Ping Identity reworks partner program to increase support for implementation partners

The big news is the establishment of a four-tier Delivery Approved program, to provide more support for delivery-focused partners with consulting practices

Enterprise Identity and Access Management [IAM] vendor Ping Identity has rebooted its Global Partner Program. The enhancements to a program that was fundamentally restructured in 2018 expands the number of tiers, with the primary objective being to expand recognition and support for implementation partners, including a new Delivery Approved Program for them.

Ping has been around since 2002 and is an established player in the IAM space.

“We deal with Fortune 1000 companies, and have expanded into the Fortune 3000,” said Beth Drew, VP of Channel Sales at Ping Identity. “Our market is large enterprises, which is not a green field space. Ping has always provided a hybrid approach, and while we have made tremendous push to the cloud, there are some aspects that also require on-prem and we can deliver all of that. Some competitors are only on-prem, and others are only iDaaS [Identity as-a-service]. Hybrid is really relevant in todays market.”

The IAM space was originally a direct sales one, and Ping is no different there.

“We started out as direct, and we were always super-selective with partners,” Drew said. “We worked closely with a handful of partners for implementation because we aren’t a services company. We deal with enterprises, and the channel is important for implementations in that market.”

The small channel was significantly expanded recently.

“While we had a channel program for years with that limited number of partners, we introduced a much broader program in 2018,” Drew indicated. The program has expanded since to about 300 partners.

Drew said that the 2018 program, which had Preferred and Registered tiers, was very significant in its changes from what had been there before.

Beth Drew, VP of Channel Sales at Ping Identity

“It was the first time we incorporated large resellers like Optiv, and invested in them,” she said. “The Preferred partners, basically our top 20, were mostly systems integrators, and then we began to bring in sourcing partners like Optiv. As we moved into the Fortune 300, it became even more important to bring that army of resellers who could source deals with us.”

The big change being made now is to increase the support being provided to implementation partners who don’t bring in the revenues of the sourcing partners, but who play a key role as a delivery partner, consultant and trusted advisor to customers.

The new Delivery Approved program is specifically for these delivery partners with consulting practices. It has four tiers of designations based on the level of investment each partner makes in Ping – Elite, Advanced, Registered, and Emerging.

“We had a good foundation, but it was time to refresh that to deliver more value,” Drew said. “Originally the program had criteria based on target revenue – annual contract value – but some of our best implementation partners didn’t have that revenue. We now recognize that partners are either sourcing with a large sales organization, or are implementation partners who provide services. This program values both types of partners. Partners who don’t bring opportunities but who are great delivery agents can thrive.”

A partner who earns a Delivery Approved designation, earns a formal identification as a preferred Ping Identity delivery partner and trusted advisor, and is recognized as such on Ping’s web site.

“Customers looking for an implementation partner can see the approved ones,” Drew stated. “They also have access to our professional services terms, with access to a partner delivery manager, and technical enablement support.” They get access to partner marketing resources as well.

Ping has also expanded its Strategic Alliance Program with vendor partners.

“We have a very focused approach, rather than trying to partner with everyone, Drew said. “We partner with security vendors in adjacent spaces like SailPoint and CyberArk as well as companies like AWS and Microsoft. We have a broad spectrum of partners but focus only on a few in each category.”

Ping has added a new VP specifically to manage these strategic partners.

“We will go deeper into our partnerships, to come up with more meaningful integrations,” Drew said.