Partners shaking hands world Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayOkta is launching Elevate, a new partner program, on Monday, April 3rd, as it looks to capture a greater share of the identity market. Estimates of the value of that market vary, with Okta stating it is worth around $80 billion. MarketandMarkets estimates the market was worth $27.9 billion in 2022 and is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20.4% over the next three years. By 2027 the market will be worth $70.7 billion.

The reason for such high growth is that identity is at the core of connecting users with technology as organisations shift to the cloud as part of their digital transformation initiatives. The flexibility and openness of the cloud also make it vulnerable, and a secure identity solution improves cybersecurity.

As this transition occurs, organisations are looking for a strategic partner to help deliver identity management. They want a full solution, not a point solution that may only work for a few applications. Identity Management needs to balance the complexity needed to protect systems and data with the simplicity that removes friction from users day to day.

To expand its market share Okta has announced Okta Elevate. It hopes that it will attract more partners and deepen its relationships with existing ones. The intent is to create the mechanisms to create more opportunities, accelerate growth and increase its market share.

Creating an all-inclusive community for partners

One of the challenges that Okta faced was that identity is a tool that is needed by companies of all sizes. This has meant that partners can also vary in size enormously, from those dealing with SMSEs to Enterprise partners. Okta also wanted a partner program that could engage effectively with the various partner types.

It currently lists six partner types: Technology Partner, Managed Service Provide, Service Delivery Partner, System Integrator, Solution Partner, and Distributor. In its press release, it also mentions cloud service providers, indicating that it is still adding to the list. The program needed to support all of these different partners and also help grow their identity practices.

The program also needed to support all its partners, from the referral partners to delivery, managing and transacting. Okta identified four ways it will transform the experience for its partners.

Simplifying deal registration

It will streamline the deal registration process. That will make it easier for partners to register new customers they sign up, and make the rewarding process smoother. Okta did not reveal how it was calculating the rewards for finding new customers.

More specialisations:

The new programme is better able to recognise the deeper range of specialisations that partners have. Partners will have the ability to share what these specialisations are, from Customer Identity Cloud to Workforce Identity Cloud to Workflows. There is also a simplified set of requirements for partners to be recognised as having a specialisation. Specialisations also exist for product and industry focuses.

Four tiers program:

Partners begin at the Activate tier. As they increase specialisations and improve Okta and their own revenues from the partner, they can work up the other three levels:  Amplify, Ascend, and Apex. Each level provides access to a wider range of benefits that include:

  • Training and Enablement for sales, and presales, including Okta certifications
  • Financial Benefits, as partners work up each tier, there are increasing benefits with discounts, renewal and referral fees, and sell-through margins
  • Marketing support, from collateral, campaign planning, sponsorship opportunities and marketing development funds and technology development funds
  • Okta for Partners, access to Okta solutions for partners themselves, from startups to larger partners
  • Technology, access to tools
  • Engagement, membership on partner advisory councils, and access to work with Okta for Good


Presumably loosely linked to the specialisations, Okta is also introducing a new badging system that will recognise partners for their expertise. Badges will enable prospects to identify which partners in their region are best suited to their needs. It will enable them to quickly reduce what Okta hopes will be a long list of partners to those most relevant. The badges will include being Tech Champions, Public Sector Experts, or Managed Service Providers.

Warwick Lawson-Syer, Director, Regional Alliances at Okta
Warwick Lawson-Syer, Director, Regional Alliances at Okta

Warwick Lawson-Syer, Director, Regional Alliances at Okta, stated, “Partners want to work with Okta, but every partner is different. Okta Elevate celebrates this individuality, the potential of identity, and reestablishes the foundation of how we work with our partner community in the UK and across Europe.

“From specialisation to recognition, Okta (Elevate) allows each and every partner to showcase their expertise and deliver the Okta experience to customers.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This is a fully revamped partner program that Okta will hope to see gain a wider set of partners to power growth for its solutions. Elevate certainly makes it easier for partners to engage with Okta, and some of the benefits look intriguing. With the program and details on its website still in transition from the older partner scheme, it will be interesting to see in a few months how everything shakes out.

It will also need to improve its find a partner page as it introduces badges and specialism. For example, the site allows a filter of product or service delivery specialisation. It does not yet offer public sector organisations to search for those partners with expertise in their sector.

Becoming partner-centric is a good strategy for improving revenue, however, while it already has a large number of partners, it needs to enable those partners to better demonstrate their strengths. It also needs to share how partners can onboard quickly.

This is not. as Lawson-Syers indicates, just confined to Europe though. It is a global announcement with details included in a blog by Bill Hustad, SVP of Global Partners and Alliances.


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