How Okta Elite Partner, Upright Security, Supports Customers in Every Step of Their Identity Journey

Securing access to digital assets has never been more important. In our increasingly connected, cloud-powered world, propelled into a new age of remote access by COVID-19, businesses can’t afford not to make identity and access management (IAM) a priority. But even for experienced businesses, implementing the right IAM tools in the right way can be daunting—one best done with the right partner.

Upright Security is one such partner. The Belgium-based IAM specialist, who won Okta’s EMEA Partner of the Year Award in 2021, helps businesses select and implement the right solutions to keep their data safe from harm. In this blog, Bart Cools, Managing Partner at Upright Security, talks about the challenges his team helps solve, the secrets of a great partnership, and what’s next for these award-winning Okta experts.

Whenever a customer calls, we must rise to the challenge. Sometimes, that means answering a simple question, sometimes preventing a major catastrophe. One morning last December, we received the second variety: “Can you please help us? We can only stop this with Okta!”

The call came from a customer we’d helped to build an Okta-powered user portal in the past, with plans to help them integrate Okta internally at a later stage. They were under attack and wanted us to deploy Okta on the workforce side as quickly as possible—so we went to work.

Twelve hours later, we had rolled out Okta to the entire workforce of 2,500 employees, strengthening security with Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication and, most importantly, stopping the attack. It was a groundbreaking moment for us: a company under threat, launching Okta with an incredible time-to-market, and getting everything back to normal within a day. It sounds simple in retrospect, but it was a moment when a lot of hard work paid off. But let’s rewind.

We started our journey with Okta in 2018, when we were looking to reinvent ourselves by putting together a new portfolio of IAM solutions. As part of the Cronos Group, one of Belgium’s leading IT solution providers, we had been working in the field for many years, specialising in several solutions and building relationships with many customers. For our new portfolio, under the new name of Upright Security, we wanted to partner with vendors that don’t just have the necessary technical capabilities, but also the same drive and energy we have as a company. That’s what we found in Okta.

We’re a team of identity and access management enthusiasts. So  for us, starting with a new solution such as Okta is like discovering a new playground. To build expertise, we immersed ourselves in Okta’s portfolio, made easier by the fact that Okta is great at empowering partners and has a very open platform with extensive documentation. We also had a dedicated person at Okta who helped us with comprehensive training, enabling us to go in-depth with the solutions.

We’ve come a long way since then. Now, we’re specialists in the entire Okta portfolio, whether that’s Workforce Identity and Access Management or Customer Identity Access Management solutions. Not only that, we support some of Belgium’s largest companies with their Okta projects, such as the Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) or the Belgian telecommunications company Telenet, as well as smaller and growing companies.

Whenever we enter into a new partnership, we’ve got a long-term vision in mind. We’ve been working with some customers for more than a decade. We build these long-lasting relationships by being radically honest: we’re not smooth salespeople. We put our customers’ growth and success first, and we follow that path wherever it leads.

On that path, our honesty is especially important when it comes to selecting the right IAM solution. Whenever we recommend Okta, we do so because we truly believe it’s the best way forward for a project to succeed. But our honest assessment isn’t enough: we want our customers to be excited about the solutions we work with, and with Okta, that’s been the case. Because of Okta’s excellent reputation, our expertise and our customers’ expectations are perfectly aligned.

Today, we’re not just one of the largest Okta-enabled teams in the EMEA region, in 2021 we received the Okta EMEA Partner of the Year Award. In our Okta journey so far, we’ve been part of some amazing projects: for example, we helped the RBFA consolidate all of its digital platforms with Okta, to build a user portal that is now used by 1 in 10 Belgians every month.

We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we’re far from done – in fact, we’re expanding. Next, we’re opening up a division in Germany, bringing our services to the entire DACH region and delighting even more customers with first-class Okta support. We’re growing from a Belgian player into an EMEA partner, enabling Okta to work with us on a local level, with commercial profiles on the ground.

It’s been one hell of a ride, and we’re only gaining steam. That’s because we’re doing what we love, and at our core, we’re still just a tight-knit group of IAM enthusiasts. One of us will always be there to answer your call – whether it’s a simple question or an IAM emergency.

To read more about Upright Security’s journey as an Okta partner, or to review the case studies of the RBFA and Telenet Group, check out our Partner Testimonal. To learn more about partnership opportunities with Okta, visit