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2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit Echoes the Ecosystem Partnering Theme

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, November 9, 2015

The European Union is following the United States’ lead in cross-industry partnering. Partnering executives from across Europe convened to explore “The New Ecosystem for Partnerships” at the October 15-16, 2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit, held at the NH Amsterdam Grand Hotel in Amsterdam. Co-sponsored by Thought Leader Global, which specializes in organizing corporate events across the spectrum of corporate strategy, business development, and finance, the event drew about 60 attendees, most of whom were heads of strategic alliances and partnerships from all kinds of industries, primarily multi-nationals. 

The “successful partnership” between the two co-sponsors created a “great opportunity” for companies looking to learn from “different types of collaborations,” said ASAP Chairman of the Board Christine Carberry, CSAP, senior vice president, quality, technical operations, program & alliance management, at FORUM Pharmaceuticals, who attended the gathering. “In the past, it was biopharma-to-biopharma, high tech-to-high tech. We are now seeing much more partnering diversity across industries, including the service sector, academic institutions, and healthcare providers,” she explained.  “We are starting to get a much more diverse membership in ASAP and with people who are newer in alliance management.” 

Some 20 percent of ASAP membership is European-based, and the alliance community in Europe is an area of growth, said Carberry. 

“People are beginning to realize they need to build alliance management capability across their entire organization. And people are beginning to get interested in how to provide more resources, training, and guidance to those who need those skills and capabilities because they interact with partners and collaborations, “ Carberry added. 

Cross-industry collaboration is definitely happening in Europe, “but probably at a slower rate than the US,” agreed Scott Rogers, Thought Leader Global’s project manager. “One of the strengths of this event is benchmarking both within and outside your industry. So there are best practices from pharmaceutical companies managing alliances in complex ecosystems, but also strategies from IT companies handling unique technology partnerships. Terminology may sometimes differ, but essential principles remain the same.” 

Reflecting on the Summit, he said Sanofi, Ericsson, Takeda, and Unilever offered excellent presentations. Prominent manufacturing companies shared highly relevant experiences, and mature and emerging alliance managers gained best practices and possible networking connections with fellow attendees. “We reviewed the evaluation forms and we’re happy to report that attendees gave positive reviews to all the presentations, with many favoring speakers in their industry,” he added.

Summit attendees participated in sessions that spanned biopharma and high tech. Carberry singled out two sessions relating to the global trend of high tech and biopharma partnering because their convergence is requiring news skills and approaches. 

One session about R&D and strategy was given by Ingo Hoffmann, global head of strategic alliances & partner ecosystem at IBM’s Curam Solutions & Smarter Care. The other, Joint Ventures to Advance Corporate Development and Growth in New Markets” on advanced ventures and how they partner and grow, was given by Pierrick Rollet, vice president of global strategic partnerships & joint ventures at GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines. 

Carberry and Rogers agreed that the event exemplifies a win-win partnership, allowing ASAP to convene a significant contingent of its European members while also connecting with executives who are new to the association. 

“It was a high-quality event at a location well-suited for our European colleagues,” Carberry said. “I think it’s been a successful partnership between ASAP and Thought Leader Global. About half of people were familiar with ASAP.”

“This event theme fits perfectly within our portfolio, and we are able to leverage relationships from our other events to support this one,” added Rogers. “We are pleased with the ongoing collaboration between Thought Leader Global and ASAP.”

Tags:  2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit  alliance management  best practices  Christine Carberry  Ericsson  FORUM Pharmaceuticals  GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines  IBM’s Curam Solutions & Smarter Care  Ingo Hoffmann  partnering diversity  Pierrick Rollet  Sanofi  Scott Rogers  Takeda  Thought Leader Global  Unilever 

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What’s the Latest Thinking on Effective Partnering in Sales & Distribution? Veteran Sales & Distribution Expert Lawrence Walsh Shares with ASAP How to Improve Channel Structure, Performance & Value

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One in four resellers worldwide, and a third in the U.S., have fired a vendor, and “half of all value-added resellers (VARs) selling products as a cloud service aren’t satisfied with how their vendors listen to and act upon their feedback,” according to a ZS Associates study cited by Dede Haas, CA-AM, in her Q3 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine article, “Optimize Your Channel through Trust-Based Relationships.” Vendors often are just as unhappy, complaining about underperforming partners, inconsistent sales, and unreliable resellers, according to Lawrence Walsh, CEO and chief analyst at The 2112 Group a new ASAP Corporate Member. Walsh explains why—and talks about how to improve channel structure, performance, and relative value—in this week’s ASAP Netcast Webinar, “The Channel Is Not the Best Route to Market but It Can Be.” 

Walsh, a veteran journalist, analyst, and consultant specializing in information technology channel sales, is the latest expert to explore this topic with the ASAP community. Two articles in the Q3 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine and several recent ASAP Netcast Webinars have delved into the convergence and complementary skills of alliance and channel management. 

Previous webinars and articles have explored how the channel demands more collaborative and reciprocal relationships—to be treated as genuine business partners, each of which has distinct and sometimes unique requirements for a successful relationship. Smart vendors take this to heart, according to Mary Ellen Grom, vice president of U.S. marketing at SYNNEX, a Fortune 250 business technology distributor, who co-presented “A Changing Channel—The View from the Middle,” ASAP’s June 10 webinar. “We don’t move boxes—we are a trusted advisor, here to take partnerships to a whole new level,” Grom explained. 

In his July 23 ASAP Netcast, “Move from Capturing to Creating Demand in Your Partnerships,” presenter LaVon Koerner, chief revenue officer at Revenue Storm, emphasized that across industries the sales function is undergoing a profound transformation. As a result, advanced partnering skills are fast becoming essential to sales and customer relationships—and alliance managers must increasingly focus on proactive value creation with partners and end customers. “Now our customers are demanding Insight from us,” Koerner said. Don’t give us more data. Don’t give more information. Give us insight, take our minds to places we’ve never been, help us draw lines of connection we’ve never drawn.” 

What happens when alliance executives bring their partnering skills to bear in the sales and distribution channel? Two partnering veterans from Verizon presented their perspectives during the September 16 webinar, answering “What in the World Are Two Alliance Professionals Doing in the Channel?” 

“The ways alliance managers can add value to channel relationships is huge—we bring that expertise and experience into the relationship,” explained Leona Kral, CSAP, who has transitioned several times between alliance and channel roles, currently serves as channel alliance manager, global channel sales, for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, and also is president of ASAP’s Tri-State Chapter.

“Alliance knowledge supports the concept of partnership, shared objectives, where channel development is more focused on immediate near term sustainable revenue and profitable growth for both partners – all going to be 100% relative to what your company’s focus is, what your partners’ focus and strategy is, and where the two come together to make that old 1+1+3,” added Kral’s colleague and co-presenter Karen Robinson, CSAP, a global strategy and integration exec for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. 

Walsh’s webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 4 joins this year’s three previous channel-related webinars now archived in the ASAP Member Resource Library, available for free to ASAP members (nonmembers can access for a fee). You can view these events on demand, as well as explore more on the topic of partnering in the channel in the Q3 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine, which includes the article by Haas as well as our Alliance Champion profile of Verizon’s Leona Kral.  

Tags:  Channel alliance managers  Dede Haas  global channel sales  Karen Robinson  LaVon Koerner  Lawrence Walsh  Leona Kral  Mary Ellen Grom  Revenue Storm  SYNNEX  The 2112 Group  VARs  Verizon Enterise Solutions 

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The Benefits of Sponsor and CRO Collaboration—from Leveraging Innovation to Sharing Patient Information

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Saturday, October 17, 2015

For many years, Contract Research Organizations (CROs) have sought to move beyond their role as fee-for-service providers and branch out into strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies. These emerging services alliances pattern to some degree the partnerships that pharmaceutical companies form with biotech firms and with each other—but there are differences too. This CRO/Sponsor evolution became a talking point on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference in the session “Enabling Innovation and Value Creation in Sponsor/CRO Collaborations.” Moderated by Doug Williams, business development consultant at BioDigital, the discussion addressed the benefits in two partnering mini-presentations: Covance/Eli Lilly and Company and EMD Serono/Quintiles.

 

In 2008, Lilly and Covance created a groundbreaking 10-year strategic agreement that spans the drug development process, explained Andrew Eibling, CSAP, global vice president and alliance manager at Covance, about the history of the partnership.  “It involved working across the spectrum and various silos of drug development.”

 

Today, Covance has a highly successful cardio vascular partnership with Lilly. At the beginning, it required lots of fine-tuning, because in the rush to get started, they missed out on some crucial steps, recalls Jay Turpen, senior director of clinical laboratory operations at Lilly.

 

“First, we got the right people together to frame out how we were going to work together. It’s so crucial to invest in defining the process: how to communicate, what hand-offs look like, handling escalation. There were skeptics from both companies, so we took time and invested in kaizan events to determine the likely areas where there was the most friction in the program, and invested proactively in those areas,” he added. “Creating a culture of one team with one approach and applying alliance management was successful, and we were able to enroll the study in less than … the scheduled 24 months, and it was 98-99 percent clean through the process.”

 

Then there was a second added valuepartnering on laboratory research. “What’s in the best interest of both Lilly and Covance as we build this new lab system? What information is in our mutual interest?” they asked. “We got literally thousands of people working on these alliances. There needed to be common linkages across those silos,” Turpen added. The central labs group started a unique rewards recognition program. And they reached the point where they now pass patient information back and forth.

 

The final results? “Lilly’s CEO said that it was the best study the company has ever done. It was a high five, a best practice, a solid metric for what a great job that team did,” said Eibling.

 

In the case of EMD Serono/Quintiles, Quintiles’ clinical development division wanted a CRO who got involved early in clinical stages sitting at the development table. The companies also were looking for processing standards, high benchmarks, and most of all, innovative minds at the boardroom table. They signed a partnership with EMD Serono in 2013, and the CRO became a partner in drug/biosimilar development.

 

“Clinical development is challenging because how do you persuade patients and physicians to join a trial? Or are you going to fall back on biosimilar drug development?” Those were some of the key questions raised by Raymond Huml, DVM, executive director of strategic drug development and head of global biosimilars strategic planning at Quintiles Biosimilars Center of Excellence, and Louk Pechtold, CA-AM, directoralliance management biosimilars, in the biosimilars unit at Merck Serono SA. 

 

Biosimilars are follow-on copies of originator medicines made from living tissues (e.g., monoclonal antibodies). The question of biosimilar drug development is increasingly important because by 2020, some $100 billion of original biological medicines will lose intellectual property protection.

 

They also addressed the question of how alliance managers factor into drug/biosimilar development. “We have upper management, middle level, and closer-to-the-ground alliance management. There are alliance managers that look over entire portfolios, but at the end of the day, you need someone who understands the differences or subtleties. And there are differences with biosimilars,” explained Pechtold.

 

“The main value in collaboration is leveraging innovation from one partner to another,” Huml added. Regulatory experience is a plus, and having a global reach can be an advantage. “Those with experience working with multiple companies also have an advantage over one-on-one,” he concluded.

Tags:  Alliance Management  Alliance Managers  alliances  biotech  Collaboration  Contract Research Organizations  Covance  CRO  drug/biosim  Eli Lilly and Company  intellectual property  Louk Pechtold  Merck Serono SA  pharmaceutical companies  Quintiles Biosimilars Center of Excellence  Raymond Huml  strategic alliances 

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Can Your Partners Dance with the ASAP Stars? Perhaps It’s Time To Consider a 2016 Alliance Excellence Award Submission

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Submissions are being accepted through November 18, 2015 for the 2016 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards to be presented at the ASAP 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 awards are an opportunity for partners to strut their stuff, display innovative moves, and demonstrate leadership with new models and approaches. They are a way of honoring alliance programs for a range of advances—from social impact to increased revenue to advancements in the profession.

 

Corporations, mid-sized enterprises, start-ups, and public-private initiatives are welcome to submit in the following categories

 

The Individual Alliance Excellence Award is given to a company that has excelled in planning, implementation, and results for a single alliance. The alliance may be between two companies or multiple organizations in the category of small-to-midsize company alliance and/or emerging alliance. This year’s winners were National Grid and Earth Networks for their innovative alliance that brought weather monitoring stations and programs to communities and public school STEM programs in New England.

 

The Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility Award is for partnerships that make a profound, measurable, and positive social impact. The principal objective of the alliance is social impact, not profit—although profit, especially if used to fund program expansion, is not discouraged. The Dow Chemical Company and The Nature Conservancy received the award this year for a partnership that created a sustainability model that can be used by corporations integrating the value of nature into business decisions. 

 

The Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award is presented to a company using new, individual alliance management tools or processes that have an immediate and powerful impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management. These tools or processes are not comprehensive alliance programs but additions to existing alliance practice that address specific elements of alliance management, such as measurement, training, conflict resolution, general communication across-the-partner ecosystem, or similar facets of the discipline. Philips won the award for an innovative two-step approach to create a joint brand identity for a partnership. Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson received honorable mention.

 

The Alliance Program Excellence Award is given to organizations that exceed expectations by consistently implementing and managing alliance portfolios and demonstrating consistent success of those alliances over time. Winners build programs on creativity, efficiency, an integrated suite of processes, tools, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. Takeda Pharmaceuticals received the award for creation of its progressive Center of Excellence (COE). Bayer was given honorable mention.

 

The awards submission process has been further streamlined this year. For more information on the 2016 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards and how to submit an application, go to: www.asapweb.org/awards

Tags:  2016 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  alliance management  alliances  Bayer  Earth Networks  eco-systems  Janssen  National Grid  Philips  social impact  STEM  Takeda Pharmaceuticals  The Dow Chemical Company  The Nature Conservancy  tools 

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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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