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New ASAP Corporate Member Larsen & Toubro Infotech Offers Diverse Avenues for Partnering, Including India’s Smart Cities

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

This is the first in a series of blog posts welcoming seven new corporate members into the ASAP fold. Larsen & Toubro Infotech (L&T Infotech) is a publicly listed company with a presence in more than 20 countries and close to one billion dollars in revenues. Its parent company is L&T Infotech, a construction & engineering conglomerate with $16 billion in revenues headquartered in India with a strong presence in the Middle East and Asia. L&T Infotech is also a major player in India’s smart cities program, where it has held several key partnerships with industry leaders. Company representative Giri Rajaiah, vice president of digital transformation, provided the following information about L&T Infotech’s goals as it takes the leap into corporate membership.

 

What inspired your team to join ASAP at the corporate level?

L&T Infotech is an IT and digital services organization that has been servicing global enterprise clients for 20 years. The company works with different technology vendors across the IT and digital services spectrum, such as Microsoft, CISCO, Amazon Web Services, IBM, HP, Dell, etc., several of which are ASAP global members. The company recently joined ASAP at the corporate level so that our newly established and institutionalized global alliance team can benefit on best practices in the industry, learn from others, and network with peers as we build our ecosystem of partners.

 

How do you anticipate ASAP benefitting you and your team?

We expect to benefit from membership in multiple ways. The most significant areas that come to mind are:

  • Networking with peers
  • Networking with technology and digital services vendors who are looking for global partners
  • Learning industry best practices
  •  Participating in alliance-related events, conferences, summits, and local chapter meetings to improve our educational base
  • Benefitting from valuable partnering information published in Strategic Alliance Magazine, the ASAP E-news, blog posts, webinars, research studies, and other ASAP media offerings

Is there anything else you want fellow members to know about L&T Infotech at this time?

We are in the process of incubating a startup ecosystem within the organization, mostly based in India, and are willing to entertain any upcoming technology disruptors. Our key alliance and partnership interests are in the Internet of Things, cloud technologies, digital solutions companies, artificial intelligence, IT and robotic process automation, and startups.

Tags:  best practices  Cloud technologies  Giri Rajaiah  Internet of Things  IT and digital services  L&T Infotech  Larsen & Toubro Infotech  networking  partnering  smart cities  startup ecosystem 

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Relationships: Currency of the Channel

Posted By Diana L. Mirakaj | President and Chief Operating Officer of The 2112 Group, Thursday, April 28, 2016

Of all the things the channel brings to technology vendors’ table, including market reach and vertical expertise, among them, perhaps the most valuable is partners' longstanding relationships with end-user customers. 

Built on trust and knowledge, those relationships are worth their weight in gold. If there's one person on a vendor's team who can safeguard all parties involved receive maximum benefit throughout the sales process, it's the channel account manager (CAM). As the chief liaison between a vendor and its channel partners, a CAM can nurture and enable solution providers, help them gain clarity on the value proposition of a vendor's product or service and guide them in areas like marketing, where they may not be as strong as they would like. 

To bring out the best in partners and maximize their ability to leverage customer relationships, vendors and their CAMs should set measurable goals; provide constant feedback and review partner performance and channel-program reward structures periodically. 

Read the full 2112 Group article, Relationships: Currency of the Channel.

ASAP Corporate Member, EPPP and guest blogger, Diana L. Mirakaj is president and chief operating officer of The 2112 Group.

Tags:  best practices  CAM  Channel  channel business  customer relationships  Diana L. Mirakaj  end-user customers  IT Channel  partners  solution providers  The 2112 Group  vendors 

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2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit Echoes the Ecosystem Partnering Theme

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, November 9, 2015

The European Union is following the United States’ lead in cross-industry partnering. Partnering executives from across Europe convened to explore “The New Ecosystem for Partnerships” at the October 15-16, 2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit, held at the NH Amsterdam Grand Hotel in Amsterdam. Co-sponsored by Thought Leader Global, which specializes in organizing corporate events across the spectrum of corporate strategy, business development, and finance, the event drew about 60 attendees, most of whom were heads of strategic alliances and partnerships from all kinds of industries, primarily multi-nationals. 

The “successful partnership” between the two co-sponsors created a “great opportunity” for companies looking to learn from “different types of collaborations,” said ASAP Chairman of the Board Christine Carberry, CSAP, senior vice president, quality, technical operations, program & alliance management, at FORUM Pharmaceuticals, who attended the gathering. “In the past, it was biopharma-to-biopharma, high tech-to-high tech. We are now seeing much more partnering diversity across industries, including the service sector, academic institutions, and healthcare providers,” she explained.  “We are starting to get a much more diverse membership in ASAP and with people who are newer in alliance management.” 

Some 20 percent of ASAP membership is European-based, and the alliance community in Europe is an area of growth, said Carberry. 

“People are beginning to realize they need to build alliance management capability across their entire organization. And people are beginning to get interested in how to provide more resources, training, and guidance to those who need those skills and capabilities because they interact with partners and collaborations, “ Carberry added. 

Cross-industry collaboration is definitely happening in Europe, “but probably at a slower rate than the US,” agreed Scott Rogers, Thought Leader Global’s project manager. “One of the strengths of this event is benchmarking both within and outside your industry. So there are best practices from pharmaceutical companies managing alliances in complex ecosystems, but also strategies from IT companies handling unique technology partnerships. Terminology may sometimes differ, but essential principles remain the same.” 

Reflecting on the Summit, he said Sanofi, Ericsson, Takeda, and Unilever offered excellent presentations. Prominent manufacturing companies shared highly relevant experiences, and mature and emerging alliance managers gained best practices and possible networking connections with fellow attendees. “We reviewed the evaluation forms and we’re happy to report that attendees gave positive reviews to all the presentations, with many favoring speakers in their industry,” he added.

Summit attendees participated in sessions that spanned biopharma and high tech. Carberry singled out two sessions relating to the global trend of high tech and biopharma partnering because their convergence is requiring news skills and approaches. 

One session about R&D and strategy was given by Ingo Hoffmann, global head of strategic alliances & partner ecosystem at IBM’s Curam Solutions & Smarter Care. The other, Joint Ventures to Advance Corporate Development and Growth in New Markets” on advanced ventures and how they partner and grow, was given by Pierrick Rollet, vice president of global strategic partnerships & joint ventures at GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines. 

Carberry and Rogers agreed that the event exemplifies a win-win partnership, allowing ASAP to convene a significant contingent of its European members while also connecting with executives who are new to the association. 

“It was a high-quality event at a location well-suited for our European colleagues,” Carberry said. “I think it’s been a successful partnership between ASAP and Thought Leader Global. About half of people were familiar with ASAP.”

“This event theme fits perfectly within our portfolio, and we are able to leverage relationships from our other events to support this one,” added Rogers. “We are pleased with the ongoing collaboration between Thought Leader Global and ASAP.”

Tags:  2015 ASAP European Alliance Summit  alliance management  best practices  Christine Carberry  Ericsson  FORUM Pharmaceuticals  GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines  IBM’s Curam Solutions & Smarter Care  Ingo Hoffmann  partnering diversity  Pierrick Rollet  Sanofi  Scott Rogers  Takeda  Thought Leader Global  Unilever 

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The Final Handshake: What’s an Alliance Manager To Do When the Time to Terminate Comes?

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, October 8, 2015

Best practices can be just as important in the final stretches of a partnership as they are when development and trials are proceeding apace or the revenue stream is peaking. How to gracefully negotiate that last stretch before the parting handshake was the focus of “The Graceful Exit: Preserving Value and Relationship at the End of the Lifecycle” presented at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference on Sept. 10 by Diana L. Brassard, CA-AM, of external partnerships at Basalta US Inc., Mark Coflin, CSAP, senior director of alliance management global business development & licensing, bioscience, at Baxalta US Inc., and Julia Gershkovich, head of US R&D alliance management at Sanofi.

 

Good preparation for terminations preserves companies’ reputations and secures future opportunities. “Preparation is critical,” said Gershkovich. “If a partner decided to terminate, the project team may not be already there. When you get to the termination point, all internal stakeholders need to be aware and agree on this point. There needs to be respect toward the partner and transparencya lot of times we are dealing with smaller companies, and it means a lot to them.”

 

“One termination that comes to mind was with a Japanese company that was well-prepared and respectful,” recalled Coflin. “We thought about how we were going to communicate with them and how to deliver the message, including whether we should be meeting with them face-to-face. It needs to be done in mutually respectful way, because there might be future business.”

 

The termination process often is very long and termination activity can take two years, observed Brassard. “There is a need internally to lock in and assure that you have resources, budgets assigned, and clarity with respect to senior leadership and with respect to obligations.”

 

Go through very defined, structured procedures, followed by putting together a table for when the transactions would go throughbefore the termination is completed, she added. “This is all very important for business development and legal procedures, and eventually for resource allocations to maintain the core team.”

 

When is it appropriate to wear more of a project management hat as an alliance manager during the termination process? “There were one or two projects where I played both roles,” said Brassard. “When things started getting more negative, and the data coming in was negative, there was a decision that the alliance manager was going to take more of a key role. The alliance management best practices were not complimentary to each other, so it was very helpful to have project management tools. A lot of what I was trying to do was maintain a respectful relationship.”

 

“I was fortunate in most of my cases,” added Gershkovich. “I had project managers working with me, and they were great. We had to deliver the messages, and in one case it was clear that it was mutually understandable because the data didn’t work out. But in another case, we had to go to district resolution to stop the program, and we were still able to continue the relationship and preserve the value.”

 

A smattering from their list of dos and don’ts:  

  • Let partners know as soon as possible.
  • Map out a communication plan.
  • Meet regularly.
  • Get together with legal stakeholders, and go through the legal provisions of the contract.
  • Be aware of cultural differences, sensitivities, and time zones.
  • Negotiate in a way where value is preserved; present it in a way that they can take it right away.
  • Intellectual property is importantbe prepared that all checkpoints are done.
  • Prior to a termination notice, communicate with your partnerthe process is so much easier with good communication if the program doesn’t work out.
  • Include public and investor announcements, but if a company may go bankrupt and/or the product may be taken out of the pipeline, minimize the announcement.
  • Craft the termination carefully, and keep in mind there may be ongoing studies.
  • Don’t assume your partner is going to be as organized and experienced as you are.
  • Don’t assume they have plans for receiving the asset that you have made.

Tags:  2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference  alliance management  Basalta US Inc.  Baxalta US Inc.  Best practices  communicate  Diana L. Brassard  Julia Gershkovich  Mark Coflin  partner  partnership  project management  Sanofi  stakeholders  terminations  transparency 

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