Moving Alliances from a Binary to a Multi-dimensional Ecosystem

Contributed Content,

Posted By Contributed by: Wissam “Will” Yafi, Founder & CEO – TIDWIT , Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Last year I had a memorable lunch conversation with an alliance vice president of a very large tech GSI.

“We have had an alliance relationship with this ISV for well over thirty years. It is our oldest and largest,” he said.

“Great,” I said, “How is it going?”

“The strategy and intent are good. But execution could be better,” he answered. “Of our two hundred fifty or so thousand employees, no more than a dozen people actually engage online within the alliance.”

“Don’t you have a way to collaborate at scale?” I asked.

“We don’t really” he admitted. “Most of our alliance work happens manually over the phone, email, and via Excel sheets.”

I have had conversations with several other alliance vice presidents, most of whom have openly confessed their partnership deficiencies. The symptoms are similar, and are getting worse as markets begin moving quicker, requiring more frequent updates, interactions, and alliance workflows—all of which places more and more stress on already tenuous relationships.

The fundamental questions are what are the problems at the root of all these symptoms? And can they be overcome? The answers lie within three key factors from my work with a multitude of alliances: binary (old) paradigm mentality, power plays/lack of trust, and deficient technology. Let’s look at each of these:

The traditional binary-alliance paradigm looks at relationships in simple not complex multi-dimensional terms. An organization that has only one alliance is very different from one that has dozens if not more alliances. Organizations that recognize this of each other are more able to understand the notion that they don’t sit at the center of any universe, but rather belong to one as do other organizations. As a result, they can empathize and collaborate in ways that a binary mentality is not able to.

Partner power plays are a bit more perplexing. When two organizations willingly sign an alliance to work with one another, what is the benefit of jostling for position? In fact, it only leads to distrust. Partners that respect mutual constraints and who work together to try to overcome them are much more likely to succeed in realizing joint opportunities. In a complex ecosystem of alliances, organizations cannot afford to be stuck in one-sided partnerships based on power plays—instead, they need to continuously seek ways to be on equal footing and build trust.

Even when alliances are able to overcome these first two factors in relationships, the next challenge they face is technology. More specifically, finding the proper technological platform architecture to allow them to conduct multi-dimensional alliances not with one but rather with an ecosystem of partners in a way that is standardized, secure, compliant, scalable, and cost effective. A cloud ecosystems network provides just that and solves for a wide range of alliance inefficiencies. A cloud ecosystem network not only allows an organization to connect with a multitude of partners with whom it has alliances, but for it to do so in a streamlined manner that provides it customization, control, compliance, data security, and integration capabilities, not to mention an impressive ROI.

Here are some compelling alliance benefits we have seen in deploying cloud ecosystems to global ISVs and GSIs:

  1. Boosting alliances and increasing the expected user footprint by as much as 800%
  2. Enabling the customization of applications to meet the needs of the organization with all its ecosystem of alliances
  3. Automating alliance processes with apps and workflows that cut across organizational boundaries—no more excel sheets over e-mail!
  4. Providing real time insight and reporting that allows alliances to be on the same page and monitor objectives together
  5. Ensuring PII and GDPR compliance, providing full protection and control over the data of each organization, while sharing what is agreed upon collaboratively and without power plays

Alliances are becoming increasingly complex, requiring more dynamic solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of the market. Going forward, organizations who want to ensure the success of their alliances have to evolve from a binary approach to a multi-dimensional ecosystems approach. They will also have to adopt a more collaborative approach that moves away from a zero-sum-game type of thinking to a whole-is-bigger-than-its-parts approach. And they will have to deploy the proper technology to realize all this and sustain it going forward. Doing all this promises to elevate the alliance from an elementary transactional state to a much more advanced state based on dynamic relationships, enabling instant “at scale” reaction to changing market needs.

This is not just theory; it is happening today. The vice president who I had lunch with has gone from lightly involving a few handfuls of users to intricately engaging more than forty-thousand users through a cloud ecosystem launched via the TIDWIT network. The evolution to more effective, impactful ecosystems is real. Are you ready to take the next step?