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How to Partner for Open Innovation: A Sneak Preview of John Bell’s Forthcoming ‘ASAP Quick Take’ at the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, February 11, 2016

Addressing various facets of “partnering everywhere” in our rapidly evolving world, four experts are slated to present “ASAP Quick Takes” (patterned on the “TED Talks” format) at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit. This year’s summit is organized around the theme “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” and will be held just outside the US capital at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland.  

Among the executives in the ASAP Quick Takes line-up is John Bell, PhD, head of external innovation at Johnson & Johnson Consumer, who will present the talk “Creating Partnering Opportunities through Open Innovation.” Bell brings distinctive credentials: He has worked as head of strategy & new business at Philips Research, head of strategic alliances at Philips, strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an assistant professor. Despite his busy schedule and prominent daytime job, he somehow also carves out the time to teach alliance strategy at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands. During a recent interview, I asked Bell for some insights on his upcoming ASAP presentation. 

How has Johnson & Johnson led the way in corporate alliance management through structuring and outreach? 

In the Consumer division, we work closely with start-ups and strategic suppliers. For instance, with some of our strategic suppliers, we developed a way of working that activates the innovation capabilities of these partners to come up with innovative solutions. In the past, we typically approached suppliers with the question to make a specific product at a specific price point. Today, we share with a select group of partners what kind of consumer needs we aim to solve. Their R&D and our Johnson & Johnson R&D people then start to co-create novel solutions. 

How does your hands-on workshop help alliance managers sharpen their skills and expertise to broaden alliance activities in their organization? 

By sharing some of our learnings and providing insights into the steps we have taken and are still making, we believe that alliance managers can learn what is relevant to their own organization. 

What are some of the ways Johnson and Johnson supports strategic development to capture valuable market and competitive insights? 

Johnson & Johnson has established so-called Innovation Centers in the heart of eco-systems around the globe: San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai, and London. In those Innovation Centers, there are 25 to 30 business developers, dealmakers, alliance managers, and legal and financial people. They focus on identifying and fostering innovation across the pharmaceutical, medical devices, and consumer ecosystem, and invest in early transformational “ideas” and start-ups. These innovation centers act as a first touch-point to the market and competitive developments. 

How does Johnson & Johnson lead the way in effectively managing alliances and establishing trust and stability in partnerships for maximum profitability? 

Maximizing profitability is not per se the main motivation for our partnerships. In many instances, co-creating innovative solutions is the main objective of our partnerships. We have dedicated alliance managers in place who manage the partnerships typically from inception until integration into our business. On top of that, we typically develop a network of multi-level relationships with our partners to strengthen the ties and understanding between Johnson & Johnson and our partners. One of our ambitions is to become the partner of choice, which implies that we value trust, openness, and win-win.

Tags:  allainces  alliance strategy  John Bell PhD  Johnson & Johnson Consumer  medical devices  partnerships  pharmaceutical  Philips  PwC  R&D  start-ups  University of Tilburg 

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ASAP Announces Alliance Excellence Awards Finalists Slated to Take Center Stage at the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, February 8, 2016

At this year’s much-anticipated ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards, some of the world’s most partnering-savvy companies are vying for center-stage recognition of their exceptional performance in the world of alliance management. Officially announced this week in an ASAP press release, the three categories of awards will be presented March 1 at the 2016 Global Alliance Summit, “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” March 1–4 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA. 

The finalists for the Individual Alliance Excellence Award are: AbbVie-Genentech Roche, Cisco-Dimension Data, International SOS-Control Risks, and Panduit-General Cable. One of two candidates will receive the Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award: National Instruments or Takeda Russia. There are three contenders vying for the Alliance Program Excellence Award: Bayer, Huawei Technologies, and National Instruments. 

“The Alliance Excellence Awards highlight the best and brightest in partnering and alliance management. The significance of these awards cannot be underestimated,” remarked Mike Leonetti, president and CEO of ASAP, in last week’s press release. “These awards are ‘proof in the pudding’ that effective leadership, a strong alliance management function, and sophisticated partnering practices pay off in successful, healthy alliances. The awards highlight the efforts, achievements, and innovations that improve strategy and productivity of partnering programs, with benefits to partnering companies’ bottom lines as well as to society in general. These finalists were selected because they have proven their worth as leaders in the field of alliance management.” 

The awards are presented to companies that excel in:

  • Leading, planning, and implementation with compelling and measurable results
  • The use of new, individual alliance management tools or processes that have an immediate and powerful impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management
  • Implementation and management of alliance portfolios that demonstrate consistent success, persistence in overcoming obstacles, and creative and/or efficient use of tools, professional development/certification, processes, and other elements
  • Creativity and out-of –the-box thinking that has evolved the art and science of alliance management

 For more information about the finalists and their achievements, read the full announcement on PR Web newswire at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/02/prweb13196184.htm

Tags:  AbbVie-Genentech Roche  alliance management  alliance portfolios  ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  Bayer  Cisco-Dimension Data  Huawei Technologies  implementation  innovation  International SOS-Control Risks  National Instruments  Panduit-General Cable  partnering  Takeda Russia 

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How to Manage Mega-scale Partnering in the Era of the Internet of Things from the Vantage Point of Schneider Electric

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, January 28, 2016

When it comes to Schneider Electric, the company operates in a seemingly unlimited world of opportunities for establishing connections. Its partnering mantra seems to be “think globally and act locally, globally, and everywhere in between.” 

Now add the Internet of Things, and Schneider is broadening its scope to partner in complex and creative ways with some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and IBM Corporation. That’s the topic Anthony DeSpirito, CSAP, managing director, strategic accounts at Schneider Electric, is scheduled to address during the panel discussion “Capturing the Value of the Internet of Things” March 1–4, 2016, at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA. The discussion will focus on generating revenue from the complex partnering and business models driven by IoT. Other participants scheduled for the panel discussion are Nancy M. Green, global practice lead, healthcare strategy & thought leadership, at Verizon  Enterprise Solutions and Joan Meltzer, CSAP, smarter cities go-to-market leader at IBM Analytics, IBM Corporation. 

Schneider currently manages more than $30 billion in energy for 4,500 clients in 147 countries. The company integrates solutions in large numbers of physical structures, such as electrical and SCADA systems (data acquisitions and control systems for power or water treatment systems), and has access to vast amounts of data about the physical environment. The information is then provided to an analytics platform that turns physical data into information that allows partners, such as Verizon and IBM, to make better-informed decisions. 

Such complex, mega-scale strategic alliances require large teams and significant investments of time for planning. Schneider has 14 alliance managers. Key components need to fall into place for mega-partnership to fly: “Alignment is absolutely critical at the executive level,” DeSpirito pointed out during a recent interview.

 

For example, Schneider’s alliance with IBM to provide cutting-edge cloud services for the utility industries required the fundamental first step of having problem-solving meetings at the executive vice president level. “Once they agreed, it … cascaded throughout the organizations. Now the sales areas have agreement, and there is a cadence of communications between the two teams doing workshops and basic education. Now we need to bring discipline and cadence through quarterly business reviews,” he explained.

 

The early-stage, innovative ADMS cloud-based service solution could radically change the utility industry if it gains regulatory approval because it could provide services to utilities that can’t afford ADMS as a stand-alone product. Electrical power plants use a distribution management software system called DMS that allows them to be efficient in production and distribution. Schneider’s system is ADMS, where “A” stands for Advanced. The system is “much more customizable, much more efficient, and allows a utility to become more productive,” he says. If a proof of concept with ADMS that is underway in Canada is successful, “we anticipate it will move into production, … which should manifest itself in lower operation costs, cheaper electric, and allow us to go to smaller utilities,” he explained.

 

From a partnering standpoint, this is a brand new business model, and also an example of the complex alliance management planning often required in large company alliances, DeSpirito added. “This is not just buying and selling software and space in a data center.”

Tags:  ADMS  alliance management  alliances  Cisco Systems  cloud  DMS  electrical and SCADA systems  IBM Corporation  IoT  Joan Meltzer  Microsoft  Nancy M. Green  Schneider Electric  Tony DeSpirito  utilities  utility industry  Verizon Enterprise Solutions 

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Channel Predictions for 2016 | THE TRANSFORMATION IS STILL TO COME

Posted By Larry Walsh, CEO and Chief Analyst of The 2112 Group., Wednesday, January 20, 2016

By all accounts, 2015 will go into the channel history books as “interesting.” Vendors, distributors, and solution providers have reported mixed experiences – particularly when it comes to sales and revenue. Solution providers are having an up year, mostly due to services. Vendors are posting mixed results as customer spending is inconsistent. And distributors are trying to find their way in the middle.

Most would agree that this was a transition year. By 2112’s estimation, however, the transformation is still to come.

Channel Predictions for 2016 Technology advancements are changing the market landscape. Cloud computing is transforming the way vendors and solution providers sell technology, and how end users consume infrastructure and applications. Mobility is allowing everyone to access IT resources from virtually any location. And soon, Big Data will make decision-making better through greater intelligence and insights.

Technology is always changing. But what we find most interesting when we look into our 2112 crystal ball is not how technology is changing but the impact technology will have on the channel going forward. In 2016, the technology industry will apply lessons and new ideas – some as innovative and others out of necessity – to reshape and advance the state of the art in the channel.

In looking at what to anticipate in the coming year, 2112 analysts looked at our research and conversation notes with vendors, distributors, and solution providers. The following are our dozen channel predictions for 2016. Some are based on hard data; others are more speculative, rooted in experience.

Keep an eye out for January ASAP eNews to read all twelve of Larry’s predictions. If you are anxious for  a sneak peek, visit Larry’s Blog.

ASAP Corporate Member, EPPP and guest blogger, Larry Walsh is CEO and Chief Analyst of The 2112 Group. He will be presenting a Quick-Take Session “Seeing Around Corners is a Masterful Move on the Partnering Chessboard” and moderating The Channel Panel discussion, at the March 1–4, 2016, ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA. For a sneak preview, click here

Tags:  analysts  applications  big data  Channel  infrastructure  IT Resources  Larry Walsh  mobility  The 2112 Group 

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Five Future Channel Trends to Plan for in the New Year

Posted By Jay McBain is CEO of ChannelEyes, Guest Blogger, Tuesday, January 5, 2016

As we kick off 2016 and prepare for the March 1-4 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland,  outside Washington, D.C., I wanted to share some of my observations on the ever-changing technology channel.

We are witnessing a changing of the guard from a channel perspective. Fewer companies will fit the traditional reseller or solution provider label, as many have transformed (or born into) a recurring revenue business model around managed services, cloud, SaaS integrations, line-of-business, and vertical specialists.

The channel topped out at roughly 1,000,000 companies worldwide in 2007, employing more than 10 million people. In addition, hundreds of thousands were employed indirectly at vendors, distributors, associations, and media organizations. The deep recession of 2008 had a major impact and hasn’t bounced back the way most of us expected. While the broader economy is trending back up to 2008 levels, the channel continues to slide.

What is happening out there?

1. The channel is shrinking at an alarming rate: Recent reports from CompTIA and IPED show a current North American technology partner base of 160,000 companies (600,000 worldwide). It may sound like a healthy number, but it is down 36 percent since 2008 and continues to face 10 percent to 15 percent annual attrition for the foreseeable future.

Keep in mind the 160,000 includes a much broader audience than just resellers—it includes all kinds of consultants, coaches, etc. A more accurate number, including people who directly influence and resell hardware and software products, is closer to 75,000 (with half of those selling enough product profitably to sustain a business). Your future channel and alliance partners will be smaller in number, but more focused, specialized, and effective.

2. The channel is getting younger—much younger: Todd Thibodeaux, CEO of
CompTIA, kicked off his ChannelCon keynote with several pieces of research. First, an estimated 40 percent of the entire channel will retire in the next 10 years. Yes, 4 in 10. Second, those retiring will be replaced by millennials. In fact, in 10 years, 75 percent of the channel demographic will not have been alive when IBM introduced the PC (and the channel as we know it) in 1981.

This generation grew up on computers and will be pursuing different business models than the traditional reseller models we have today. They will look more like vendors, with in-house development teams, software products, and intellectual property. In the future, strategic discussions with partners will be less about incentives and education and more about integrations and co-marketing.

3. The channel is small business, and getting smaller: Much of the attrition that I mentioned above has come from within channel companies. They are doing more with less. The average channel partner has eight employees, and 97 percent of them have fewer than 50.

With the rapid growth of freelancing (think oDesk and Elance), offshoring (Fiverr), and rapid software development (Mechanical Turk), many companies are outsourcing their own functions, such as marketing, operations, finance, and custom development. Vendors are looking at opportunities to help their partners with these functions and keep them focused on (selling and) delivering solutions for end customers.

4. Vendor numbers are exploding: The above trends have an interesting side effect—the number of vendors in the marketplace is growing at a surprising pace.

Channel companies are leveraging their deep industry knowledge with unique integration skills (across dozens of vendors’ APIs) and creating products and specific intellectual property to deliver niche solutions.

At one time it was called “value add,” but today partners are incorporating these ideas into new companies and products and then going to market themselves. These products have narrow addressable markets, and the need to find resellers will continue to grow.

I predict that in 10 years, the number of vendors will outnumber the amount of pure-play resellers. Start thinking about future competitive threats and how to manage co-opetition moving forward.

5. Influencers and connectors are becoming more important: Without naming names, our entire channel ecosystem boils down to a small number of individuals who connect large amounts of like-minded people. You probably know many of them!

For example, the North American IT channel has roughly 100 people that will get you one degree of separation from anyone else. These super-connectors are very different from one another—some are media, some run associations, others are vendors or distributors, others make a living on making connections for you.

Some things are clear: The amount of noise and clutter will not stop growing. People buy from people they like. Economic scarcity is evolving into information scarcity. The network effect will drive winners and losers in the next 10 years. Start thinking about your network—do you have the right mix of influencers and connectors to drive your channel sales?

Seventy percent of all IT dollars are now being spent outside of IT by people that vendors and channel partners don’t know all that well. Sales, marketing, finance, HR, operations, and development teams are rapidly deploying technology, and it is forcing the channel industry to get smarter.

These trends are reshaping the channel, not replacing it. As with every other threat in the past 30 years, the channel will come out stronger, more nimble, and better able to serve evolving customer needs.

Happy New Year!
 

Guest blogger Jay McBain is CEO of ChannelEyes information technology services

http://channeleyes.com. He will be presenting the session “Five Future Channel Trends That You Need To Be Planning For Todayhttp://www.strategic-alliances.org/page/sum16sessions, at the March 1–4, 2016, ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA.

Tags:  channel partners  Channel Trends  ChannelCon  ChannelEyes  cloud  CompTIA  connectors  influencers  integrations  IPED  Jay McBain  line-of-business  manged services  revenue business model  SaaS  technology channel  Todd Thibodeaux  vendors  vertical specialties 

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