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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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Q4 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine: Improving Your Communication Skills, Incorporating Ninja Philosophy, and Adding Other Valuable Tools to Your Alliance Manager Toolbox

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sharp communication skills are an essential tool in the alliance manager’s toolbox, so we highlight the topic in the Q4 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine. The lead article, “Upping Your Communications Game,” touches on several tools that can help build the collaboration framework. Several professionals address how to fine-tune those skills, including Eli Lilly and Company’s Mike Berglund, CA-AM on framework construction, body language experts Jack Brown and Clark Freshman on reading nonverbal communication, Anny Bedard of ABio Consulting on cross-cultural communication, and Trisha Griffin-Carty, owner of Griffin-Carty Communications, on the value of weaving stories into presentations. 

We also preview keynote speaker Jonathan Ballon, vice president of the Internet of Things Group at Intel, and other presenters bringing their leading-edge expertise to the upcoming March 1-4, 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, to be held in National Harbor, Maryland, adjacent to Washington, D.C. As in previous years, the 2016 Summit is on the forefront of alliance management practice, with this year’s program honing in on the diversity of skills required for “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem.” Also included in this issue are snippets of events at the Boston BioPharma gathering, “Conference Focuses on Surfing the Shifting BioPharma Wave,” as well as a recap of the 2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit, “The New Ecosystem for Partnerships.” 

Several philosophical voices espouse the value of “ninja” alliance management in the Your Career feature—metaphorically harnessing the ancient elements of earth, water, fire and wind and incorporating them into your daily practice. The article combines the ancient ninja concept with thoroughly modern wisdom and advice from Cindy Warren, vice president of alliance management at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and four panelists at a lively session, “Cultivating an Alliance Management Career,” held Sept. 11 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference in Boston. Panelists spoke in ways that fit with a philosophical view of ninja practice: the earth element of being grounded and standing your ground; the water element of soft skills and moving around obstacles; tending the fire element by diffusing and managing conflict; harnessing the wind element by bending and being adaptable. For a quick synopsis on what to look for in an alliance manager, we added a short sidebar of Warren’s Top 10 qualities. 

There is a review of Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations, by Benjamin Gomes-Casseres, CSAP—a roadmap for the best partnering routes. Also, a heartfelt tribute to Tom Halle, CSAP, a longtime leader, mentor, and champion of the alliance management profession who recently passed away from lung cancer. The magazine also spotlights corporate member Amgen for its investment in strategic alliances with dozens of active partnerships involving cross-functional governance, while improving its own internal governance and processes, to build healthy, longterm partnerships. The quarterly editorial supplement, sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, features the article “Major Moves: Simplifying Alliance Management Product Transitions With Thorough Planning” by Rachelle E. Hawkins, CA-AM, Joanna L. C. May, CA-AM, and David Thompson, CA-AM, on the challenging steps involved in transitioning a globally marketed asset to another company. 

Without the two critical components of good communication and inspired leadership, “a company can end up parading barren goods or services, much like The Emperor who was tricked into believing that he wore a fine suit when nothing of value was really there,” advises The Close’s “The Master Alliance Weaver at Work,” which focuses on the qualities and characteristics essential for a “durable cloth from which to create and deliver significant value.” All valuable information that you need as you build value into your practice at a time when strategic partnering continues to increase in complexity. 

Tags:  ABio Consulting  alliance management  alliance manager  Anny Bedard  Benjamin Gomes-Casseres  body language  Cindy Warren  Clark Freshman  David Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  Jack Brown  Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies  Mike Berglund  non-verbal communication  Rachelle E. Hawkins  Strategic Alliance Magazine 

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Contract Research Organization INC Research Joins ASAP as Global Member

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Monday, December 7, 2015
Updated: Saturday, December 5, 2015

Partnering is proliferating among biopharma companies and service providers in the effort to increase quality and effectiveness in clinical trials. This week, ASAP officially announced that INC Research Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: INCR), a leading global contract research organization (CRO), has joined the ranks of ASAP as a global member. Judy Swilley, executive vice president and head of INC Research’s strategic alliance team, will represent INC as a new member of the ASAP board. 

“We are thrilled to have INC Research on board as a Global Member and look forward to its team’s deep engagement and rich contributions to the ASAP community of practice,” commented Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president and CEO of ASAP, in the ASAP press release. 

Leonetti also noted that “INC Research has built an amazing reputation as a customer- and partner-centric company, and this year was ranked as the top CRO to work with among global CROs.” The company was ranked “Top CRO to Work With” among large global CROs in the 2015 CenterWatch Global Investigative Site Relationship Survey. 

“Joining ASAP in a leadership role is another way INC is working to become CRO of choice for our biopharmaceutical customers,” said Swilley in the announcement. “By strategically expanding our alliances in clinical development we can continue to enhance INC’s reputation for delivering timely, trusted, high-quality results to our customers, which then more swiftly delivers needed medicines to market.” 

INC Research is headquartered in Raleigh, NC, with operations across six continents and experience spanning more than 100 countries.  The CRO provides a full range of Phase I to Phase IV clinical development services for the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries.  Leveraging its service offerings and therapeutic expertise across multiple patient populations, INC Research connects customers, clinical research sites and patients to accelerate the delivery of new medicines to market.  

Read the complete press release distributed via PR Web at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/12/prweb13115676.htm .

Tags:  CenterWatch Global Investigative Site Relationship  CRO  INC Research  Judy Swilley  strategic alliances 

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How To Align Your Company for the Best Performance and Mileage

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, December 3, 2015

We’ve all experienced misalignment at one time or another. Our car hits a pothole.  Suddenly, it’s pulling like a magnet to the median strip. What was once an easy “cruise control” ride has become repeated efforts of tugging the wheel to stay on track. Not to mention the cost associated with the less-efficient ride. 

In business, “we all experience that kind of organizational drag—not being in alignment with what you are trying to do in the field,” says LaVon Koerner, president and chief revenue officer at Revenue Storm. Koerner will be presenting a session on the topic, “Diagnose Internal Misalignment and Fine-Tune Your Partnership’s Value Creation Engine,” 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. 

“I do a lot of keynote speeches, and this is one of the popular topics I speak on around the world,” said the co-founder of the international sales training and consulting firm. “You have to align each alliance management partnereach has to be aligned with their own company before they can be aligned with another company. It’s like a marriage. If you don’t have your act together, and marry someone without their act together, you have a tragedy.”

The session will focus on how to diagnose alignment or engine problems so participants can identify where they are off-kilter, consider the causes and cures, and determine the best tools for fixing the problems. “We will show them how much organizational drag they have, and we will give them a number,” he said. “The role of a leader today is to create a fine-tuned acceleration engine. I will be walking them through that engine. We want the power of the company internally to be aligned behind the power of the sales force externally.”

How often do we see organizations training people to do one thing and paying them to do something else? he asked rhetorically. “A lot,” he replied, while pulling another analogy from his hat.

“You have songwriters and singers, scriptwriters and actors: The scriptwriters don’t do their own acting, and the best singers in the world don’t write their own songs. The reason a lot of customers are not dancing is because the singers and actors don’t have the music,” he added. “The people in the field are not the scriptwriters and songwriters, they are the singers and actors. They need to be supported, and that is called alignment.”

The secret to a smooth running company vehicle? Align to a common strategy, he divulged. “Once you are aligned to a specific strategy, you are aligned to each other. “

Here’s a tip from Koerner’s “Blue Book” of value. There are four strategies you can align to:

  • Transactional approach to market
  • Process approach to market
  • Business-oriented company
  • Partnering relationship to customers

Pick one of the four from which to operate, he advised. But that’s a huge topic for another day, one he promised to probe at length in his Summit session. 

To learn more about Koerner’s session and others on a diversity of topics critical to partnering and alliance practice—and to register for the March 1-4, 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit before Early Bird Rates end—Click here  

Tags:  2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  align  alliances  business-oriented  LaVon Koerner  misalignment  partnering relationship  partners  process approach  Revenue Storm  strategy  Transactional approach 

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