5 Things I Learned at IMPACT 2023

By Ozge Tuncel Ozcan, Chief Customer Officer

The IMPACT Conference has a special place in my heart. In October 2022, as I was in the final stages of interviewing with Forter, co-founder and president Liron Damri invited me to attend the first-ever IMPACT. He positioned it as a way to get a feel for the company and the customers I’d be working with. It was a smart move — I instantly fell in love with the company, its mission and how invested many of the world’s leading merchants and retailers were in our shared success.

Fast forward 12 months, and with the runaway success of last week’s Customer Advisory Board (CAB) and IMPACT events, I know I made the right decision. After spending quality time with customers, partners and other decision-makers in the world of digital commerce, I was inspired to put pen to paper to share my five key takeaways:

Turning connections into community

Liron often talks about the importance of building community, and I saw that first hand at IMPACT.

As we look to solve challenges across the customer journey, we’re increasingly focused on the role of identity as a unifying factor. However, it’s also true that we’re building an identity for something bigger than ourselves or the company — and that’s IMPACT. I got the sense that customers and partners are starting to see IMPACT as THEIR digital commerce community and want a hand in shaping what happens next.

Collaboration over competition

Speaking of community, I was fortunate enough to moderate one of my favorite panels of the day, being joined on stage by Brian Davis from adidas and Chris Tener from Nike.

Over the years, I’ve attended many conferences, and I can NEVER remember two of the most competitive apparel companies in the world sharing a stage. The difference? They’re both pioneers and firm believers in the power of the community and the belief that they have as much to learn from each other as they would any other retailer or business partner. I see this camaraderie, spirit and willingness to share more broadly, and I believe is at the heart of the IMPACT community we’re building.

Innovation at the heart of IMPACT

At IMPACT 2022, we purposefully kept a low profile at the conference; however, last year’s attendees told us they wanted to understand more about what Forter was thinking and building. As you can imagine, the engineering and product teams didn’t need much encouragement, and I was thrilled by how well this year’s attendees received our main innovation showcases and IMPACT Labs.

Changing the conversation

There’s no doubt that our 10-year history is rooted in fraud protection; however, it was clear that we’ve built such a platform of trust that customers are now elevating their approach and their roles to focus on key business drivers like customer lifetime value and the organizational need to deliver profitability.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited to see the development of two exciting new projects we unveiled at IMPACT — Policy Builder and, in the long term, the initial concepts behind Forter Connect. I firmly believe these developments can be game changers for our customers, their companies and ultimately the industry.

From bobbleheads to pasta making, business is personal — and fun! 

We work with complex technology in an ever-changing world — there will always be challenges. However at both our CAB and IMPACT events, I was reminded that business is personal and laughter can be a great way to bond, offering the best medicine to ease a difficult situation. Whether through bobbleheads or pasta making, I’m more confident than ever that people’s commitment to join us in person will only help to strengthen relationships, understanding and innovation.

These are just a few of my takeaways, and I’d be interested in yours! If you attended this year, thank you for being a part of our growing community. If you didn’t, I hope you’ll accept this offer to get involved with what we’re building, and hope to see you next year! Either way, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] — I’d love to hear from you.