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“We Need Partners—Fast!” Leveraging Partnerships to Respond to Paradigm Shifts

Posted By Michael J. Burke, Friday, November 15, 2019

For old established companies, responding and adapting to market changes and shifts in technology and consumer buying behavior can be especially difficult. When the old ways of doing business no longer bring in the revenue they once did and the once-revered firm struggles to maintain its top market position, entrenched internal processes and stagnant thinking can lead to a steady decline—or worse, an “extinction event” that topples the old behemoth.

            That might have been the case for Philips Lighting, which was spun off by Philips in 2016 with a new name, Signify (but still uses Philips branding for hardware products). Philips began its life in 1891 as Royal Philips, and was a market leader in lighting for at least a century thereafter. According to Ivo Rutten, vice president and head of global strategic alliances for Signify, the history of lighting amounted to approximately “110 years of tranquility followed by four major paradigm shifts in two decades.” He made these and other observations as part of his keynote address on the second and final day of the ASAP European Alliance Summit held Nov. 14–15 in Amsterdam.

            He even went so far as to compare these paradigm shifts to “the meteors that killed the dinosaurs.” The four paradigm shifts were the advent of LED lighting, lighting systems, services centered around lighting, and “light as a language,” involving the increasing use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

            A company whose main business was ordinary consumer lighting found that this line of business was no longer so important. “Everything the company was based on was wiped away,” Rutten acknowledged. So in order to deal with these successive meteor strikes—and not to end up as dead as the poor dinosaurs—Signify realized that it “needed partners—fast.”

            And it was all very well to develop new lighting systems, services, and IoT applications and move into B2B. But to get businesses to buy and install them? IT managers at companies would say, “Philips? In my network? No way. I’ll be hacked.” Philips/Signify had no credibility in this area, so it had to seek out partners that would help it gain entry.

            A big one was and is Cisco, which could help with its own reputation in IT to pave the way. Now Signify could say, “You won’t be hacked—just ask Cisco,” Rutten said. Cisco’s credibility in network hardware and Signify’s lighting expertise combined to make a unique and appealing value proposition.

            But in order to partner effectively, Signify had to learn and develop a number of partnering best practices. Among the most important, according to Rutten:

  • Establishing clear objectives for the alliance—e.g., additional growth, alliance-attributable revenue, access to a channel, improved technology
  • Ensuring alignment in both companies, or as Rutten said, “Nail it tight”
  • Set up rigorous processes to run the alliance
  • Get “everyone on the bus” by incentivizing the sales force

Added to these must-haves, Rutten said, were a number of key insights, including:

  • An alliance is not necessarily a “regular business relationship” and may be relatively nontransactional
  • There should be a combined value proposition
  • Both companies must benefit beyond normal business returns
  • The financial impact—and the risk—may go well beyond normal business
  • Partners need to be continually aligned and realigned—which means explaining and re-explaining the what, why, and how of the alliance, internally and externally
  • The alliance should have similar importance to both parties
  • Local sales forces in both companies should become self-motivating

Although not purely transactional, it’s a reality that in an alliance each party must give and get, or as Rutten said, “Their contribution must match our needs.” He noted the importance of creating a balanced first-draft term sheet—“our end and your end”—and putting it in front of the partner before moving on to a dialogue and working out differences, aligning objectives, etc.

            As in other companies, the governance structure of significant alliances involves three tiers: day-to-day alliance management, decision making by a joint steering committee, and C-level interaction by the heads of both companies.

            Such principles and practices are important enough in a one-to-one alliance, such as with Cisco, but even more so when multiple partners are involved, as in the Philips HUE ecosystem, which blends security, lighting automation, the setting of events, tasks, and routines at home, a user-friendly interface that responds to voice or phone commands, and full integration into a smart home.

            To make HUE operational, an ecosystem was needed, involving many partners including Apple, Amazon, Nest, and Bosch, as well as more than 50,000 third-party developers who have so far put up over 900 apps on the Android and Apple platforms. As Signify and its many partners move forward, more use cases will be identified and the whole ecosystem will become an expanding universe—at least until the next meteor hits.

Tags:  alliance management  ASAP European Alliance Summit  B2B  c-level  ecosystem  integration  Internet of Things  IoT applications  Ivo Rutten  joint steering committee  one-to-one alliance  partners  Philips Lighting  platforms  Royal Philips  Signify  strategic alliances 

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Collaborating at Digital Transformation Speed: Report from the ASAP Tech Partner Forum, Part Two

Posted By ohn W. DeWitt, Monday, June 19, 2017

When I think of digitization, disruptive technologies, and the blistering pace of change, I understand that it impacts companies of all sizes. But, like many folks I’m guessing, I have this image in my head of nimble hotshot startups headed by 26-year-olds causing all the disruption and driving all the innovation. But of course, that’s not the case at all—tech industry giants like Cisco and Intel, and leading storage solution players such as NetApp, “aren’t young companies,” noted Erna Arnesen, CSAP—NetApp is 25 years old, Cisco 30, and Intel 40. But they are in the thick of driving digital transformation through ecosystem partnering with a diversity of players, from startups to decades-old tech firms to an increasing number of vertical industry operational technology companies.

We were talking with Arnesen last Thursday, the morning after the inaugural ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Santa Clara, Calif. (see Part One of our coverage http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/278261/Collaborating-at-Digital-Transformation-Speed-Report-from-the-ASAP-Tech-Partner-Forum-Part-One). On the conference line with me and ASAP Media Managing Editor Cynthia B. Hanson, Arnesen was joined by Gregory Burge, CSAP, a consultant and immediate past president of the Silicon Valley Chapter, Citrix alliance executive and current chapter president Ana Brown, CA-AM, and Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, and Ann Trampas, CSAP, both of Phoenix Consulting Group.  Where we left the conference recap, Arnesen and colleagues had just described the very effective opening presentation by two NVIDIA executives.

Now we were discussing the three established tech leaders represented in her panel discussion focused on “Strategies You Need to Partner Everywhere” the previous morning. Arnesen, a familiar face in Silicon Valley and ASAP for many years, moderated a discussion among Steen Graham, general manager, IoT ecosystem/channels, Internet of Things Group, Intel Corporation, Maria Olson, CSAP, VP of global and strategic alliances at NetApp, and Andres Sintes, Cisco’s global senior director, partner GTM, digital transformation & IoT. The three talked about how their large organizations are making key strategic shifts and embracing “the importance of these large-scale, multi-partner, broader ecosystems,” Arnesen said.

One “back to the future” theme that emerged: verticalization driven by engagement with operational technology (OT) companies. The panel delved into the shift required to move beyond partnering with traditional partners. “As the Internet of Things [IoT] and digitization have transformed partnering, the operational technology players who didn’t come from the IT world are really the players that we are engaging with IoT and a lot of these other disruptive technologies,” Arnesen explained.

Panelists emphasized that “multi-partner engagement is key because of the complexity and size of digital transformation solutions,” Watenpaugh commented—and this raises many strategic questions for companies and their strategy and partnering leaders to sort through now. “To do these at scale, you’re going to market as an ecosystem of partners. The verticalization discussion was interesting—are companies really verticalizing? The operational technology companies have specific industry expertise but often lack the IT expertise. So are we going back to the future with verticalization—for example, with vertically oriented VARs [value-added resellers]? Are horizontal partners going away or rendered less relevant because we are leading with vertical applications?”

Definitive answers are still being determined—but even amidst unprecedented change, the “80/20 rule” applies. “The panel emphasized that you’ve still got to focus on your bread-and-butter [that drives] 80 percent of revenue while you’re doing these innovative partnerships. In the midst of SaaS [Software-as-a-Service], you still need the edge devices, the sensors, and analytics. And you need to engineer the business processes and human interface—if there is one,” Watenpaugh said. “This requires tight integration and coordination of these components, and it needs to be simplified so that it is digestible and repeatable.”

Burge added that he was intrigued when Steen Graham brought up an interesting new concept—“the IoT aggregator”—in the context of this discussion. The aggregator bundles these solutions so they can be deployed repeatedly and at scale.

Many of the themes continued into the next presentation by Karen Dougherty, vice president of channel and alliances at GE Digital, Brown recalled.  Dougherty’s presentation, “Building a Thriving Ecosystem: GE Digital's Partner Journey,” walked attendees through recent developments at a company that predates the 20th Century. “I thought her presentation was super strong—really effective,” Brown noted. “I liked it for two reasons. At events like ASAP’s Tech Partner Forum, I find it really valuable to learn about what multinational conglomerates, like GE, are actually doing. We learned from Karen Dougherty how they’ve taken a 125-year-old company and pivoted to the conceptual era of software-defined business intelligence and big data analytics with Predix, a cloud-based PaaS [Platform-as-a-Service] that enables industrial-scale analytics—asset performance management [APM]—and has been a key component in building and managing the company’s ecosystem partnerships.”

Arnesen chimed in to agree with Brown’s assessment. “She gave us a lot of information. Her division alone is 28,000 employees at GE Digital, and hiring another 20,000 by end of year. … GE built Predix, this platform of its own, and calls it a ‘purpose-built platform for industry.’ Consider that they are driving a lot of the change in traditional industrial companies. They called it the ‘digital industrial blueprint.’ It takes big players with deep pockets to do this,” Arnesen noted.

“Karen Dougherty’s presentation was so rich, talking about enabling productivity around industrial assets using Predix, which interacts with physical assets—asset performance management and operations optimization providing a way to connect machines, data, and people,” Brown continued. “She shared a real-world renewable energy example involving wind turbines, using the capabilities of the software to predict that something’s going to go wrong—an example using an industrial asset that will be more and more relevant in the next few years because of the worldwide efforts to combat climate change. Dougherty was crisp and, from tech perspective, so interesting,” she enthused.

Dougherty also touched on the impact of all the data now being collected via the industrial Internet, noted Trampas. “In her Schindler example, they can now answer the question, ‘How many people are there on the escalator at Union Station at the middle of the day?’ And they can sell this data, which is a new business for people like Schindler,” Trampas added.

At this point, we have only gotten to lunch—this just completes our recap of the morning’s presentations. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part One of ASAP Media’s recap of the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum at http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/278261/Collaborating-at-Digital-Transformation-Speed-Report-from-the-ASAP-Tech-Partner-Forum-Part-One. Stay tuned for more ASAP Media coverage of the conference, including the forthcoming Part Three of this series, where we’ll discuss topics and insights from afternoon sessions, including “Customer Experience Is the New Competitive Battleground” presented by Tiffani Bova of Salesforce. 

Tags:  Andres Sintes  asset performance management  broader ecosystems  Cisco  digitization  disruptive technologies  ecosystem  industrial Internet  Intel  Internet of Things  IoT  Maria Olson  multi-partner engagement  NetApp  operations optimization  partnering  partners  Steen Graham  strategic shifts  verticalizing 

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‘It’s About the Relationships, Stupid’—Finding the Fullest Potential and Meaning in Your Partnerships

Posted By Geena B. Richards and Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Maria Olson, CSAP encouraged her audience to reach their full potential in business alliances during an inspirational talk at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Part­nering Enterprise,” Feb. 28–March 2, at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California. During one of four plenary  “Leadership Spotlights,” NetApp’s vice president of global and strategic alliances told her listeners, “You have a duty to understand your true potential. If you don’t, you are cheating yourself and stealing from the world.” She then then provided several tools for unlocking that “true potential.”

Olson will be providing more thoughtful advice for her fellow leaders as a panelist at the ASAP Tech Partner Forum to be held at NVIDIA in Santa Clara, Calif., next Wed., June 7, 2017. In an in-depth session moderated by Erna Arnesen, chief channel and alliance officer at ZL Technologies, Olson will join Steen Graham of Intel, and Andres Sintes of Cisco to discuss “Strategies You Need to Partner Everywhere.” http://www.asaptechforum.org/17/tech17sessions.html#everywhere

“It’s not about the tech, it’s about the relationships . . . Without the relationships, we would not have the success,” Olson emphasized in her March 1 plenary talk. “As partners, have we reached the full potential, or are we still on the journey?” she then asked the audience to consider. Partnerships are important, and if they can reach peak potential and performance, they can have an even larger impact, she added. To do so, consider four key questions:

  • What is the meaning of the partnership?
  • What is the purpose of the partnership?
  • What impact is this partnership having on our customers and the market?
  • What contribution is this having in terms of revenue, innovation, and to our society as a whole?

It can be approached like a mathematical equation, Olson said: “You need to understand the meaning, purpose, contribution, and impact. When you understand these things, it will ultimately lead to success.” Ask yourself, “What was the meaning of this partnership? It was really about creating value for the customer,” she then answered. “The purpose was flexibility—being able to bring together pieces to make it easy for the customers. The impact it has had is innovation.”

Now consider multi-alliances, she continued. “Trying to work with two partners is hard, but with each new partner, it gets harder and harder. The multiplier effect is like partnering with an earthquake. You have a Richter Scale going on of 10.” To organize and assess many partnerships, she advised following these key points:

  • Have key performance measures in place to measure partner success
  • Measure revenue in terms of go-to-market initiatives
  • Consider how the company is performing in terms of training and enablement with channel partners
  • Make co-innovation a priority

With each relationship, applying these points will bring greater alliance success, Olson said. “The key to relationships is trust. . . . Trust is extra important in terms of being able to partner with companies and go back to the meaning, purpose, etc. Without trust, one cannot create greatness,” she added.

“So how do you help your teams understand their full potential? The Cisco/NetApp partnership is about 10 years old, and we’re still reaching our full potential,” she concluded, and then she hinted at one last secret ingredient for the sauce: “What really drives people is learning, really trying to learn how to do things in a friendly environment.”

Learn more about the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum, an all-day event for senior tech and partnering executives hosted by NVIDIA at its corporate HQ in Santa Clara, Calif., at www.asaptechforum.org

Tags:  Andres Sintes  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  Cisco  co-innovation  contribution  Erna Arnesen  go-to-market  High Tech  inpact  Intel  Internet of Things  IoT  Maria Olson  multi-alliances  NetApp  NVIDIA  Partner success  partnerships  Steen Graham  trust  ZL Technologies 

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New ASAP Corporate Member Larsen & Toubro Infotech Offers Diverse Avenues for Partnering, Including India’s Smart Cities

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This is the first in a series of blog posts welcoming seven new corporate members into the ASAP fold. Larsen & Toubro Infotech (L&T Infotech) is a publicly listed company with a presence in more than 20 countries and close to one billion dollars in revenues. Its parent company is L&T Infotech, a construction & engineering conglomerate with $16 billion in revenues headquartered in India with a strong presence in the Middle East and Asia. L&T Infotech is also a major player in India’s smart cities program, where it has held several key partnerships with industry leaders. Company representative Giri Rajaiah, vice president of digital transformation, provided the following information about L&T Infotech’s goals as it takes the leap into corporate membership.

 

What inspired your team to join ASAP at the corporate level?

L&T Infotech is an IT and digital services organization that has been servicing global enterprise clients for 20 years. The company works with different technology vendors across the IT and digital services spectrum, such as Microsoft, CISCO, Amazon Web Services, IBM, HP, Dell, etc., several of which are ASAP global members. The company recently joined ASAP at the corporate level so that our newly established and institutionalized global alliance team can benefit on best practices in the industry, learn from others, and network with peers as we build our ecosystem of partners.

 

How do you anticipate ASAP benefitting you and your team?

We expect to benefit from membership in multiple ways. The most significant areas that come to mind are:

  • Networking with peers
  • Networking with technology and digital services vendors who are looking for global partners
  • Learning industry best practices
  •  Participating in alliance-related events, conferences, summits, and local chapter meetings to improve our educational base
  • Benefitting from valuable partnering information published in Strategic Alliance Magazine, the ASAP E-news, blog posts, webinars, research studies, and other ASAP media offerings

Is there anything else you want fellow members to know about L&T Infotech at this time?

We are in the process of incubating a startup ecosystem within the organization, mostly based in India, and are willing to entertain any upcoming technology disruptors. Our key alliance and partnership interests are in the Internet of Things, cloud technologies, digital solutions companies, artificial intelligence, IT and robotic process automation, and startups.

Tags:  best practices  Cloud technologies  Giri Rajaiah  Internet of Things  IT and digital services  L&T Infotech  Larsen & Toubro Infotech  networking  partnering  smart cities  startup ecosystem 

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ASAP European Alliance Summit To Provide ‘Extensive Content’ to Expanding Number of Participants

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What was just around the corner begins tomorrow, one of Europe’s most advanced educational business opportunities the 2016 ASAP European Alliance Summit. Held at London’s exquisite Royal Garden Hotel near Kensington Gardens, “The New Ecosystem for Partnerships” is being jointly sponsored by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals and Thought Leader Global.

The number of attending alliance managers and partnering practitioners is expected to double as compared to last year, providing ample opportunity to network. “This year’s ASAP European Alliance Summit is highly international and diverse with more than 100 participants confirmed so far,” said Ariann Ignati, operations manager at Thought Leader Global, which is known for arranging business media and events for senior management in multinational enterprises. “We have extensive content and presentations from the life sciences, IT, manufacturing, and many other industries,” including energy, smart cities, biopharma, engineering, chemical, and consumer goods.

An international contingent of around 30 progressive business thinkers from more than 15 countries will provide some of the most cutting edge information in their industries during two streams of programming. Presenters will cover the topics of cross-sector alliances, joint ventures, innovation, and ecosystem partnering; discuss in-house case studies; delve into the impact of the cloud, Internet of Things, and digital systems, among other topics. Session topics range from Google’s “An Alliance Built on Culture” to Facebook’s “New Partnership Models in a Digital Landscape,” Siemens Technology to Business’s “Innovation, Disruption and Partnerships within the Startup Ecosystem,” Ipsen’s “Developing an Onboarding Process for Alliances/Partnerships,” Janssen Business Development’s “Making your Alliance Global: Having a Global Approach for Managing Alliances,” and many more. Click here for an expanded list of of session and speaker information.

Sessions will be provided by heads of alliances and joint ventures, corporate partnering experts, and business development specialists, as well as alliance, JV, and partnership departments from companies such as IBM, Bayer, Facebook, Takeda, Philips, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Renault Nissan, Google, Deutsche Telekom, Unilever, GE Oil and Gas, Shell, DONG Energy, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Syngenta, Huawei, Ericsson, Servier Monde, Janssen, Oracle, the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation, and New Generation Leader.

“It’s a critical time in alliance management as it adapts and grapples with the changing landscape of the emerging multi-industry ecosystem,” said Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president & CEO of ASAP. “This is an opportunity to jump in and hear from some of the biggest movers and shakers in their industries on how their companies are breaking from the pack to collaborate in innovative and adaptive ways as the Internet of Things impacts their partnering.”

Leonetti plans to attend the Summit, opening the event by making himself available to anyone interested in finding out how ASAP membership and best practices can enhance your business practices. Those who arrive early will have the opportunity to take the ASAP Certification of Achievement-Alliance Management (CA-AM) Prep Workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

For more information and an expanded list of offerings, go to: http://www.strategic-alliances.org/?page=eurosummit

Tags:  2017 ASAP European Alliance Summit  alliance  alliance managers  cloud  cross-sector alliances  digital systems  Ecosystem  ecosystem partnering  innovation  Internet of Things  joint ventures  partnering  Partnerships  Thought Leader Global 

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