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Partnering Goes Interplanetary—in the Pages of Strategic Alliance Magazine and onstage at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Wednesday, February 18, 2015

[Excerpted from the forthcoming Q1 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine]

 

What I enjoy most about the ASAP community is its raw intellectual rigor. It’s a real-life university on the leading edge of business practice—where the average grade is just 53%, based on success rates. It takes big thinking, by big thinkers—as well as professorial attention to the minutest detail—to succeed in the world of partnering, alliance management, and business collaboration.

 

Big ideas and the brains behind them converge in the pages of Strategic Alliance Magazine, at ASAP’s chapter and online events, and most powerfully at the annual ASAP Global Alliance Summit. As magazine publisher, moderator of many online events for ASAP, and frequent blogger on this site, I’ve gotten a good preview of what our community’s leading thinkers and practitioners will be talking about March 2-5 in Orlando. Two key discussion threads:

 

1. Strategy, sales, and revenue. Now partnering often gets its full due in “build, buy, or ally?” strategic decisions. But that puts alliance and partnering executives (many who also work in merger integration) on the spot: partnerships must deliver the goods and much more consistently fulfill their strategic intent. Yes, our well-developed alliance management practices and toolkits still matter, say Jan Twombly, CSAP, and Jeff Shuman, CSAP, Ph.D., in their January ASAP webinar and forthcoming summit session. But, they argue, our minds, skills, and tools must be leveraged much more strategically to improve our success managing mission-critical alliances, partner portfolios, and ecosystems. And what they say can be done. In one real-life case study about pushing alliance practice to that strategic level, Mission Pharmacal President Terry Herring will talk about restructuring a family-owned pharma company into a partnering—and sales—powerhouse.

 

Indeed, sales and revenue matter more than ever to alliance executives—and conversely, business development and sales are rapidly morphing into highly collaborative functions that require business skills long since honed by the alliance management profession. In recent ASAP webinars and Strategic Alliance Magazine articles, Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, and Dede Haas, CSAP, have honed in on the rapid convergence of practice between alliance and channel sales management—and Haas will join Ann Trampas, CSAP, to share their latest findings during a special 90-minute workshop at the summit.  

 

2. Entrepreneurial business models and complex collaborations. Multiparty and coopetition alliances, cross-sector partnering, ecosystem management, and other sorts of complex, multiplayer collaborative models come to the fore at this year’s summit. These aren’t just big concepts—we’re now in the thick of actually managing (with increasing sophistication) these highly complex and chaotic types of partnering models. Two keynotes and multiple summit sessions delve deeply into cutting-edge models and how they play out in practice. Talk about big thinking: How about multi-party, multi-sector, coopetition partnerships tackling global health challenges—and government partnering with entrepreneurs to send tourists and asteroid miners into space?

 

Partnering and alliance management are truly in the thick of the fray in business—and the prominence of our role continues to grow in our companies and organizations. That’s why learning and events in the ASAP community remain so vital and relevant to our daily work. We, the professors and student-practitioners of partnering and alliance management, must keep on our toes—with one eye on the big picture and one focused on each pixel. Or you can bet some really smart millennial or entrepreneur will be stomping our toes and filling our shoes.

 

About the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Held this year on March 2-5 at Hyatt Regency Orlando, the annual ASAP Global Alliance Summit is the world’s largest gathering of alliance, partnering, and business collaboration professionals. For more information or to register for this year’s summit, visit www.asapweb.org/summit. And be sure to visit this blog frequently during and after the Summit for the ASAP Media team’s live blog coverage of many event sessions.

Tags:  alliance management  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  collaboration  Dede Haas  Entrepreneurial  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  Norma Watenpaugh  partnering  Strategic Alliance Magazine  Strategy 

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Q4 Sneak Preview of Strategic Alliance Magazine: Cloudy Days Ahead—The Channel Manager’s Role Becomes Collaborative as High Tech’s ‘Third Platform’ Accelerates Disruption

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Thursday, October 23, 2014

The forthcoming issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine takes an in-depth look at the changing role of the channel manager in today’s high tech industry—a business landscape that can look very much like the 100-foot North Atlantic waves in the movie “The Perfect Storm.”  

 

“Many seasoned channel managers have remarked that while disruptive technologies come and go, they’ve never seen anything quite like this. This disruption goes to the heart of the business model of many technology companies, and those companies and channel managers who don’t adapt are doomed,” writes Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP and principal of Phoenix Consulting Group, in our feature titled “Disrupting the Channel, or: ‘How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cloud.’”

 

“To succeed, today’s channel executives must become savvy business managers—transitioning to new revenue models, finding new partners, and working collaboratively to understand and serve entirely new groups of customers outside of the information technology (IT) department,” writes Watenpaugh, citing Gartner data documenting “a tectonic shift in IT purchase decision making.” Twelve years ago, spending on IT outside of the IT department was only 20 percent of total technology spending. But by 2019, Gartner says, almost 90 percent of technology will be purchased by business lines, not the IT organization

 

“There are more buyer personas,” explains says Kristina Scott, manager of global channel marketing for Brocade, a data and storage networking company, and corporate member of ASAP. “Customers need the options explained in the language they understand.” Watenpaugh explains, “This means making the translation from technical benefits to business impact. These shifts are leading Brocade and other technology vendors to re-evaluate whether they have the right partners in their channel and what they can offer their current partners to gain new skills.”

 

Channel managers today increasingly must become savvy business managers who understand not just innovative and disruptive technologies, but also adaptive business models. Watenpaugh talks to IDC’s Steve White, program director of the Strategic Alliances Leadership Council at IDC, who says, “There are no rules! And failure doesn’t matter.” Reaction speed does matter, though. “Demand can be gone before you have all the planning done.”

 

Watenpaugh notes that the traditional start-up partnering model was to associate with big brand names to build credibility with customers. “Today, that may be a disadvantage,” according to White. “It is more important to find a likeminded partner with some synergy in the partnering opportunity and just go. Have some success or, if you fail, fail fast and move on.”

 

Learn more in the forthcoming Q4 2014 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine, available as a free benefit to all ASAP members.

Tags:  Brocade  channel manager  Gartner  IDC  Kristina Scott  Norma Watenpaugh  Phoenix Consulting Group  Steve White  Strategic Alliance Magazine 

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