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Equifax Walks the ASAP Awards Ceremony Red Carpet for an Unusual Alliance Management Program in the Consumer Credit Reporting Business

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, April 28, 2017
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017

It’s an opportunity for new perspective on the role of alliance management when an ASAP member forges untrodden turf. That’s what happened with Equifax, Inc., at this year’s annual Alliance Excellence Awards that took place 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. The US consumer credit reporting agency was presented the Alliance Program Excellence Award for its exemplary partnering program in an industry where partnerships and alliance business models are still emerging. The company exceeded expectations with its scalable practices, tools, and methodologies to support successful formation and management of alliance portfolios over time. The program is applicable for multiple alliances, is repeatable, and has led to consistent multi-alliance performance.

The Alliance Program Excellence Award is presented to a single, specific company and its partnering capability, not an alliance. Winners build programs on efficiency, creativity, and an integrated suite of tools, processes, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. I spoke with Joy Wilder Lybeer, senior vice president, enterprise alliances and insurance, about the changes that have occurred as Equifax, Inc. integrated the progressive program into the company structure.

What prompted you to look into partnering in an industry where you don’t see it often?
Equifax is well over 100 years old with a rich history and great success as a traditionaland perhaps some may have said“stodgy old credit reporting agency.” Today, Equifax finds itself right in the middle of the fin-tech industry, and of course, data management is one of our key competencies that will only become more significant to our business. One of our company’s core values is growth through innovation, and we recognize that partnering is vitally important to this value. The most successful companies realize that innovation is at its best when companies are open to great ideas regardless of the source, and are able to come together with others and identify points of joint value where respective capabilities form the perfect puzzle that drives new value for a particular industry or customer segment.

In what areas has the partnering program impacted Equifax to improve efficiency, revenues, innovation, etc.?
Partnering with others to extend distribution, connectivity, and innovation are the core components of alliance management at Equifax.

How has the program improved innovation?
When we come together with other firms for the purpose of innovation, we are able to leverage the partners’ intimacy with the end user and their core capabilities that we may not share. For example, by combining the data assets of our firm with another, along with the analytic capabilities and brand of a third firm, we created a new insight that helps lenders extend credit to more consumers due to the use of alternative data.

How has the program improved distribution?
Many of our partners distribute Equifax solutions, data, and insights on our behalf.  We are able to leverage the sales forces and distribution mechanisms of others in a very efficient way.

How has the program influenced the organizational culture?
The culture of Equifax is evolving to appreciate the benefits of working with and through third parties to accelerate innovation and growth. Working with a third party is now seen as a viable mechanism of growth, not a last resort.

What is your relationship with ASAP?

We are relatively new members of ASAP.  Three ASAP membersVantage Partners, Alliancesphere, and The Rhythm of Businessare three experts in this space who have been integral to shepherding our journey.

Tags:  allainces  consumer reporting  enterprise alliances  Equifax  Joy Wilder Lybeer  key competencies  partnering  partnering programs  partners 

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Can Partnering Keep Pace with the Speed of Digital Transformation? Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova, GE’s Karen Dougherty, NVIDIA’s John Fanelli and Others Tackle Seminal Topics at ASAP Tech Partner Forum

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Thursday, April 27, 2017

Remember the halcyon days when alliance management just meant making big one-to-one partnerships run smoothly? Remember when the channel just took your awesome products and pushed ‘em out by the thousands? Remember when your CEO wasn’t so concerned about the success of your alliances, channel program, and collaboration in general?  

Things change—in an eye-blink. While the fundamentals still matter very much, any tech veteran will tell you it’s a new game in technology partnering, whether they’re in strategic alliances, channel management, or other roles. Customers rule, ecosystems proliferate, silos get crossed (or crushed), competition (and collaboration) can emerge from anywhere, and no one goes it alone or with just one-to-one partners.

Tech partnering executives—both veterans and those newer in the role—now have a learning event of their own focused on what it takes today to succeed in tech partnering. Wednesday, June 7 will see the debut  of the ASAP Tech Partner Forum, “Collaborate at the Speed of Digital Transformation,” a one-day executive learning event to be held Wednesday, June 7, 2017 in Santa Clara, Calif., at the corporate campus of gaming video graphics processing leader NVIDIA.

Headlining the event are several featured speakers, including:

  • Karen Dougherty, vice president of channel and alliances at GE Digital
  • John Fanelli, vice president, product at NVIDIA Grid
  • Tiffani Bova, global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce

You may have caught Bova at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit in San Diego back in March. She’s a widely respected former Gartner analyst and popular keynoter. In San Diego, Bova challenged the audience to recognize how in the business-to-business world “customers’ and partners’ expectations are changing” thanks to technologies we previously considered relevant only in the business-to-consumer world. 

“How many of you took a training class to know how to buy from Amazon?” she asked to knowing chuckles from the crowd. “Yet when we show up to work we have a very different relationship with technology. We need to learn from B2C because it’s bleeding into B2B. I’m talking about the experience we all have as consumers.”

Bova won’t be the only provocative speaker on June 7 in Santa Clara.

“Prepare to think hard and have your conventional wisdom challenged,” promised ASAP’s President and CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, in a press release issued this week http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14275335.htm. The ASAP Tech Partner Forum “brings together an all-star cast of presenters offering an eye-opening look at what it really takes to succeed when you collaborate at the breathtaking speed of digital transformation—which is sweeping every industry touched by new technologies, and disrupts no industry more so than high tech itself,” Leonetti added. 

Bova, Fanelli, and Dougherty will be joined on stage by other high-tech partnering executives and experts including Andres Sintes of Cisco, Jim Chow of Google, Maria Olson of NetApp, Olimpio DeMarco of NVIDIA, Mike Maturo of Relayware, Meaghan Sullivan of SAP, Brooke Cunningham of Splunk, and Gaye Clemson of Globalinkage Consulting.

The June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum will include five hours of in-depth executive learning content and three hours of networking. Continental breakfast, a networking lunch and reception, and two networking breaks are included in the cost of the event ($299 for ASAP Members, $399 for guests). Host Sponsor of the ASAP Tech Partner Forum is NVIDIA; the event will be at NVIDIA Corporate Headquarters, 2800 Scott Blvd., Building E, Santa Clara, Calif. Additional sponsors include Gold Sponsor SMART Partnering Alliance and Silver Sponsor BeyondTrust.

Read this week’s full press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14275335.htm. For additional information and to register for the ASAP Tech Partner Forum, visit www.asaptechforum.org

Tags:  allainces  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  B2B  B2C  BeyondTrust  channels  collaborating  Digital Transformation  GE Digital  High-Tech Partnering  John Fanelli  Karen Dougherty  NVIDIA  Salesforce  SMART Partnering  Tiffani Bova 

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How to Partner for Open Innovation: A Sneak Preview of John Bell’s Forthcoming ‘ASAP Quick Take’ at the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, February 11, 2016

Addressing various facets of “partnering everywhere” in our rapidly evolving world, four experts are slated to present “ASAP Quick Takes” (patterned on the “TED Talks” format) at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit. This year’s summit is organized around the theme “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” and will be held just outside the US capital at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland.  

Among the executives in the ASAP Quick Takes line-up is John Bell, PhD, head of external innovation at Johnson & Johnson Consumer, who will present the talk “Creating Partnering Opportunities through Open Innovation.” Bell brings distinctive credentials: He has worked as head of strategy & new business at Philips Research, head of strategic alliances at Philips, strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an assistant professor. Despite his busy schedule and prominent daytime job, he somehow also carves out the time to teach alliance strategy at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands. During a recent interview, I asked Bell for some insights on his upcoming ASAP presentation. 

How has Johnson & Johnson led the way in corporate alliance management through structuring and outreach? 

In the Consumer division, we work closely with start-ups and strategic suppliers. For instance, with some of our strategic suppliers, we developed a way of working that activates the innovation capabilities of these partners to come up with innovative solutions. In the past, we typically approached suppliers with the question to make a specific product at a specific price point. Today, we share with a select group of partners what kind of consumer needs we aim to solve. Their R&D and our Johnson & Johnson R&D people then start to co-create novel solutions. 

How does your hands-on workshop help alliance managers sharpen their skills and expertise to broaden alliance activities in their organization? 

By sharing some of our learnings and providing insights into the steps we have taken and are still making, we believe that alliance managers can learn what is relevant to their own organization. 

What are some of the ways Johnson and Johnson supports strategic development to capture valuable market and competitive insights? 

Johnson & Johnson has established so-called Innovation Centers in the heart of eco-systems around the globe: San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai, and London. In those Innovation Centers, there are 25 to 30 business developers, dealmakers, alliance managers, and legal and financial people. They focus on identifying and fostering innovation across the pharmaceutical, medical devices, and consumer ecosystem, and invest in early transformational “ideas” and start-ups. These innovation centers act as a first touch-point to the market and competitive developments. 

How does Johnson & Johnson lead the way in effectively managing alliances and establishing trust and stability in partnerships for maximum profitability? 

Maximizing profitability is not per se the main motivation for our partnerships. In many instances, co-creating innovative solutions is the main objective of our partnerships. We have dedicated alliance managers in place who manage the partnerships typically from inception until integration into our business. On top of that, we typically develop a network of multi-level relationships with our partners to strengthen the ties and understanding between Johnson & Johnson and our partners. One of our ambitions is to become the partner of choice, which implies that we value trust, openness, and win-win.

Tags:  allainces  alliance strategy  John Bell PhD  Johnson & Johnson Consumer  medical devices  partnerships  pharmaceutical  Philips  PwC  R&D  start-ups  University of Tilburg 

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