The Network Effect & How a Platform Can Build an Ecosystem

I wanted to start this blog (my first at ForgeRock) with something I passionately believe:

You don’t get to choose if your software products are a platform - your customers and partners decide. The resulting ecosystem is the sign marker that will let you know if you have arrived.

For years ForgeRock customers like Capital One, Toyota and the BBC have used ForgeRock’s software as a platform for innovation, building industry-changing digital solutions. They have expanded our software in ways that we could never have dreamed. This surely fits the requirement of having customers define our software as a platform, but what about partners?

Although the ForgeRock Identity Platform was built to be pluggable and open, (and will only get more so with each release) we lacked a way to track, certify and document third-party integrations. Customers, or our implementation partners, would integrate a product or technology with ForgeRock only to have that valuable intellectual property locked away with that single customer or partner. Even if they could find an integration documented somewhere on the internet, customers often lacked the confidence to run it in production.

A New Beginning

That all changes today. After months of work within ForgeRock, and with an incredible ecosystem of new ForgeRock partners, we are announcing the ForgeRock Trust Network, Technology Partner Program. This new program builds on top of our industry-leading Trust Network to create a robust technology partner ecosystem.

The Financial Times defines network effect as “when a product’s value to the user increases as the number of users of the product grows.” Technology partnerships create a network effect as well. The more technology that integrates with ForgeRock’s platform, the more valuable our platform becomes to our users.  The ForgeRock Trust Network, Technology Partner Program, will allow our customers to easily discover technology that adds value to their deployments of our technology, while receiving a level of assurance through certification of those integrations. We will also be working with all of our new partners to build out compelling technical content. Our customer and partner portal, BackStage, will soon include code for the integrations, white papers, and blueprints. This content will grow into the industry’s most comprehensive “how-to” guide on building powerful identity platforms.

Although we will continue to add partners to the program over time, we couldn’t be more excited about the list of partners that have decided to join us at launch. They include industry leaders in the categories of Strong Authentication, Risk Management, and Identity Proofing, and they will make our platform more potent with their support. In addition to continuing to add new partners over time we have some additional partner categories targeted, so stay tuned for those launches in the coming months.

We also added an “Ecosystem Engineering” team made up of seasoned engineers and solution architects. They are already working closely with partners on super cool integrations and the supporting artifacts. You will see blogs from them talking about the exciting things they are building with partner technology.

So take some time to visit our catalog. Follow the links to our partner’s sites to see all the value they will bring to your existing (or future) ForgeRock deployment. This announcement is a big deal for ForgeRock and our entire ecosystem; but we are just getting started!