ForgeRock To Bring ‘Increased Focus’ On Partners With New Channel Program

The overhauled program includes a more-formal tiered structure and improved incentives, as the digital identity provider looks to expand its work with partners, ForgeRock CEO Fran Rosch told CRN.


ForgeRock CEO Fran Rosch

Digital identity provider ForgeRock announced a revamped channel program Monday as the company looks to expand its work with system integrators and other partners, amid surging demand for identity management and security solutions.

In an interview with CRN, ForgeRock CEO Fran Rosch said the new program represents “an increased focus on our partners” by the company, and follows ForgeRock’s hire of channel veteran Chris Westfall as its vice president of global partner strategy, programs and operations in November.

[Related: ForgeRock CEO Fran Rosch On New Passwordless Platform And ‘End-To-End’ Identity]

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“Having this close relationship with a very large partner ecosystem is really critical for our success,” Rosch told CRN. “That’s why we hired Chris, that’s why we’ve invested in developing the program. And that’s why we’re going to get out there and broadcast it.”

For instance, during ForgeRock’s IDLive conference this week in Austin, Texas, the company will be holding a partner summit for the first time, Rosch said.

The new ForgeRock Partner Program brings a more-formal structure through the introduction of a three-tier system, in place of the company’s previous tier-less approach. The addition of tiers is part of a recognition by the company that large global partners and regional players require different levels of support, according to Rosch.

Other major enhancements include more-frequent roadmap reviews with partners, a higher level of investment into partner sales enablement and an easier way for partners to access demo environments, he said.

The new program will also include increased incentives in areas such as market development funds (MDF), training, professional services and access to technical consultants.

Partner Perspective

The enhancements in ForgeRock’s new partner program are highly welcome, said Grant Small, CRO of MajorKey Technologies, a security-focused solution and service provider based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

“What ForgeRock has put in place is really going to be a top-notch program, and will push us to want to do more business with them — either through the reseller channel or through the professional services channel,” Small said.

In particular, the introduction of different tiers is an important step, as is the company’s offering of MDF — which crucially can be used not just for marketing events but also for staff training opportunities, he said.

That flexibility around MDF is not common in other vendors’ programs, but will prove to be very useful for MajorKey as it looks to get its staff better-versed in the technology and more adept at sales of the products, according to Small.

All in all, the new program shows that ForgeRock is “very supportive of the partner community,” he said.

Focus On SIs

In Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for identity and access management (IAM), ForgeRock ranked as one of the five vendors in the “Leaders” quadrant, alongside Okta, Microsoft, Ping Identity and CyberArk. Research firm MarketsandMarkets has forecast that the IAM market will see growth of 91 percent by 2027, to $25.6 billion in revenue.

“If you look at most surveys of the priorities for CIOs and CISOs, digital identity is right up at the top,” Rosch said. “And these technology leaders are under more pressure than ever from the business side to create better identity experiences.”

In terms of cybersecurity, threats such as phishing and compromised credentials are also top of mind for many organizations, as identity-based attacks intensify and become more sophisticated, he said.

“I think that’s why we’re going to continue to see this strong demand from our customers, and why our partners are so excited about working with us,” Rosch said.

Working with system integrators is a particular focus for ForgeRock because of the pervasiveness and complexity of managing digital identities within organizations, he said

Ultimately, “identity sits at the intersection of everything an enterprise does,” he said. “It plugs into every single application or service you have in the enterprise. So it really lends itself to a system integrator kind of mindset — because you’re really, truly integrating technology to every system you have in the company.”

Integrators are often sought out by customers to help with large identity transformation projects, and so enabling those partners is a top aim of the new ForgeRock Partner Program, Rosch said.

“It’s something we’ve always done, but now we’re doing it with much more focus and deliberation,” he said.