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Partnering the Future: Our Community’s Ahead-of-the-Curve Thinkers Pave the Path Forward

Posted By Michael Leonetti, CSAP, Monday, March 11, 2019
Updated: Saturday, March 9, 2019

Want to know what the future holds for your organization? Go to an ASAP conference or read ASAP Media publications. It’s been that way since the first ASAP Global Alliance Summit in 1999—but two decades later, at the 2019 Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it feels different. As the future of business rapidly unfolds before us in this partnering everywhere world, it seems our thought leaders are on the cusp of just about everything.

Last fall, I kicked off three conferences in three months on two continents, each time ticking off essentially the same list of trends that now are accelerating alliances and transforming how we partner. On Tuesday, March 12, I welcome alliance management’s best and brightest at the Summit’s opening and my list of game-changing topics remains pretty much the same:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) software learns to learn
  • Internet of Things (IoT) on the edge
  • Public cloud innovation
  • Cyber security, distributed trust, blockchain, data protection and privacy (in particular, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR)
  • Med tech, organ on a chip, and bio printing
  • Agile partnering and agile technologies
  • Consumers and their tools (social media) and immersive customer experience (CX)
  • Amazon and Alibaba

For alliance managers in biopharma, I also added the volatility of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the US—and healthcare costs everywhere; the co-pay accumulator and the consolidation of patient access; the inevitable convergence of e-services; the role of gene therapy as an economic change maker; digital therapeutics; and new antibiotic discoveries.  

Then, each time after I ticked off this list—at the ASAP BioPharma Conference in September, at the October ASAP Tech Partner Forum, and in November at the ASAP European Alliance Summit—I found myself sitting back in wonder, listening as speaker after speaker boggled my mind. Heading into spring at this month’s Summit—and heading into summer at the June 19, 2019 ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Santa Clara, California, hosted by Citrix Systems—the ride gets even wilder, and more relevant, current, and provocative.

We’ve had CEOs onstage talking about combining Cambridge, Massachusetts, life sciences and Silicon Valley technologies into software-based, FDA-approved therapeutics that replace pills. A global alliance manager who manages a $5 billion public-private partnership dedicated to accelerating the innovative medicines pipeline. Chief alliance officers from software, artificial intelligence, and robotics companies that are partnering at light speeds to automate everything they can, from clerical work and automobile driving to marketing, sales, and even alliance management itself.  

I was amazed to hear in an IoT session the back-and-forth between speakers and audience about regulatory efforts, like GDPR, to stick the data privacy genie back into the bottle. “What about privacy?” ChromaWay’s Todd Miller asked the panelists.  Scott Smith, founder of Fathym, surprisingly replied:

I think people will eventually give up privacy. Go back 100 years, when we all lived in small villages. We lived with no privacy whatsoever. I think that today's privacy issue grows out of [Orwell’s] 1984 and the ‘70s when we were concerned about Big Brother and the CIA, but I think in comparison with human history, today's concern over privacy is an anomaly. I think we’d be shocked at what they already know. … I was sitting next to a 20 year old when Snowden came out. She said, "I thought everyone already knew this.”

There’s a reason we’re so on top of things in the ASAP community: We’re in the middle of it. We didn’t have to do a dissertation on it (though we do have a plethora of PhDs in our ranks). We’re seeing, hearing it, living it every day. That’s why we build our leadership muscle—the topic of the Q4 2018 Strategic Alliance Quarterly cover story. We’ve got to be strong and flexible to pave the road to the future through our partnerships.

Ready for our next mind-blowing workout? Join me and attend at least one of the next three events already on the calendar in this year—the March 11-13, 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, the June 19, 2019 ASAP Tech Partner Forum, and the September 23-25, 2019 ASAP BioPharma Conference. You’ll return to your daily tasks with profound new insights—and a brain that’s just bulging with newfound leadership muscle.

Visit http://asapsummit.org for the most up-to-date agenda for March 11-13, 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, and register for the event, at. See the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive before, during, and after coverage of the 2019 Summit in Strategic Alliance publications and on the ASAP blog.

Michael Leonetti, CSAP, is president and CEO of ASAP and executive publisher of ASAP Media and Strategic Alliance publications. A previous version of this article appeared in Q4 2018 Strategic Alliance Quarterly.

Tags:  Agile partnering  Alibaba  alliance management  alliance managers  Amazon  Artificial intelligence (AI)  bio printing  blockchain  customer experience  Cyber security  distributed trust  GDPR  healthcare  Internet of Things (IoT)  Med tech  organ on a chip  Public cloud 

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Partnering and Digital Transformation, Part Two: A Preview of the June 7 ASAP Tech Partner Forum with Erna Arnesen, CSAP

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I’m back for Part Two of ASAP Media’s conversation with Erna Arnesen, CSAP, whom you can talk to yourself if you’re attending the Wednesday, June 7, 2017, ASAP Tech Partner Forum. Erna is a well-known and widely respected figure not just within ASAP but also in the high-tech community, where she’s been recognized as one of “Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence” by the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. Erna currently serves as chief channel and alliance officer at ZL Technologies and has been working with a team of fellow ASAP Silicon Valley Chapter leaders to launch the ASAP Tech Partner Forum, which is focused on how to “collaborate at the speed of digital transformation” and hosted by gaming processor board maker NVIDIA at its corporate HQ in Santa Clara, Calif.

Erna also is the facilitator of a pivotal panel discussion on “Strategies You Need to Partner Everywhere,” where she will be joined onstage by Steen Graham, general manager, IoT ecosystem/channels, Internet of Things Group, Intel; Maria Olson, VP of global and strategic alliances at NetApp; and Andres Sintes, Cisco’s global senior director, partner GTM, digital transformation & IoT. We ended Part One http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/277657/Partnering-and-Digital-Transformation-A-Preview-of-the-June-7-ASAP-Tech-Partner-Forum-with-Erna-Arnesen-CSAP of this article in the middle of Erna describing what she plans to discuss with her fellow panelists—and why these are urgent topics for technology partnering and strategy executives.

ASAP Media: The event theme focuses squarely on how partnering and strategy must evolve to keep pace with digital transformation. How do you and your panelists intend to approach this topic?

As high-tech companies work to evolve and transform the way both they and their customers do business, partnering strategy is more complex. It’s complicated because you need to work with more and more partners doing bits and pieces of the total solution. While the technology connections are often highly automated, the collaboration often is manual. So we’re trying to manage the partnerships of complex technologies, many things in business are being digitally transformed, but our ability to work with partners isn’t that developed yet. Maria Olson of NetApp will talk about that—how even with her largest alliance partners, like Cisco, a lot of the communication, such as exchanging information, sharing leads, and so on are not always being handled with sophisticated technologies.

Andres Sintes of Cisco is going to raise some of the critical questions involved when you are focused on the infrastructure behind partnering. How do you connect ecosystems and share tools when you are still using 20th century technologies? Are we the cobbler’s children? Why are we as partners sometimes lacking the technology?

Another, related line of discussion is the process of simplification. As people digitally transform their businesses, they need to figure out how to make the more complex systems simpler from an operational standpoint. Whether you’re involved in two-way or multi-partner collaborations, you still need to have this mindset.

From a strategy standpoint, what other issues are top-of-mind for your panel—and presumably other strategy, partnering, and channel executives?

Everyone on our panel wanted to talk vertical strategy. Are we moving back, or forward, toward a verticalized set of tools and solutions? We believe that many partners and shared customers do have unique vertical requirements, and all three of my colleagues will give some examples of where they see that effect. We’ll also tie that into the Internet of Things (IoT), where you’re working with partners that often are not even IT providers, but vertical suppliers that evolved into digital strategies forcing them to be more IT centric.

Also we hope to have some discussion about very large, complex digitization like Smart Cities. The technology is advancing to make the Smart Cities vision more feasible. Cisco has been talking about it and developing the vision for 10 years—again, it’s one of the verticals with opportunity.

Another theme is monetization. People throw around digital transformation and integration of IoT, but what’s the real return on investment (ROI)?  What’s the strategy for monetization for you and partners, and what’s the benefit for customers in terms of their ROI?

Our last theme will address the effects of digital transformation on the partnering strategy. What is the impact on the ecosystem of today and tomorrow?

This will be an in-depth, hour-long discussion. In a nutshell, what do your panelists hope participants will take away with them when they return to their jobs?

To partner at scale for digital transformation, companies really have to build out more of the IT infrastructure around their alliance partnerships. They also need to focus on a multi-partner approach, verticalization, and simplification. If I had to summarize the messages they will share, it will be along the lines of those four major elements.  Let’s see how the panel discussion unfolds, though, and what insights are in store for the audience.

Read more in Part One of our Q&A with Erna Arnesen discussing the June 7, 2017, ASAP Tech Partner Forum at http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/277657/Partnering-and-Digital-Transformation-A-Preview-of-the-June-7-ASAP-Tech-Partner-Forum-with-Erna-Arnesen-CSAP.  Learn more details about the event program at www.asaptechforum.org.  

Tags:  alliance partnerships  Andres Sintes  channel executives  Cisco  Digital transformation  ecosystem  Intel  Internet of Things (IoT)  IT infrastructure  Maria Olson  monetization  multi-partner collaborations  NetApp  partnering strategy  partnerships  simplification  Smart Cities  Steen Graham 

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Partnering and Digital Transformation: A Preview of the June 7 ASAP Tech Partner Forum with Erna Arnesen, CSAP

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Monday, June 5, 2017

A highlight of the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in San Diego was spending some quality conversation time one evening with Erna Arnesen, CSAP—a well-known and widely respected figure not just within ASAP but also in the high-tech community, where she’s been recognized as one of “Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence” by the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. Erna—who is chief channel and alliance officer at ZL Technologies—flew into San Diego and arrived at the Marriott Mission Valley in the late evening as I was chatting in the closed hotel bar with Greg Burge, CSAP, immediate past president of the ASAP Silicon Valley Chapter. She must have been tired, but the always-friendly Erna joined us and, at Greg’s prompting, recounted several experiences “back in the day” as one of the late Steve Jobs’ right-hand executives at NeXT (remember that very cool black workstation?). I asked her point-blank what the famously mercurial Jobs was like to work with. She recalled a number of times when Jobs was amazingly gracious—but had a different memory of the day Jobs got the news she was leaving the company for another position. (You’ll have to ask her yourself for the details.)

I caught up again with Erna this week upon her return from a European business trip. Her latest endeavor on behalf of the ASAP and high-tech community is helping to organize the Wednesday, June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum. Since January, she has been working with Greg and a core group of other leaders in ASAP’s Silicon Valley Chapter, including current chapter president Ana Brown, CSAP, of Citrix, Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, of Phoenix Consulting Group, and Jennifer Ames-Hoskins, CA-AM, from Microsoft, along with ASAP staff executive Diane Lemkin. The event—focused around how to “collaborate at the speed of digital transformation”—is hosted by gaming processor board maker NVIDIA.

Erna also is the facilitator of a pivotal panel discussion on “Strategies You Need to Partner Everywhere,” where she will be joined onstage by Steen Graham, general manager, IoT ecosystem/channels, Internet of Things Group, Intel, Maria Olson, CSAP, VP of global and strategic alliances at NetApp, and Andres Sintes, Cisco’s global senior director, partner GTM, digital transformation & IoT. I asked Erna to talk about how the ASAP Tech Partner Forum came about, and what she plans to discuss with her fellow panelists.

ASAP Media: How did the ASAP Tech Partner Forum come about?

We knew about how the ASAP BioPharma Conference got started a few years back. We thought we’d start with a one-day event that would be a Tech Partner Forum—something specifically centered in Silicon Valley, less time-consuming than a multi-day summit, primarily targeting the Bay Area but encouraging people outside the region to come, and catering to high-tech partnering and strategy. Our first choice for location was Silicon Valley, not San Francisco, which is a different audience.  Silicon Valley attracts established companies as well as startups and has the big hardware and software players—SAP, Google, NetApp, Cisco, NVIDIA, etc. The audience is robust and we have quite a few Silicon Valley Chapter members attending. I see this as our opportunity to support our local high-tech ASAP membership and as an opportunity to engage non-members and expand the visibility of ASAP through both speakers and participation of attendees we could attract.

You’ve got an impressive and diverse lineup of executives from leading tech companies on the program and specifically in your panel. How is the day organized and what topics are you planning to tackle in your session?

Our theme is the strategy for partnering in the era of, and with the speed of, digital transformation and the Internet of Things. When we planned the program, we split the overall event into three major pillars:  strategy, execution, and tools. In the opening session NVIDIA will talk about the speed of alliances—they are known for being a fast-moving partnering company. Then there’s the strategy panel that I am moderating.  In the afternoon, execution and tools is the last panel of the day, prior to a networking reception.

In our strategy session, first of all, the Internet of Things (IoT) is really important to understand. What’s the ecosystem and channel strategy of companies around IoT? Two of the three speakers are focused on this as their full-time jobs—Andres Sintes and Steen Graham work on behalf of their companies to build ecosystems with partners that are expanding their footprint in digital transformation and IOT. We will start out with how to define IoT, the speakers’ role in go-to-market (GTM) strategy, and what’s the collaboration model for multi-vendor, multi-partner collaborations—more than two partners coming together, which is often the case for IOT and digital transformation.

ASAP Media will preview other critical and challenging topics on the agenda at the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Part Two of our Q&A with Erna Arnesen. Learn more and register for the event at www.asaptechforum.org.  

Tags:  Andres Sintes  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  Cisco  Digital Transformation  Erna Arnesen  execution  Google  go-to-market (GTM)  Greg Burge  Internet of Things (IoT)  Jobs  Maria Olson  NetApp  NVIDIA  Partnering  SAP  Steen Graham  strategy  tools  ZL Technologies 

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