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The Final Handshake: What’s an Alliance Manager To Do When the Time to Terminate Comes?

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, October 8, 2015

Best practices can be just as important in the final stretches of a partnership as they are when development and trials are proceeding apace or the revenue stream is peaking. How to gracefully negotiate that last stretch before the parting handshake was the focus of “The Graceful Exit: Preserving Value and Relationship at the End of the Lifecycle” presented at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference on Sept. 10 by Diana L. Brassard, CA-AM, of external partnerships at Basalta US Inc., Mark Coflin, CSAP, senior director of alliance management global business development & licensing, bioscience, at Baxalta US Inc., and Julia Gershkovich, head of US R&D alliance management at Sanofi.

 

Good preparation for terminations preserves companies’ reputations and secures future opportunities. “Preparation is critical,” said Gershkovich. “If a partner decided to terminate, the project team may not be already there. When you get to the termination point, all internal stakeholders need to be aware and agree on this point. There needs to be respect toward the partner and transparencya lot of times we are dealing with smaller companies, and it means a lot to them.”

 

“One termination that comes to mind was with a Japanese company that was well-prepared and respectful,” recalled Coflin. “We thought about how we were going to communicate with them and how to deliver the message, including whether we should be meeting with them face-to-face. It needs to be done in mutually respectful way, because there might be future business.”

 

The termination process often is very long and termination activity can take two years, observed Brassard. “There is a need internally to lock in and assure that you have resources, budgets assigned, and clarity with respect to senior leadership and with respect to obligations.”

 

Go through very defined, structured procedures, followed by putting together a table for when the transactions would go throughbefore the termination is completed, she added. “This is all very important for business development and legal procedures, and eventually for resource allocations to maintain the core team.”

 

When is it appropriate to wear more of a project management hat as an alliance manager during the termination process? “There were one or two projects where I played both roles,” said Brassard. “When things started getting more negative, and the data coming in was negative, there was a decision that the alliance manager was going to take more of a key role. The alliance management best practices were not complimentary to each other, so it was very helpful to have project management tools. A lot of what I was trying to do was maintain a respectful relationship.”

 

“I was fortunate in most of my cases,” added Gershkovich. “I had project managers working with me, and they were great. We had to deliver the messages, and in one case it was clear that it was mutually understandable because the data didn’t work out. But in another case, we had to go to district resolution to stop the program, and we were still able to continue the relationship and preserve the value.”

 

A smattering from their list of dos and don’ts:  

  • Let partners know as soon as possible.
  • Map out a communication plan.
  • Meet regularly.
  • Get together with legal stakeholders, and go through the legal provisions of the contract.
  • Be aware of cultural differences, sensitivities, and time zones.
  • Negotiate in a way where value is preserved; present it in a way that they can take it right away.
  • Intellectual property is importantbe prepared that all checkpoints are done.
  • Prior to a termination notice, communicate with your partnerthe process is so much easier with good communication if the program doesn’t work out.
  • Include public and investor announcements, but if a company may go bankrupt and/or the product may be taken out of the pipeline, minimize the announcement.
  • Craft the termination carefully, and keep in mind there may be ongoing studies.
  • Don’t assume your partner is going to be as organized and experienced as you are.
  • Don’t assume they have plans for receiving the asset that you have made.

Tags:  2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference  alliance management  Basalta US Inc.  Baxalta US Inc.  Best practices  communicate  Diana L. Brassard  Julia Gershkovich  Mark Coflin  partner  partnership  project management  Sanofi  stakeholders  terminations  transparency 

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HR Tech Alliances & Partnerships Coming Out of the Shadows

Posted By Michael Leonetti, CSAP on behalf of Ward Christman, Wednesday, September 30, 2015

HR technology companies will leverage partnership management tools and techniques while gaining insight into ASAP.   Remember the days when ASAP began and our rallying cry was most partnerships fail 70% of the time or greater?  Well according to the founders of HR Tech Advisor success is a very real concern for HR technology company partnerships. Therefore a partnership with ASAP is a must.   Check-out the good work HR Tech Advisor is doing to help ASAP’s best practices become a part of the HR Tech world.  From Mike Leonetti, CSAP, President & CEO, ASAP. The following blog is being provided to ASAP by Ward Christman of HR Tech Advisor for reprint in the ASAP Blog.

 

HR Tech Alliances & Partnerships Coming Out of the Shadows

Giving Indirect Sales Some Breathing Room

It’s the best trade show of the year, your booth looks great and you’re looking sharp with a smile ready to greet that next big client walking up to your booth. Your elevator pitch is ready, you say hello and your pulse quickens as your new buyer greets you by asking “may I speak with your head of partnerships?” (gasp) To make matters worse, while you’re telling them the person they want isn’t at the show, three prospects walk by your booth! Repeat this 10 times and you’ll test the patience of even the calmest sponsor. How can this be fixed?

 

New this year at HR Tech World Congress is a special section of the expo hall just for people in charge of Partnerships and Alliances. This new area will undoubtedly spawn new partnerships while helping improve the direct sales efforts by keeping the booth activities dedicated to capturing the main buyer traffic.

In this new special section called HR Tech Alliances, there will be:

Speed Dating – for discovering potential new business partnerships

Panel Presentations:

  • How to partner with  ____________ (panelists TBD)
  • Build, Buy or Partner?
  • Investor/Incubator/Fund view
  • HR Tech CEO view
  • Global Head of Alliances view

 Workshops: Best Practices in Alliances and Partnerships

  • Finding new partners
  • Growing existing partnerships
  • KPIs and benchmarking

This new innovative offering, being run in partnership between HR Tech Advisor and HR Tech World Congress, is a first for the HR Tech industry. “Being experts in Partnerships and Alliances, we knew something had to change, so we approached HRN Europe who, as it turns out, were already wanting to do something like this!” says Ward Christman, Chief Advisor for HR Tech Advisor and co-founder of HRTechAlliances.com. “It’s long overdue that HR Tech Alliances & Partnerships come out of the shadows” says Christman.

 

Marc Coleman, CEO for HRN Europe who runs HR Tech World Congress, also is a fan of helping HR Tech companies better collaborate with each other – “We have seen a number of partnerships formulate during our events. We want to empower the HR Tech suppliers to do more business with each other so the effectiveness of the ecosystem delivers better results for the HR Tech buyers.”

 

“With an 80% partnership failure rate in our industry, we have a long way to go to match other industries. The fix begins with collaboration that exploits each partner’s value proposition.  And then harmonizing partnerships via a pragmatic balance of “Dilemma Capture, Deal Collaboration, and Data Control.” says Larry Cummings, Chief Connector and co-founder of HRTechAlliances.com.

 

For HR Tech companies looking to expand their reach in Europe and beyond, be sure to sign up soon for booth at HR Tech World Congress – they are truly almost sold out. If you can’t get a booth or can’t send your team, be sure to inquire about sending your Head of Alliances/Partnerships (or Business Development) – this is going to be one amazing event you won’t want to miss!

 

More info: web: HR Tech World Congress or email: HRN@HRtechAlliances.com

Tags:  collaboration  HR Tech Advisor  HR Tech buyers  HR Tech World  HR Tech World Congress  indirect sales  Larry Cummings  Mark Coleman  partnership  Ward Christman 

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ASAP Meets in New York City with Technical Advisory Group Members, Announces Growing Support for ISO Standard for Business Collaboration

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This week ASAP announced growing support for an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard for business collaboration. The U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG)—chaired by ASAP President and CEO Michael Leonetti—met this week in New York City in its role of representing the interests of U.S. organizations in the development of the international standard. In addition to ASAP, U.S. TAG members include representatives from Business Relationship Management Institute, as well as representatives from ASAP member companies including Cisco, Verizon, Phoenix Consulting Group, and PwC.

 

Via ASAP, the U.S. TAG representatives issued a broad invitation for companies to support and adopt the emerging ISO standard for business collaboration—and to get involved in the international effort to develop this unique new standard. Cisco, an ASAP global member, is involved in the effort both as a maker of technologies for business collaboration as well as a company that has spent many years seeking to improve its own ability to collaborate, according to Ron Ricci, Cisco’s TAG representative and the company’s vice president of customer experience services.

 

“At Cisco, we learned that elements such as common vocabulary and shared measures of success, as well as a common meeting system to engage employees, are the keys to driving strategic clarity and transparency—and giving people the freedom to successfully collaborate,” said Ricci, who relates these and other learnings as co-author of The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential.

 

This ISO standard for collaboration will be quite different from the typical standard.

 

“Most standards are very cut-and-dried process oriented,” noted TAG member Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, who is principal of Phoenix Consulting Group and a longtime leader in the ASAP community. “This ISO standard has a unique aspect as a management standard in that it advocates behavioral and cultural support.”

 

In the full press release issued this week by ASAP, Leonetti said, “We invite ASAP members worldwide and other U.S. and international business organizations of all sizes to learn about, support, and adopt the emerging ISO standard for business collaboration.” He also emphasized that the “involvement of ASAP and its members and partners is core to the ASAP mission, which has focused for many years on establishing and propagating a management standard for the alliance management and partnering profession.”

 

Business Relationship Management Institute (BRMI) pursues a mission complementary to ASAP’s mission by focusing on relationships within business organizations.

 

“Internal as well as external business relationships are built on trust and have equal focus on business value,” said Aleksandr Zhuk, co-founder of BRMI and member of the U.S. TAG.

 

Read the complete announcement on the PR Web newswire at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/09/prweb12990095.htm

Tags:  Aleksandr Zhuk  BRMI  Business Relationship Management Institute  Cisco  Collaboration  International Standards Organization  Norma Watenpaugh  Phoenix Consulting Group  PwC  Ron Ricci  U.S. Technical Advisory Group  Verizon 

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What’s an Alliance Manger To Do When a Blockbuster Biopharmaceutical Product Is Built on a Shaky Alliance Foundation?

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, September 25, 2015

What do you do when you have a blockbuster product, but a few key alliance building blocks are missing and the cornerstones are misaligned? “Blockbuster Product, Fragile Alliance: Leading the Drive for Change” answered this critical question in a dynamic presentation given by Christine Carberry, CSAP, senior vice president of quality, technical operations, program and alliance management at FORUM Pharmaceuticals and chairman of the ASAP Board of Directors, and Jan Twombly, CSAP, president of The Rhythm of Business, Inc., and a member of the ASAP executive and management committee, at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference. Twombly agreed to delve more deeply into the topic with a few key questions during an interview after the conference.

 

What are the signs of a fragile alliance?

Your alliance is achieving revenue targets and its clinical milestones. But any bump in the road such as a regulatory hiccup, can cause significant problems. The attorneys are always involved, its tit-for-tat, and people describe being ambushed in governance committee meetings. So you have a fragile situation because you have a relationship between the partners where they don’t trust each other and don’t feel they are working in the best interest of the alliance. Whenever you don’t have that solid underpinning, you might have external success but not the foundation to deal with the inevitable problems.

 

Why should an executive care as long as your blockbuster alliance is achieving its objectives?

The question from most people in the room is, “My executive realizes we have a fragile situation, but how willing are your governance committees to deal with the hard work of establishing or re-establishing that foundation when you are making your numbers?” The implications of not moving the alliance forward because you don’t have the underlying foundation can be significant. I have seen situations where there were delays upwards of a year with things that really didn’t make sense, disagreements where it would always come back to haunt you. A blockbuster product generates over one billion a year, so there is big money at stake, and if left unaddressed, you are likely to be leaving value on the table. Biopharma products have a reasonably definite lifecycle, and every day you don’t move forward, you are losing a day of market exclusivity because your patent has a finite life, and once your patent expires, generic drugs can come into the marketplace. You also might be creating an opening allowing competitors to get ahead, costing market share. You need to convince the people who should be enrolled in improving the collaboration that there is a significant risk being posed to the alliance when you don’t have that foundation to tackle problems in a collaborative way. You need to get at the root cause—because it is really important for the alliance manager to enroll senior level management and the governance committee to address them. If you don’t address them when things are going well, you won’t be prepared when something negative happens. It’s important to have strategies for raising awareness. That is really the key.

 

What strategies can an alliance professional use to improve the situation?

An absolute prerequisite is that leaders from each partner agree that change is necessary and urgent—and that it starts with them.  You then need a champion to use the core alliance skills of influence, getting people on board, bridging differences, convening the right people, facilitating the right kinds of conversations, and leading people to the conclusion that the status quo is not acceptable. Then you have to move quickly. It can be as simple as rechartering your governance committees, getting them to think about how they act and behave, and asking how it makes them feel—that’s all of the soft stuff you know you  need to do, but people resist.

Carberry and Twombly’s presentation also recommended the following practical steps: 

  • Re-examine governance—Structure, membership, performance standards; rethink the decision making process
  • Re-examine work allocation—project team structure, responsibilities, membership; is collaboration being forced where it isn’t necessary?
  • Establish new behavioral standards—recharter revamped teams/committees and hold them to it
  • Have an aligned and current vision and strategic plan (the “North Star”) and use it to build a “one-team mentality”
  • Meet more frequently and have more face-to-face meetings—eliminate updates and focus on, discuss, debate and decide formats
  • Launch a branded “Campaign for Exponential Success”—leadership, communication, awareness and understanding, accountability at all levels

Tags:  alliance manager  biopharma  Blockbuster product  Christine Carberry  collaborative  FORUM Pharmaceuticals  governance  Jan Twombly  market share  marketplace  partners  performance standards  recharter  The Rhythm of Business 

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Q3 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine: Alliance Leaders Make the Paradigm Shift to Cross-Industry and Ecosystem Partnering, Plus Partnering in the Channel and More

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, September 24, 2015

The latest issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine, Q3 2015, now available to ASAP members, invites readers to explore a paradigm shift occurring in the life sciences and healthcare industries (and many others too). Veteran alliance executives discuss how to adapt, lead, and orchestrate in new and innovative ways, as cross-industry collaborations proliferate thanks to high tech and other industries entering the traditional biopharma and healthcare arena. Alliance managers are challenged to read the tea leaves and adapt to customer-centric trends and other drivers forcing change.

 

SAM Q3 2015 also provides a preview of the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference that took place in Boston Sept. 9-11 “Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem.” Highlights include the opening evening keynote on the analytics-driven innovative partnerships Boston-based Berg Pharmaceuticals has formed with research hospitals, as well as three “ASAP Quick Takes” given by IBM Institute for Business Value's Heather Fraser, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson’s Cindy Warren, and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Lenore Jackson-Pope. The talks were preceded by professional development workshops and followed by a rich selection of educational sessions.

 

In our quarterly Alliance Champion feature, I interviewed Leona Kral, CSAP, of Verizon, who offered insights on driving revenue in channel management. Adaptation, agility, and innovation are critical components for alliance managers dealing with a fluid business environment, and that requires a wardrobe of hats alliance managers can wear to compliment their changing roles, she advises. Kral joined with her Verizon colleague Karen Robinson, CSAP, to present ASAP’s September Netcast Webinar, “What in the World are Two Alliance Professionals Doing in the Channel?” available for viewing in the ASAP Member Resource Library.

 

Continuing in the same vein of exploring the challenges (and opportunities) in channel sales partnerships, Dede Haas, CA-AM, founder and president of DLH Services, outlines the problems that make channel partners unhappy with vendors, and then offers practical advice from experienced channel executives on how to improve such collaborations through trust-based relationships.

 

The magazine also spotlighted how corporate member Dassault Systèmes and its partners use three-dimensional visualization technologies and collaborative tools—in the process changing the way business is being done in industries ranging from manufacturing and high tech to architecture and engineering, as well as in the public sector.

 

In the magazine’s quarterly editorial supplement, sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, Michael Berglund, CA-AM and David Thompson, CA-AM, explore the powerful impact of the “conviction curve” on whether or not decision-making processes are actually collaborative. Berglund also delved into the topic in his well-attended workshop at this month’s ASAP BioPharma Conference, honing in on the crucial distinction of “Are We Negotiating or Collaborating?”

 

“Are you ready to thrive at the center of the action?” asks executive publisher and ASAP President and CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, in his engaging Up Front editorial. Alliances are taking new forms as partnering proliferates across the new ecosystem, and this issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine appropriately points out that alliance management needs to be embedded and is an essential component to the culture of today’s business enterprises if they are to adapt and proliferate in the emerging ecosystem.

Tags:  alliance  ASAP BioPharma Conference  Cindy Warren  collaboration  Dassault Systèmes  David Thompson  Dede Haas  ecosystem  Heather Fraser  Karen Robinson  Lenore Jackson-Pope  Leona Kral.ASAP Netcast Webinar  Michael Berglund  Strategic Alliance Magazine 

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