalog.

JFrog also said it has introduced ML Model Management capabilities into the company’s platform that will streamline the management and security of machine learning models, and new Release Lifecycle Management functionality.

The company also now provides native integration for the Hugging Face open-source data science and machine learning platform. That will provide a common software delivery process for DevOps, data scientists and machine learning engineers and align AI deliveries with existing DevOps and DevSecOps practices to accelerate, secure and govern the release of ML components, the company said.

“With the alarming rise of software supply chain attacks, securing at the binary level with immutable software bundles is a must because it’s the only way to certify that what you’re releasing is safe for use,” said Asaf Karas, CTO, JFrog Security, in a statement. “By providing a comprehensive platform that is developer-friendly and enterprise-ready – with security baked in at every phase, backed by an expert team of security researchers always watching for emerging threats – we can better arm companies to innovate faster with peace of mind in knowing their software is safe for use both today, and tomorrow.”