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Intel’s Jonathan Ballon on Partnering and the Internet of Things: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Ever Been a Better Time to Be an Alliances Professional”

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson & John DeWitt, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

You arrive at work one day to discover the plaque on your door changed overnight from Manager and Entrepreneur to Creator and Visionary. Welcome to the new world of alliance management, where the Internet of Things is injecting radical change into the old job description. That’s the wake-up call Jonathan Ballon brought with this year’s opening keynote address, Partnering: The Connective Tissue of the Internet of Things, on Tuesday afternoon, March 1. This year’s ASAP Global Alliance Summit is being held just outside the US capital, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. USA.

Ballon’s presentation exemplified and magnified the Summit theme of “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem.” Describing what he called The IoT for Life, Ballon says the new speed, scope, and scale of partnering will require never-before-seen levels of innovation, creativity, bold experimentation, and the ability to learn quickly, iterate strategies, try new models for value creation, and deliver and capture within new solutions.

“It’s happening now, in real time, so you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and crafting your ideal ecosystem strategy,” Ballon told the rapt audience of several hundred partnering executives.

The IoT is driving change on a massive scale, and offers the potential of improving billions of lives by harnessing data collected from sensors attached to objects and turning this data into problem-solving solutions, says Ballon. This is not coming around the bend, he emphasized; the future has already arrived with remote patient monitoring benefiting patients and providers. Widen the lens, and the potential becomes enormous in areas such as agriculture, security, environmental protection, and more.

Ballon noted that partnering of this type is a profound shift for Intel, traditionally a vertically integrated company. And it’s simply quite difficult to do well, he said. “Personally I’ve been experiencing a lot of challenges around partnering in this new IOT world,” Ballon acknowledged. Specifically, he said, partnering in the rapidly exploding IoT ecosystem is different than traditional partnering in four key ways:

  • Business and partnering models are being created in real time
  • Partners often aren’t the “usual suspects”
  • Partnering is occurring at an exponentially faster speed and scale
  • Experimentation and learning are the focus at this juncture in the development of IoT ecosystems

To be successful in this new IoT ecosystem requires rethinking the role of partnering and making it integral to your business model—and embracing that your role as a partner will vary, even if you are used to being the orchestrator of your ecosystem. 

“Roles you play can change from opportunity to opportunity,” explained. “Some customers expect Intel to step up and be that back to pat. Other times we’re standing behind a systems integrator.” The most important thing, he says, is having “the agility of a school of fish” when you are aligning your ecosystem around the unique demands of each customer.

The Internet of Things is already here, but Ballon noted that many challenges of partnering in the ecosystem remain to be solved—including the fundamental economics of compensating multiple partners (and your sales forces, for that matter). “Sharing in the rewards of your customer value proposition—how do you value, calculate it, and pay for it. When you’re monetizing a service and checks need to go to other parties, I don’t’ think anyone has figured it out yet,” he said.

“One thing is certain: coopetition is the new norm,” Ballon said in describing the complex partnerships that come together around every IoT solution Intel rolls out. “There’s not a single case where there’s a clear line between what we and a partner does. We deal with this every day. The rubber meets road with sales force in the field. It’s a very trick thing and it requires the right compensation models with sales force to support these types of [partnering].”

Generally, Ballon said, expect the unexpected. “Not everything is going to be well programmed from the get go.”

The audience peppered Ballon with questions at the conclusion of his presentation. One executive generated chuckles when he asked, “How much of my partnering role will be automated?”

“Probably not much,” Ballon responded. “I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be an alliances professional because the opportunity presented before us, the IOT, is showcasing the value of this function. I would bet three years from now the number of people in this room will double.”

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliances  ASAP  Intel  IoT  Jonathan Ballon  partnering  strategy  systems integrator  Visionary 

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Collaborations Can Work Together To Find the Holy Grail in Health Care Problems: Dr. Mark Rosenberg Addresses a Rapt Audience at the ASAP Summit on How to Discover the Gold

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The “Holy Grail” in health care is the golden promise of being able to eradicate a disease, pronounced Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president and CEO of The Task Force For Global Heath, based in Decatur, Georgia. As the director of the Task Force’s Center for Global Health Collaboration, he described one effort after another where collaboration served as a key component in successful global health-related achievements during his talk at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA. Drawing on his co-authored work Real Collaboration: What Global Health Needs to Succeed” (University of California Press, 2010) and its “Partnership Pathway,” he outlined the necessary steps to developing large-scale, effective global health projects. 

The Task Force’s collaborations are particularly instructive for alliance managers because they involve multiple partners working on massive projects – global and regional agencies, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and other nonprofits. In his talk “Fostering Real Collaboration: Lessons from Solving Global Health Problems,” he covered a range of circumstances where large coalitions tackled major health issues – from smallpox and river blindness to pedestrian accidents. The room was still as he described how his own personal experience with a tragic accident in his neighborhood impacted his career a number of years ago. 

“A young woman runner had just been hit by a car. She had a tremendous head injury, so I started doing CPR,” he explained. “An ambulance came … [but] she died in my hands there on the street – she had two children waiting for her at home. It turned out she was the most famous runner in Atlanta – she had run 17 marathons.” 

Rosenberg sent pictures of the accident scene to a European colleague, who responded, “Your street is designed to kill people.” Rosenberg recounted the conversation with his friend: “There are no speed bumps at intersections. You can’t see those white lines. You also have red lights—red lights kill people. The only collisions that are fatal are high-speed collisions and when the light turns yellow, what do people do? They speed up—and in Atlanta, they speed up when it turns red,” Rosenberg added, cutting the tension of his powerful story. His colleague continued, “That’s what creates fatal crashes. In Sweden, we got rid of all red light intersections and reduced fatalities by 90 percent in road traffic injuries.” 

“More than 1.5 million people are killed on roads every year, but we can reduce crashes to zero,” Rosenberg colleague believes. The goal in Sweden today is to eliminate them altogether, and that required a coalition. They recognized it was a multi-faceted problem involving transportation, road building and construction, education, police, and almost every area of the public sector. So they started by involving Volvo, which declared in a campaign that by 2020, no one will be killed by road crashes. The effort grew to such a degree that the European Union adopted a standard to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2050. 

The experience led to Rosenberg’s involvement in establishing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. He became its first permanent director in 1994 and also worked with Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias to organize a coalition to address road traffic injuries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. 

All coalitions undergo a series of steps to become successful, he pointed out. “The most important part of the journey is how you manage the alliance. Make your meetings productive and manage in a way so that there is trust.” The biggest obstacle to success is the failure to do these five things: Define your goal, define your strategy, clarify your structure, your membership, your management, he concluded. 

Tags:  “Real Collaboration: What Global Health Needs to S  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliance managers  Center for Global Health Collaboration  collaboration  Dr. Mark Rosenberg  high-speed collisions  large coalitions  manage the alliance  The Task Force For Global Heath  Volvo 

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How Three Pharma Alliance Leaders Manage Shifting Partner Priorities and Other Challenges in Mature Alliances

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Wednesday, March 4, 2015

As alliances mature, partner priorities inevitably evolve over time—and partners’ commitment levels can diverge. A new licensing deal can be perceived as competing, and trust can undermine established relationship. Alliance execs can be challenged to restore alignment and avoid or manage challenges. Ron McRae, CSAP, director of alliance management at Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, led a panel discussion Wednesday morning, March 4, at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Orlando, Fla. USA. The discussion explored several commonplace scenarios that each panelist has grappled with, sharing guidelines and lessons learned in the process. 

One scenario explored the ramifications when “Company E” has a new deal that could be perceived as competitive to an alliance product jointly marketed with “Company F” for the past five years. Company F has expressed concerns about Company E’s commitment to the product and alliance—and fears potential leaks of confidential information to or by Company E’s execs working on the new product. Fundamentally, “it’s an issue of trust,” McRae said in teeing up this scenario for discussion. 

“There’s always a gray area,” responded Richard Wilson, executive director, global strategic alliances, business development and licensing, Novartis Oncology. “There’s obviously competition here—and when you talk to researchers in the organization, they just want to do what’s best. That’s one area where the alliance manager has to be there—and where the head of research couldn’t understand. That’s where firewalls need to be in place and the alliance manager needs to own that.” 

However, he continued, “Turns out, it was not a competing product. So lessons learned—I would have addressed early on that this isn’t a competing product. Don’t blow up things until you know the story. Yes, there are gray areas, but hopefully the contract will make these situations few and far between.” 

Gray Hulick, senior director, global alliance management, at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, focused on managing the new product announcement in a manner that protects the longstanding partnership. 

“As an alliance manager, you should be really connected with your deal team and know this deal is coming. What sort of communications plan can we put in place so our current partner understands what was announced?” she explained. “There’s a need for a pretty specific communications plan. The issue is, you can’t talk to your current partner about deal you’re about to announce. So in our case, the press release goes out in Japan at 2 a.m. Then, at 2:15 a.m., an e-mail communication goes out to the partner. Being transparent with that partner is really important.” 

When there’s a perception of an internally competing program, she added, “The instinct of most folks is to bury their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist,” she said. Instead, alliance executives should “encourage folks to discuss it outwardly, openly, and be transparent about it.” 

McRae weighed in, noting that “I certainly have dealt with this. We have to be mindful about how this is going to impact the partner. I like this concept: We implement some sort of a hotline [for our established partner], in anticipation of something that might be seen by them as a negative communication.” 

The panelists also discussed the importance of firewalls and guidelines for management of each partner’s proprietary information, as well as being careful with internal employee transfers to competing alliances. “If employees are coming from a competing alliance,” for instance, “they may not be able to share as much as you thought they could share,” McRae said. 

Some guidelines recommended by the panel: 

  • Disseminate cautionary instructions to both parties’ personnel who possess confidential/proprietary information
  • Avoid overlapping personnel
  • Contemporaneously record the independent development of alliances’ own products
  • Limit personnel access to meetings that include relevant presentations/discussions
  • Limit/generalize information that is captured in common databases
  • Closely limit and control electronic access, e.g. to team portal web sites where confidential information may reside
  • Review the firewall requirements annually by team—and as needed for new team members

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliance manager  competitive  CSAP  global alliance management  Gray Hulick  Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & John  Novartis Oncology  Richard Wilson  Ron McRae  Takeda Pharmaceuticals 

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2015 ASAP Summit Keynoter Dale Ketcham (Part 2): The New Space Industry Emerges—in Pursuit of Money, Not Just Glory

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

In the new millennium, the space industry is evolving again—radically—into much more competitive and much more collaborative industry. Space Florida has joined forces with a growing cadre of billionaire space entrepreneurs—Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson—who are fiercely competing not just for glory but for profits in space exploration. 

Of course, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and other giant contractors have always competed for space contracts—“the competition was fierce, but predicable and boring. We knew what the fight would look like before it occurred. Now we’re in a much more entertaining time,” with entrepreneurs who reject the industry’s historic approaches because “they think they can do it better,” said Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida, said to the visibly fascinated and audibly amused audience listening to his keynote March 3 at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. And, he reiterated, this new generation of space entrepreneurs believe they can make money—on space tourism, for instance. 

“Hundreds of people will pay $250,000 to go to space for a few minutes—there’s that kind of discretionary wealth in the world,” he said. “They see the business opportunity; it’s not a vanity project. And these guys, when they compete, are not predictable.” While these new players may collaborate with Space Florida, with other state governments, and with other nations vying to build space ports, competition for advantage on the final frontier is fierce, even vicious. SpaceX (Musk’s company) and Blue Origin (funded by Amazon founder Bezos) have clashed over the use of former NASA launch pads at Cape Canaveral. Eventually, Bezos proposed sharing the pad. “Musk said yes, but I think we’ll see unicorns dancing in the light of rocket launch flames before we see them working together,” Ketcham said to the guffaws of several hundred alliance and partnering executives in attendance. 

Ketcham then underscored just how exciting—but still exceptionally challenging—it is to be a player in today’s new space industry. For one thing, failure abounds and people will continue die in space exploration. But imagine, he said, not just space tourism, but the trillions of dollars of platinum and every essential materials that potentially can be mined from the asteroid belt. And the poor and underserved of the world even benefit. OTB—which stands for the “Other Three Billion” people on the planet without the network connectivity we take for granted—is “putting space technology to work for our fellow human beings” by seeding constellations of hundreds of satellites to deliver Internet service to remote areas of India and elsewhere. And imagine vertical ascent/descent space planes that can carry wealthy passengers or critical cargo from New York to Singapore or from Sydney, Australia, to Topeka, Kansas USA in less than one hour. 

“Really, we are on the doorstep of a lot that we saw on ‘The Jetsons’ and ‘Star Trek,’ Ketcham said, referring to popular American TV programs that envision human life in space. Space is again becoming a pivotal issue in U.S. presidential campaigns, for instance, and as a state government entity Space Florida finds itself in the interesting position of advocating (with enthusiastic support of space entrepreneurs and conservative politicians) for limited government regulation of the industry. 

Collaboration makes a difference on the ground too. In collaboration Florida’s state and federal legislators, the state’s tourism agency, and Bank of America, Space Florida financed a $60 million facility to house the retired Atlantis space shuttle. “Bank of America can only get their money back through ticket sales,” he said, “not from the state of Florida”—a far cry from the blank checks and guaranteed cost-plus contracts of the old space industry. 

But the romance and adventure of space that captured children’s imagination in the 1960s still endures in a much more fiscally savvy, entrepreneurial, and collaborative space industry. “I’ve been very interested in space programs since 1961 because my father worked on all of them. Fast forward 50 years and we have many more space cowboys—and cowgirls—working in the private sector on the space program,” noted ASAP Chairman of Chapter Development Brian Handley, CA-AM, who invited Ketcham to speak after seeing him on CNN and who introduced Ketcham this morning to the rapt Summit crowd. 

“Our plan is to become a civilization out there in space,” Ketcham said as he described how the Alliance for Space Development now is bringing together 14 different organizations including Space Florida that are committed to “making space part of our national charter—ideally our human charter.” He concluded that he doesn’t exactly know how alliances will work in practice in the frontier environment of space. But he is quite certain, he said, that “the future of space depends on collaboration.” 

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Boeing  collaborative  Dale Ketcham  Elon Musk  Jeff Bezos  Lockheed Martin  Raytheon  Richard Branson  Space Florida  space industry  SpaceX 

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2015 ASAP Summit Keynoter Dale Ketcham (Part 1): Private Sector Competition and Cross-Sector Collaboration Ignite the 21st Century Space Race

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

Just before my ASAP Media colleague Michelle Duga and I landed in Orlando Sunday night to attend the March 2-5, 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, our JetBlue pilot directed those of us seated on the left (east-facing) side of the plane to watch carefully—a rocket was about to take off from Cape Canaveral. Sure enough, within 30 seconds, what looked like a red-orange rose from the ground thousands of feet below, climbed in a fiery arc, and disappeared in the upper atmosphere. It was a nice harbinger of this morning’s keynote talk by Dale Ketcham—a second-generation veteran of the space industry that has sparked my imagination since I was a preschooler watching a small black-and-white screen as capsules orbited and astronauts bounded across the moon. 

Today’s space industry is very different—far more competitive and collaborative—than the government-led race into space that many of us grew up watching. That’s a very good evolution, according the feisty chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida, the tiny 30-person state agency that routinely tangles with giant and powerful players as it seeks to sustain and grow Florida’s historic role at the world’s foremost “port authority” for travel into space.

“Putting a man on the moon is the single greatest human accomplishment, at least in our world,” Ketcham explained. “But it created a template by which all future programs are judged—and that’s a terrible template.” Essentially, NASA got a blank check to defeat the Soviet Union in the space race—and it paid off, he said, but the effort was driven from the top down. That’s one reason it was so easy, once the public lost interest, for U.S. President Richard Nixon to kill the Apollo program in the 1970s, he added.

By the 1980s, the space shuttle program revived the space industry—and very importantly, when Canada began to contribute its technology for robotic space arms, it started a trend toward collaboration and away from a top-down, command-and-control industry. This collaborative trend has grown gradually but surely in the years since, first among governments, and then increasingly in the private sector. NASA prodded two of its giant private sector contractors—Lockheed Martin and Boeing—to work together on the shuttle. By 1996—in part, to ensure unemployed former Soviet scientists didn’t build rockets for rogue nations—NASA joined forces with former competitors in Russia for the international space station, now involving Japan, Brazil, and many European countries.

Necessity has been the driving force of this growing trend of space collaboration. Simply put, “we can’t do it without each other,” Ketcham said. Even today, despite the tremendous strain on U.S.-Russian relations, “the last part of our relationship that would break is in space,” he said. “We are going to be a space-faring species, so it’s important to know how to cooperate internationally.” 

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Cape Canaveral  Dale Ketcham  Lockheed Martin  NASA  space industry 

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