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

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Monday, June 12, 2017

ASAP Media Managing Editor Cynthia B. Hanson and I caught up with leading ASAP members from the ASAP Silicon Valley Chapter—and one from the ASAP Midwest Chapter—in an 8 a.m. Pacific debriefing the morning after the inaugural ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Santa Clara, Calif. Despite the early hour, triumph and excitement remained palpable on the conference call as the group of executives described the fruits of more than six months spent planning the event in conjunction with ASAP staff executive Diane Lemkin.

“It was pretty amazing. It all came together. I can’t believe it actually all happened after all that effort,” enthused Erna Arnesen, CSAP, chief channel and alliance officer at ZL Technologies. “Seventy-four people showed up. A few people registered right at the end. One guy signed up that morning—he came from Tahoe. The group of people was very diverse, coming from across Silicon Valley from most of the leading companies and from startups, so there was a very wide swath of companies represented.” Also, she added, “It was a good cross-section of ASAP members and nonmembers.”

Leading tech companies represented included Cisco, NetApp, Intel, SAP, GE Digital, VMWare, Citrix, Splunk, Oracle, ServiceNow, Cognizant, Microsoft, and Xerox. Aside from Silicon Valley, attendees came from San Francisco and points across the Bay Area. “We had quite a few people from Southern California,” noted Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, principal of Phoenix Consulting Group. Her Phoenix Consulting colleague Ann Trampas, CSAP, flew in from Chicago where she also is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trampas chimed in, “We also had folks from Scottsdale, and someone came down from Seattle from JDA Software” to join several other JDA colleagues, “there were several execs from Hitachi Data Systems, including one from Minnesota, and we had several people fly in from the East Coast,” she added.

“From the perspective of an attendee, the quality of the program was exceptional,” Trampas said. “It was right up there with the quality of ASAP Global Alliance Summit presentations, but in a more intimate environment allowing you more access to those speakers. So I was blown away by the program.”

“A lot of attendees said they liked the intimate grouping, the roundtables, that the room was ‘comfortably full,’” Watenpaugh said. “And by staying with the high-tech focus for the entire event, they felt the topics were targeted and addressed issues that participants had really dealt with in their companies. It was not a generic ‘this is how you do metrics,’ but rather, ‘this is how you work in high-tech partnering in the context of digital transformation.’”

After the welcome, host sponsor NVIDIA kicked off the ASAP Tech Partner Forum with what our group of reviewers described as an impressively relevant and “buttoned-up” presentation by John Fanelli, product vice president for NVIDIA GRID, and Olimpio DeMarco, director of strategic alliances for manufacturing & Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industries for NVIDIA, a maker of graphics processing units (GPUs) that is evolving beyond its roots in making graphics processor boards for gaming. Beyond gaming, the company is developing technologies that venture into the real world and virtually real world: supercomputing, artificial intelligence, and deep learning, Watenpaugh said.

“John Fanelli and Olimpio DeMarco really set the tone for the rest of the day—it was really good,” commented Greg Burge, a consultant and former San Mateo County alliance executive with a long history at IBM who is the immediate past president of the ASAP Silicon Valley Chapter. NVIDIA developed CUDA—which stands for Compute Unified Device Architecture—as the company’s programming interface and software architecture framework for writing to a GPU. “They described how this software programming model has affected NVIDIA’s approach to its partner ecosystem—anytime you bring in software development, it changes the way you partner,” Burge noted.

“It was really great for the host to kick off the event that way,” agreed Watenpaugh. “What I thought was fascinating is that NVIDIA has a lot of alliances with car companies around self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. Fanelli talked about both Toyota and Honda as partners.”

The highly engaged audience asked good questions, Watenpaugh noted. “One interesting question was around NVIDIA GRID—an ecosystem of five partners built to virtualize 10,000 desktop computers for Honda. ‘How do you manage that kind of constellation alliance?’”

Another participant asked the NVIDIA execs, “’What about the services required for all the complex technologies and complex ecosystem engagements you’re involved in,’” Arnesen recalled. “John Fanelli was very impressive in outlining his products, channels and alliances, but admitted that NVIDIA is just getting going building out services” and services partnerships.

“The last thing that they talked about was speed-of-light culture, or SOL culture,” Arnesen continued. At NVIDIA, “alliances are not centralized—the company has a distributed strategy and model. Olimpio DeMarco has his own alliance people that manage these different types of partners, but Fanelli said, ‘We want to be fast and nimble and agile, so we manage them as we need them for our businesses.’”

Check out the ASAP Blog for our previous articles and forthcoming ASAP Media coverage of the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Santa Clara, Calif., hosted by NVIDIA, at www.strategic-alliances.org

Tags:  alliances  Ann Trampas  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  channels  Cisco  Citrix  Cognizant  CUDA  Erna Arnesen  GE Digital  GPU  Greg Burge  Intel  John Fanelli  Microsoft  NetApp  Norma Watenpaugh  NVIDIA  NVIDIA GRID  Olimpio DeMarco  Oracle  partner ecosystem  partners  SAP  ServiceNow  SOL culture  Splunk  VMWare  Xerox 

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Changing Corporate Culture To Create Social Impact: A Plenary by Céline Schillinger

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017

“I want to change the way organizations work. I want to make business more humane and more relevant to what employees, customers, and stakeholders at large want today,” remarked Céline Schillinger, head of innovation and engagement at the  French-based vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur during the first of four ASAP plenary sessions at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise,” at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California.

We can’t stick to 20th century tools and mindset to create value today. They’re not adapted to our complex, globalized and interconnected world. They’re obsolete,” Schillinger emphasized during her talk “Comfort in Discomfort: Leadership and Innovation from an Uncommon Alliance.”

Schillinger has been recognized with prestigious awards many times over for her innovative engagement initiatives in the pharma world, and specifically, for her role in the successful launch of the first vaccine developed to combat dengue fever. The plenary focused on her life as an international business-oriented engagement professional with an expertise in social technologies, marketing, communications, and human relations.  She explained how she developed a social movement to create change in a very conservative and hierarchical company environment.

In short, Schillinger has succeeded to make change as a corporate activist in a top-down, male dominated system. “I’ve started to change this in my own organization with corporate activism. There’s considerable energy when you tap into a broader pool of knowledge, common purpose, social media, and co-creation. I want to expand this work within my organization and beyond,” she continued.

When Sanofi Pasteur was preparing to roll out their groundbreaking dengue fever vaccine, they were confident that a tried-and-true approach to launch the product would succeed and the vaccine would sell itself. After all, dengue fever is a greatly feared, potentially serious disease delivered through the bite of a mosquito. Its potential victims are the 2.5 billion people living in Latin America and Asia as well as the southern part of the United States. Though the disease was virtually nonexistent 50 years ago, it’s now widespread. There’s no prevention and no cure. When outbreaks occur each year, half-a-million people with severe dengue are hospitalized. Some recover, but thousands die.

With a break-through vaccine to combat dengue fever about to be approved and commercially available in several countries, executives at Sanofi strongly resisted Schillinger’s radical outreach approach. Communication campaigns are the usual response for many governments in affected countries. They often try community-based approaches, in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations. But their success is limited. The question was, how might this be made more effective as well as more efficient?

For Schillinger, the answer was obvious: “Why not use social media?” she asked. Social media could be used to inform people about the new way to fight dengue fever, but equally important, to connect people to a whole network potentially impacted by an outbreak. Through social media, people “connect and exchange with trusted interlocutors who derive their credibility from what they do, not just what they say. This is a transformative shift for communication and activism, and this has huge consequences for healthcare,” she stated.

Social networks are not just an additional tool for pushing information, she argued. Through social media such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as websites and chat rooms, users contribute their own experiences. They check facts and demand feedback. It’s much more than communication, she said. Eventually, she convinced the executives at Sanofi Pasteur, and she was proved right. Her initiative, the Break Dengue Community, garnered over 250,000 Facebook followers in its first year and enlisted over 4,000 volunteers globally to assist in the distribution and administration of vaccines. 

This approach may not be for the faint of heart, but “health organizations and companies have to adapt to this new interaction model,” she concluded.

Schillinger has been recognized as a 40 Women to Watch Honoree (2016) and received the Gold Quill Award (2016), Employee Engagement Award (2016), Most Impactful Emerging Initiative (2015), and Best Use of Social Media for Healthcare (2014) and was honored as the French Businesswoman of the year (2013).  She is also a TEDx speaker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMDKkTuLUHw, blogger, and charter Member of Change Agents Worldwide.  

Tags:  Alliances  Break Dengue  Céline Schillinger  Collaboration  dengue fever  Emerging Initiative  Engagement  Facebook  French Businesswoman  Impactful  Innovation  Partnering  Sanofi Pasteur  Social Impact  Social Media  Twitter 

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Competencies versus Characteristics in Driving Partner Performance

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Monday, March 20, 2017
Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017

The use of competencies as a hiring tool has evolved into a gold standard for many professions, including alliance management.  But can competencies as a stand-alone tool effectively identify those who will be successful in the role? 
 

The question was front and center at the sessionTraits and Attributes of Successful Alliance Managers” as Andy Eibling, CSAP, vice president of alliance management at Covance, and Kerri Lampard, CSAP, director of the global services center of excellence in the global partner organization at Cisco Systems, reviewed how and why competencies alone should not be used to hire alliance managers. The session was part of theDriving Partner Performance” offerings at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise,” which took place at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California. 
 

“So, how do you locate, develop, and hire alliance managers? Why do some excel and others struggle? What are the traits that help people to succeed?” Lampard asked as she posed a string of key questions at the opening of the session.

 

Lampard’s overall answer? Competencies can be taught, she explained. However, characteristics are more locked in. Companies need to align the candidate with the organization and look at overarching characteristics, she said. “For, example, Big Pharma can be change adverse. There’s a natural trepidation built into the culture due to the length of time it takes between the inception of a project, the roll out, and the cost.”

Andy Eibling focused on traits that help people succeed such as vision - the ability to see the big picture possibilities. “When a person has vision, they have the natural curiosity and desire to learn and balance change, to decide the appropriate time and place to take risk, to pivot and think about where they're going.  Their role is to strategize and then get people to buy in.”

Advocacy is also important, Eibling stated. “It’s important for an alliance manager to be able to see both sides and understand why someone is acting the way they do.  Folks who can step back and fit into someone else's shoes, advocate for them and articulate issues, can take conflict and make it productive. They move the process forward.”

“One of the most important characteristics is the ability to engender trust,” he added. “Employ the Vegas rules. What is said in a conversation stays in the conversation. The ability to engender trust is crucial. People within an organization and partners need to know they can have a candid conversation before it becomes a big issue,” he also noted. “It’s important to understand, as [Henry] Kissinger once said, that ‘Competing pressures tempt one to believe that anissue deferred isa problem avoided; more often, it is acrisis invited.’”

Tags:  alliance manager  alliances  Andy Eibling  Cisco Systems  Competencies  Covance  engender trust  hiring tool  Kerry Lampard  partner performance 

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An Unambiguous Call to Action: Preview the Q1 2017 Strategic Alliance Magazine

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Saturday, February 11, 2017

From the cover to The Close, the Q1 2017 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine tackles the critical topics that matter in today’s increasingly complex collaborations—and serves as a call to action for partnering executives to step out of their comfort zone, sound the call for professional alliance management, and continuously build their organizations’ capability to collaborate everywhere. For example, in our regular column “The Close,” I share a recent conversation with top Cisco executive and collaboration leader Ron Ricci. While “comfort with ambiguity” is an oft-cited trait of alliance executives, I argue (with support from Ron) that there’s nothing ambiguous about your CEO recognizing that digitization demands collaboration if your company is to succeed. Get a jump start reading this issue—full text of “The Close” follows below.

“THE CLOSE: An Unambiguous Call to Action,” from Q1 2017 Strategic Alliance Magazine

In Genevieve Fraser’s Q1 2017 Member Spotlight on Celgene, she and Jeremy Ahouse, CSAP, PhD, discuss how his alliance team includes “the kinds of people who can live with ambiguity and difference even as they get things done.” I’ve often heard comfort with ambiguity cited as an important trait of partnering executives. I got to thinking: Do I know any “ambiguous” alliance executives?

Most partnering professionals I know strike me as grounded, clear-as-a-bell communicators who don’t hesitate to share their point of view and who often can be very directive. I surmise that it’s precisely a lack of personal ambiguity that helps alliance execs lead amidst ambiguity. In a nutshell, it takes confidence to collaborate.

You feel that confidence within Ron Ricci, co-author of The Collaboration Imperative and a longtime Cisco senior executive focused on collaboration as an organizational capability, who joined a 90-minute conference call with ASAP’s advisory board in January. Ricci and Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, principal of Phoenix Consulting Group, discussed the just-published ISO 44001, the International Standards Organization’s standard for “collaborative business relationship management systems.” (See in-depth coverage forthcoming in eSAM Plus, ASAP blogs, and future Strategic Alliance Magazine articles.) Ricci believes the ISO standard—which aligns to ASAP’s alliance management frameworks—will help propagate a common language for business collaboration, inside and among organizations. Ricci and the many leaders he interacts with see partnering and collaborative ability as central to grappling with the pace of a rapidly digitizing world.

“I spend all day long talking to senior executives of diverse governments and companies around the world about their collaboration opportunities,” says Ricci, vice president of customer experience services at Cisco, whom I spoke to recently. “Speed is the most important thing they need to move their businesses [according to] every leader I’ve met with over the last five years on this topic of collaboration. And companies see collaboration as the means to get speed.”

Talking to Ricci is an unambiguous look into how the C-suite views partnering and collaboration today—and the opportunity this represents for alliance management.

“Digitization and the ability to connect anything has taken the notion of speed and actually made it a potential carnivore of companies,” Ricci explains. “Take the technology trend of standardization and connect to the broader business trend of digitization—now we have a market moving almost at the pace of Moore’s Law. In 18 to 24 months the way you make money serving your customers can evolve. … So the way organizations collaborate and work together might need to be the most important capability they need to survive in the 21st century.”

This is an unmistakable call to action for all alliance professionals. It’s time to evangelize the value of this profession like never before. Recent ASAP, Vantage Partners, and other studies present unambiguous data on how professional alliance management drives success and financial performance of partnerships. As exemplified by our cover story, “The Partner-Everywhere Imperative: A Practitioner’s Guide,” and numerous sessions at ASAP conferences, the ASAP community is on the forefront of extending and adapting alliance management frameworks, practices, and tools to the new, increasingly complex collaborations that now proliferate across industries and sectors.

“How do you survive in a world where risk is growing faster than growth?” a Fortune 500 CEO recently asked Ricci. “You have to operate at an uncommon level of speed, adaptability, and flexibility,” Ricci responds. “And if there’s a better way to do that than collaboration, please tell me.”

And if there’s a better resource for collaboration success than your alliance team, the ASAP community, and the alliance management profession, please tell me.

Tags:  alliance executives  alliances  ASAP Conferences  Celgene  collaboration  C-suite  Fortune500  Jeremy Ahouse  Partner-Everywhere  Ron Ricci  Strategic Alliance Magazine  The Collaboration Imperative  Vantage Partners 

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Fall 2016 SAM: New Frontiers in Academic Alliances; Interview with a Star Trek Writer and Gaming Professor; the Need to Think ‘Bigger than your Biggest Partner;’ and Much More!

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

The Fall Strategic Alliance Magazine delves into several new frontiers in alliance management. This issue stretches both imagination and potential with a cover story on academic partnering, “Bringing Academia aboard the Enterprise.” The article explores the history of invention in academia and then shifts to the driving forces today that are making academia an increasingly desirable partner, and how to maximize the potential.

 

Readers are also treated to an interview with Professor Lee Sheldon, a former writer for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and several other well-known Hollywood television series, on creating collaboratively.  Now a professor of practice in interactive media and game development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, Sheldon believes that “bad teams are the ones that cannot communicate and can’t get past their position.”  The better teams “communicate and understand and respect the positions of others outside of their own areas of expertise,” and every challenge can be met by a game.

 

This issue’s Collaborative Buzz highlights innovative partnering and provides a peek into the topic for next spring’s 2017 Global Alliances Summit, “From Science Fiction to Reality,” by Illumina Innovator Alex Dickinson.

 

In his Up Front column “Gaining a Global Perspective,” ASAP CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP, emphasizes the importance of a global perspective so essential today for alliance managers as he reflects on the programming from the recent ASAP European Alliance Summit. The “diversity of nations and industries,” and nearly double the attendance, provide a launching pad for his thoughts on how to lead with a winning formula: “Think bigger than your biggest partner—and communicate the value on that level,” he writes. Leonetti also integrates some ideas from the recent leadership forum at the 2016 ASAP Biopharma Conference. Speaking of which, there’s a recap is this issue of the conference that covers the wide range of interactive sessions and dynamic participants this year.

 

Dip into the “Your Career” column for some practical insight from by Eric Rosenson, senior vice president of talent acquisition at Ruderfer & Associates, and Greg Flanagan, president and founder of Emerging Healthcare Partners. John DeWitt writes about how these two search professionals challenge, enlighten, and provoke alliance executives “out of any complacency they might have about career advancement” as well as discussed valuable topics such as “transferrable skillsets—negotiation skills, knowledge of partnership from a business development and sales organization perspec­tive, and other capabilities that are commonly sought in alliance managers.”

 

The Member Spotlight shines on cybersecurity corporate member BeyondTrust in Genevieve Fraser’s interview with Joe Schramm, vice president of strategic alliances. Keys to successful partnering include treating the “partner’s win as sacred,” says Schramm in an interview that looks at the major areas of competition in cybersecurity and how strategic alliances accelerate growth and provide leverage, among other things.

 

Eli Lilly and Company is offering from its alliance management and business training kitchen another recipe for success. Their editorial supplement instructs on how to enhance the flavor and value of an alliance “tossed salad” by adding lean six sigma to improve methodologies, speed, and quality while reducing costs.

 

Finally, The Close explores the relationship between discovery and progress, and highlights an alliance between MedImmune and Johns Hopkins that has resulted in an innovative program that could provide a role model for industry. The program enlists the young minds of millennials “so eager to engage in finding the next great breakthrough for society,” writes Cynthia B. Hanson. “Many millennials are waiting in the wings for the opportunity to engage in discovery provided by a well-designed industry-academic program. It’s well worth considering as part of your overall alliance management strategy,” she points out.

Tags:  2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference  Academic Alliances  accelerate growth  alliances  ASAP European Alliance Summit  BeyondTrust  business development  Eli Lilly and Company  Illumina  industry-academic  Joe Schramm  Johns Hopkins  methodologies  MidImmune  millennials  negotiation skills  Partner  partners  partnership 

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