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‘If You Are Looking for Answers, You Are in the Wrong Session’: Finding the Value of IoT in the Brave New World of Mega-Multi-Partnering

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, June 27, 2016

Solving the challenge of partnering in the Internet of Things has become a major puzzle for even the most skilled alliance executives. It’s a complex Rubik’s Cube of possibilities with multiple cross-industry, interlinking combinations. 

Take, for example, Joan Meltzer, CSAP, IBM alliance executive for Twitter and former smarter cities go-to-market leader at IBM Analytics, and a 36-year veteran at IBM Corp.; Mary Beth Hall, director of product development for IoT at Verizon, where she has worked for the past 20 years; Tony DeSpirto, CSAP, managing director of strategic accounts at Schneider Electric.  These seasoned alliance leaders manipulated the Rubik’s Cube in a panel discussion moderated by Jan Twombly, CSAP, president of The Rhythm of Business, entitled “Capturing the Value of IoT” at the March 1-4 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit“Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. Here are some snippets from their provocative conversation: 

Joan: If you are looking for answers, you are in the wrong session. We are all good at managing our jobs one-on-one. If there is any area that companies can’t do it alone, it’s IoT. It’s very complex. We still need the discipline of alliance management and strategy, and we still need to think value creation and capture to put out the whole value chain—it’s how the partners are going to make money. 

Tony: Schneider Electric is focused on the industrial IoT. We are in the infrastructure of everything. What we are struggling with now is how do we make money in IoT? We see value in data, but it needs to be processed through analytics. How to value the partners you have is part of the equation.  

Mary Beth: Verizon has been a Telecom business for the last 20 years and is now shifting to a technology company. I am managing our ThingSpace platform [designed to simplify the development and launch of IoT applications]. How many people have an Apple watch or app for phone tracking health? That’s one example of how Verizon is making money. Think about a smart sneaker, a sensor in a sneaker that tracks cadence and whether you are hydrated. How do we proliferate that? Is Nike willing to allow us to put partners in their ecosystem that were competitors? Fitbit and MyFitnessPal are allowing potential competitors into that space. We as thought leaders in that space need to adapt to that. How do we do that? There’s not one player at the table any more, there are six or seven, and that is really changing the way we market things. 

Tony: We in this room are unencumbered by that to a certain degree. As alliance managers, we have an ability and obligation to seek out these new business models. Thinking of how we will make money in two or ten years, the ideas are not going to come from executive management. They are going to come from peers in the room. You need to say “yes,” and figure out how it will be done. For most executives, it’s an uncomfortable thing to turn that “yes” into a repeatable model. 

Joan: It’s like sitting at a table with an elevator and escalator company, and working with them together. The elevator manufacturer is about maintenance. With IoT, the elevator can connect with the escalator, and that’s a new revenue stream. The functionality evolves into our revenue stream. 

Mary Beth: We need to put it together for the customer. That is some of the challenge we have seen at Verizon. Partners and customers require treading on new ground for partnership models with the unique needs of customers in mind. For example, there is a winery on the West Coast. They need to be able to fertilize the ground. We are helping provide data for the soil. It’s not a hard thing for us as technologists, but it is for farmers who are not used to be in that data space. And they can in turn sell it to other wineries. 

Tony: How many of your companies have IoT initiatives? Our senior leadership is thinking about how they can make their numbers today, so it’s all the more incumbent upon us to blaze that trail and show them where that value is. The fundamentals of partnering don’t change. It’s still basic blocking and tackling. The people you are talking with might change, and the executive management of a company might need more partnering intelligence. 

Mary Beth: In terms of driving change at Verizon, I am in the product role. When the product was fully ready for customers, we would launch. Now we can’t do that. We’re moving from a command-and-control leadership to a more servant leadership. I’m in the product and new business group, and you’re going to see some cool stuff coming out of Verizon that you haven’t seen before.  

Joan: You need to figure out the whole chain to deliver the solution. We started to see that in the cloud. But there is a gap in the solution where we don’t always have access to the marketplace. 

Mary Beth: Sometimes it’s about looking at a new market in a new way. Putting things together in new ways to get leadership to buy into it. Show them a little bit of what it looks like. 

Jan: The fundamentals of partnering are the same, but how do you keep the same with six to seven partners? How do you make sure everyone is getting the value? 

Tony: The concept doesn’t change. I believe that when you try to get six to seven people to agree, it won’t happen. There will always be someone who will win and lose because of the complexity. When things are tough, I go back to the fundamentals, like let’s get together at least once a quarter. 

Mary Beth: We had to break the barrier between legally what we felt we could do and what the market was asking for. We said “We are going to open everything up, we are breaking down barriers.” We put in governance around the partners in that space, and they are partners that are reselling that service. But the complexity in IoT is still there. We are desperately trying to simplify it. We are not there yet. 

Joan: We are all about repeatability, but you have to have assets that are repeatable. With smart cities, we are able to package things up and periscope it. I expect the same thing to happen with IoT. But you may not be able to resell that solution. I hope next year we will be able to talk about repeatability because none of us can afford to be in an on-and-off business. 

Tony: We need to get our leaders out of the comfort zone. That’s what we get paid for. 

Joan: You need a really solid project manager who will require everyone to come together. Ask what’s hot? Healthcare, the automotive industry, airplanes—anything with asset management is very hot. 

Tony: With the industrial portion of manufacturing, the technology on the factory floor is 30 to 40 years old. That’s slowly opening up. There is money to be made in the data that is involved in manufacturing. That is a data rich environment. 

Mary Beth: Simplify the complexities with your partners, be innovative, and finally, don’t be afraid to go after something you think is there. 

Tags:  2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliance executive  Alliance Managers  data rich  IBM  innovative  IoT  Jan Twombly  Joan Meltzer  Mary Beth Hall  partnering  Partners  Schneider Electric  The Rhythm of Business  Tony DeSpirto  Verizon 

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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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Focusing on ‘Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,’ ASAP Issues Call for Topics and Presentations for 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference and 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference is once again shaping up to be the pivotal event of the year for partnering executives in health and life sciences. ASAP has issued its call for presenters and presentations for the event, which will be held Sept. 9-11, 2015 at The Revere Hotel Boston Common, and for the March 1-4, 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in National Harbor Maryland. 

In describing the focus of this year’s biopharma event, ASAP’s programs committee emphasized that the biopharma alliance executive’s job is more challenging than ever. “We lead increasingly complex and diverse collaborations spanning industries and sectors. As our industries relentlessly evolve and interconnect, success or failure—in a global ecosystem of pharma leaders, biotech innovators, service organizations, providers, agencies, academia, patient advocates, and more—now hinges on the adroit leadership of partnering executives.” 

The programs committee seeks a diversity of presentations on topics that address the challenges and opportunities facing today’s biopharma partnering executives and their organizations. Key questions that presenters are encouraged to address include: 

  • How we lead in a way that makes the difference? What does it take to be strategic and proactive—without losing a relentless focus on execution? How can we guide our organizations as they collaborate across boundaries—and operationalize brand new business models in an increasingly interconnected network of new and existing partners?
  • How can partnering executives seize opportunities and root out risks wherever we find them? How do we help our organizations “see around corners,” anticipate what’s next, and move forward confidently through continuously shifting business, societal, and regulatory landscapes.
  • What builds a rock-solid management foundation for partnering success? You can’t “wing it” with partnering and collaboration—so how can partnering executives utilize ASAP’s alliance management expertise, training, shared knowledge, certification, and community as key building blocks for their sustainable success.
  • How can partnering executives capture and deliver the value envisioned in every collaboration? 

The 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference will explore these and related questions, with the goal of helping partnering executives develop the perspective of visionary leadership and the expertise to act amidst uncertainty. Attendees at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference will enhance their management skills to engage stakeholders and integrate partnering throughout the business, fostering healthier outcomes for people and billions in stakeholder revenue for their biopharma organizations and ecosystems. 

It’s easier than ever to submit a topic for the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference—or for the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. There are even two submission processes—a simplified one taking less than five minutes, and a more detailed proposal that takes about 20 minutes. Click here and follow the directions for submission.

Tags:  2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference  2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  academia  agencies  Alliance Expertise  biotech innovators  Call for Topics/Presentations  Ecosystem  global ecosystem of pharma leaders  health and life sciences  Leadership  partnering executives  providers  service organizations 

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