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Intel’s Jonathan Ballon on Partnering and the Internet of Things: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Ever Been a Better Time to Be an Alliances Professional”

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson & John DeWitt, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

You arrive at work one day to discover the plaque on your door changed overnight from Manager and Entrepreneur to Creator and Visionary. Welcome to the new world of alliance management, where the Internet of Things is injecting radical change into the old job description. That’s the wake-up call Jonathan Ballon brought with this year’s opening keynote address, Partnering: The Connective Tissue of the Internet of Things, on Tuesday afternoon, March 1. This year’s ASAP Global Alliance Summit is being held just outside the US capital, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. USA.

Ballon’s presentation exemplified and magnified the Summit theme of “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem.” Describing what he called The IoT for Life, Ballon says the new speed, scope, and scale of partnering will require never-before-seen levels of innovation, creativity, bold experimentation, and the ability to learn quickly, iterate strategies, try new models for value creation, and deliver and capture within new solutions.

“It’s happening now, in real time, so you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and crafting your ideal ecosystem strategy,” Ballon told the rapt audience of several hundred partnering executives.

The IoT is driving change on a massive scale, and offers the potential of improving billions of lives by harnessing data collected from sensors attached to objects and turning this data into problem-solving solutions, says Ballon. This is not coming around the bend, he emphasized; the future has already arrived with remote patient monitoring benefiting patients and providers. Widen the lens, and the potential becomes enormous in areas such as agriculture, security, environmental protection, and more.

Ballon noted that partnering of this type is a profound shift for Intel, traditionally a vertically integrated company. And it’s simply quite difficult to do well, he said. “Personally I’ve been experiencing a lot of challenges around partnering in this new IOT world,” Ballon acknowledged. Specifically, he said, partnering in the rapidly exploding IoT ecosystem is different than traditional partnering in four key ways:

  • Business and partnering models are being created in real time
  • Partners often aren’t the “usual suspects”
  • Partnering is occurring at an exponentially faster speed and scale
  • Experimentation and learning are the focus at this juncture in the development of IoT ecosystems

To be successful in this new IoT ecosystem requires rethinking the role of partnering and making it integral to your business model—and embracing that your role as a partner will vary, even if you are used to being the orchestrator of your ecosystem. 

“Roles you play can change from opportunity to opportunity,” explained. “Some customers expect Intel to step up and be that back to pat. Other times we’re standing behind a systems integrator.” The most important thing, he says, is having “the agility of a school of fish” when you are aligning your ecosystem around the unique demands of each customer.

The Internet of Things is already here, but Ballon noted that many challenges of partnering in the ecosystem remain to be solved—including the fundamental economics of compensating multiple partners (and your sales forces, for that matter). “Sharing in the rewards of your customer value proposition—how do you value, calculate it, and pay for it. When you’re monetizing a service and checks need to go to other parties, I don’t’ think anyone has figured it out yet,” he said.

“One thing is certain: coopetition is the new norm,” Ballon said in describing the complex partnerships that come together around every IoT solution Intel rolls out. “There’s not a single case where there’s a clear line between what we and a partner does. We deal with this every day. The rubber meets road with sales force in the field. It’s a very trick thing and it requires the right compensation models with sales force to support these types of [partnering].”

Generally, Ballon said, expect the unexpected. “Not everything is going to be well programmed from the get go.”

The audience peppered Ballon with questions at the conclusion of his presentation. One executive generated chuckles when he asked, “How much of my partnering role will be automated?”

“Probably not much,” Ballon responded. “I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be an alliances professional because the opportunity presented before us, the IOT, is showcasing the value of this function. I would bet three years from now the number of people in this room will double.”

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliances  ASAP  Intel  IoT  Jonathan Ballon  partnering  strategy  systems integrator  Visionary 

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From Entrepreneur to Intrapreneur in the Healthcare Industry: Marcus Wilson’s ‘ASAP Quick Takes’ Tutorial at the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, February 22, 2016

ASAP is introducing an exciting new presentation format at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit March 1-4:  the “ASAP Quick Takes, patterned after “TED Talks” and well-received at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference, will bring four provocative speakers to the stage to provide specific, complementary insights relating to emerging ecosystems. Organized around the theme “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” the summit will be held just outside the US capital at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. Among the executives in the line-up is Marcus Wilson, president and co-founder of Anthem’s real-world research subsidiary, HealthCore. With reams of background information and perspective, Wilson is well-placed to speak on his topic “The Alliance Professional as Entrepreneur.” His experience as an entrepreneur has positioned him as a guiding force in his current mission to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of healthcare through data and research. He previously developed and ran the Health Outcomes and Clinical Research program for BCBS of Delaware, on which HealthCore is founded. 

ASAP Media: What are some techniques or approaches you use to jumpstart innovation and creativity as an intrapreneur? 

Marcus Wilson: Making the shift from an entrepreneur to working as an intrapreneur, I have found that there are two major concepts to embrace.  First, I advise intrapreneurs to have patience. Second, innovative concepts have to be well-socialized ahead of formal introduction. Each group or department impacted by that idea needs to be on board with the idea or subtle undermining will limit or completely inhibit progress. As we mature new concepts, we also put into our plan a “campaign” of sorts to help recruit key influencers across the enterprise. It is one step we take to pave the way for these new concepts to gain momentum. 

How is being an intrapreneur different than being an entrepreneur in your industry, and how do they accommodate alliance managers to set the stage for the next levels of meeting customer needs? 

I would imagine for some the difference is significant. Though we have dealt with significant adjustment issues over time, the conversion to being a part of a much larger organization has gone reasonably well. We sold our company to Anthem in 2003 because we felt strongly it was an important step in accomplishing our mission. They had the resources and the position within the healthcare system that would allow us to build capabilities and influence healthcare evidence development in a way we could not do as a small, independent company. Though we have certainly had our challenges, we have benefitted from a solid business structure within Anthem that preserved much of our “entrepreneurial” culture, which was well planned prior to our acquisition, and strong executive level support over the last 13 years. Our alliance managers have played, and continue to play, a key role in both our internal and external alliances. 

What kinds of changes do intrapreneurs need to make in the evolving healthcare ecosystem? 

The healthcare ecosystem can be quite complex, and I am convinced that alliance collaborations are going to be at the heart of solving some of its current issues. Ironically, I believe we can simplify the experience for the patient by collaborating across the ecosystem itself. Thus, intrapreneurial alliance managers will be collaborating in alliances of all kinds, often with multiple companies or institutions working on the same issue. I see this as a huge shift from where alliance management first began in life sciences, traditionally between partner companies of relatively equal size.  

How do you stay ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and "outside-in thinking?" 

A good entrepreneur knows that great ideas can come from literally anywhere. We need to champion this viewpoint as we work to innovate. Just this week, we were talking about the Top 10 trends in healthcare, and asking ourselves for each item: “How might this development influence our future business? How might we organize ourselves to better leverage that innovation? Are we in a unique position to bring that innovation to others?  As a novel, care research organization, what insights can we bring to a given issue?”  As this is core to our business, it is critical to maintain and harness that outside-in thinking 

How is HealthCore on the cutting-edge of intraprenuership and understanding customer needs in the evolving healthcare ecosystem? 

Our early years were spent embedded in a large group practice in Delaware. We worked to support better decision making between the physician and patient at the point of care. Many tough lessons learned in those formative years led us to begin developing innovative ways to get the right information to those two key decision makers. Since our inception in 1996, we have felt the best means of impacting patient outcomes was to influence the many decisions made prior to new drugs and technologies getting to the patient. Realizing the innovators (e.g., the pharmaceutical industry), the regulators (FDA in the US) and policymakers had a major impact on what eventually makes its way to the point of care, we positioned HealthCore squarely on the lines where healthcare stakeholders intersect. Our position gives us rare insight into the needs, priorities, and unique language of each of these stakeholders. In this effort, collaboration is key. We are owned by a payer and leverage the resources and raw materials (data and their important relationships with the providers and patients) from that payer to close critical gaps in evidence in collaboration with the industry and regulators, which facilitates better technologies getting to the market with the right evidence to support their effective use in patient care. It is often a very tough line to walk, and alliance management is essential to our success. 

Tags:  alliance management  alliances  Anthem  collaboration  data  emerging ecosystems  entrepreneur  healthcare  HealthCore  intrapreneur  life sciences  Marcus Wilson PharmD  outside-in thinking  pharmaceutical industry  policymakers  regulators  research 

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How to Manage Mega-scale Partnering in the Era of the Internet of Things from the Vantage Point of Schneider Electric

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, January 28, 2016

When it comes to Schneider Electric, the company operates in a seemingly unlimited world of opportunities for establishing connections. Its partnering mantra seems to be “think globally and act locally, globally, and everywhere in between.” 

Now add the Internet of Things, and Schneider is broadening its scope to partner in complex and creative ways with some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and IBM Corporation. That’s the topic Anthony DeSpirito, CSAP, managing director, strategic accounts at Schneider Electric, is scheduled to address during the panel discussion “Capturing the Value of the Internet of Things” March 1–4, 2016, at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA. The discussion will focus on generating revenue from the complex partnering and business models driven by IoT. Other participants scheduled for the panel discussion are Nancy M. Green, global practice lead, healthcare strategy & thought leadership, at Verizon  Enterprise Solutions and Joan Meltzer, CSAP, smarter cities go-to-market leader at IBM Analytics, IBM Corporation. 

Schneider currently manages more than $30 billion in energy for 4,500 clients in 147 countries. The company integrates solutions in large numbers of physical structures, such as electrical and SCADA systems (data acquisitions and control systems for power or water treatment systems), and has access to vast amounts of data about the physical environment. The information is then provided to an analytics platform that turns physical data into information that allows partners, such as Verizon and IBM, to make better-informed decisions. 

Such complex, mega-scale strategic alliances require large teams and significant investments of time for planning. Schneider has 14 alliance managers. Key components need to fall into place for mega-partnership to fly: “Alignment is absolutely critical at the executive level,” DeSpirito pointed out during a recent interview.

 

For example, Schneider’s alliance with IBM to provide cutting-edge cloud services for the utility industries required the fundamental first step of having problem-solving meetings at the executive vice president level. “Once they agreed, it … cascaded throughout the organizations. Now the sales areas have agreement, and there is a cadence of communications between the two teams doing workshops and basic education. Now we need to bring discipline and cadence through quarterly business reviews,” he explained.

 

The early-stage, innovative ADMS cloud-based service solution could radically change the utility industry if it gains regulatory approval because it could provide services to utilities that can’t afford ADMS as a stand-alone product. Electrical power plants use a distribution management software system called DMS that allows them to be efficient in production and distribution. Schneider’s system is ADMS, where “A” stands for Advanced. The system is “much more customizable, much more efficient, and allows a utility to become more productive,” he says. If a proof of concept with ADMS that is underway in Canada is successful, “we anticipate it will move into production, … which should manifest itself in lower operation costs, cheaper electric, and allow us to go to smaller utilities,” he explained.

 

From a partnering standpoint, this is a brand new business model, and also an example of the complex alliance management planning often required in large company alliances, DeSpirito added. “This is not just buying and selling software and space in a data center.”

Tags:  ADMS  alliance management  alliances  Cisco Systems  cloud  DMS  electrical and SCADA systems  IBM Corporation  IoT  Joan Meltzer  Microsoft  Nancy M. Green  Schneider Electric  Tony DeSpirito  utilities  utility industry  Verizon Enterprise Solutions 

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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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The Benefits of Sponsor and CRO Collaboration—from Leveraging Innovation to Sharing Patient Information

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Saturday, October 17, 2015

For many years, Contract Research Organizations (CROs) have sought to move beyond their role as fee-for-service providers and branch out into strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies. These emerging services alliances pattern to some degree the partnerships that pharmaceutical companies form with biotech firms and with each other—but there are differences too. This CRO/Sponsor evolution became a talking point on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference in the session “Enabling Innovation and Value Creation in Sponsor/CRO Collaborations.” Moderated by Doug Williams, business development consultant at BioDigital, the discussion addressed the benefits in two partnering mini-presentations: Covance/Eli Lilly and Company and EMD Serono/Quintiles.

 

In 2008, Lilly and Covance created a groundbreaking 10-year strategic agreement that spans the drug development process, explained Andrew Eibling, CSAP, global vice president and alliance manager at Covance, about the history of the partnership.  “It involved working across the spectrum and various silos of drug development.”

 

Today, Covance has a highly successful cardio vascular partnership with Lilly. At the beginning, it required lots of fine-tuning, because in the rush to get started, they missed out on some crucial steps, recalls Jay Turpen, senior director of clinical laboratory operations at Lilly.

 

“First, we got the right people together to frame out how we were going to work together. It’s so crucial to invest in defining the process: how to communicate, what hand-offs look like, handling escalation. There were skeptics from both companies, so we took time and invested in kaizan events to determine the likely areas where there was the most friction in the program, and invested proactively in those areas,” he added. “Creating a culture of one team with one approach and applying alliance management was successful, and we were able to enroll the study in less than … the scheduled 24 months, and it was 98-99 percent clean through the process.”

 

Then there was a second added valuepartnering on laboratory research. “What’s in the best interest of both Lilly and Covance as we build this new lab system? What information is in our mutual interest?” they asked. “We got literally thousands of people working on these alliances. There needed to be common linkages across those silos,” Turpen added. The central labs group started a unique rewards recognition program. And they reached the point where they now pass patient information back and forth.

 

The final results? “Lilly’s CEO said that it was the best study the company has ever done. It was a high five, a best practice, a solid metric for what a great job that team did,” said Eibling.

 

In the case of EMD Serono/Quintiles, Quintiles’ clinical development division wanted a CRO who got involved early in clinical stages sitting at the development table. The companies also were looking for processing standards, high benchmarks, and most of all, innovative minds at the boardroom table. They signed a partnership with EMD Serono in 2013, and the CRO became a partner in drug/biosimilar development.

 

“Clinical development is challenging because how do you persuade patients and physicians to join a trial? Or are you going to fall back on biosimilar drug development?” Those were some of the key questions raised by Raymond Huml, DVM, executive director of strategic drug development and head of global biosimilars strategic planning at Quintiles Biosimilars Center of Excellence, and Louk Pechtold, CA-AM, directoralliance management biosimilars, in the biosimilars unit at Merck Serono SA. 

 

Biosimilars are follow-on copies of originator medicines made from living tissues (e.g., monoclonal antibodies). The question of biosimilar drug development is increasingly important because by 2020, some $100 billion of original biological medicines will lose intellectual property protection.

 

They also addressed the question of how alliance managers factor into drug/biosimilar development. “We have upper management, middle level, and closer-to-the-ground alliance management. There are alliance managers that look over entire portfolios, but at the end of the day, you need someone who understands the differences or subtleties. And there are differences with biosimilars,” explained Pechtold.

 

“The main value in collaboration is leveraging innovation from one partner to another,” Huml added. Regulatory experience is a plus, and having a global reach can be an advantage. “Those with experience working with multiple companies also have an advantage over one-on-one,” he concluded.

Tags:  Alliance Management  Alliance Managers  alliances  biotech  Collaboration  Contract Research Organizations  Covance  CRO  drug/biosim  Eli Lilly and Company  intellectual property  Louk Pechtold  Merck Serono SA  pharmaceutical companies  Quintiles Biosimilars Center of Excellence  Raymond Huml  strategic alliances 

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