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NetApp’s Trackable System Garners Best Practice Accolades at ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards Ceremony: A Q&A with Ron Long, CSAP

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, April 3, 2017
Updated: Friday, March 31, 2017

Finding new ways to implement alliance management tools and processes is valuable for the entire ASAP community because it sets a new standard for best practiceswhether in the area of measurement, communications, conflict resolution, training, or other applications. This year the Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award was presented to NetApp 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. This award highlights how NetApp has strived for exemplary partnering tools and practices. While many companies still try to manage partnering processes through spreadsheets, NetApp invested in technology and governance with stringent trackable processes that produce measurable results for its alliance co-selling program. The program assists NetApp and partner representatives proactively involved in account mapping, account planning, and pipeline management in the most difficult aspects of go-to-market alliances. The system also provides detailed reports on joint co-selling activities. I spoke with Ron Long, alliance director, who explained the progressive change undertaken that now acts as a valuable model for other companies tracking multi-alliance details.

What challenge were you problem-solving?
We were problem-solving the lack of ability to effectively manage and measure multi-alliance sales engagements. The challenge had to do with multiple partners pursing the same sale and having an impact when closing the deal.  The question was, “How does a system that is originated toward single-product sales measure revenue across several different companies?” We also wanted to improve the ability of teams to collaborate across multiple companies.

Describe some of the benefits of the new trackable system?
We were able to track investments and results, and that resulted in executive alliance growth. We also were able to track results for paying out commissions to salespeople. It was the impetus for growth and investment. When we could track those alliance partners, we had tangible data we could take to management and ask for investments for growth. Revenues have clearly improved through measurement and collaboration. We also use the system to set up sales pursuits to get partners to collaborate. This type of a problem is across multiple alliances, not just technology. Because it’s a problem that exists across multiple industries, it’s applicable outside the tech industry.

How did the new system evolve?
Two years ago, we started with some self-design, but we modified the sales tracking systems already in place with cloud technology, such as Salesforce.com. It’s adaptable because it’s a cloud-based service, and you can link in different information sources in the cloud. It’s easier to link that in than to do an in-house modification system. For governance, we do quarterly APRs, and each of the alliance leads added tracking of their progress, pipeline, revenue, investments, and training to ensure that what we’re doing plan-wise meets with results.

What ASAP tools and practices were useful when designing the system?
The greatest benefit came from ASAP Summit sessions that had to do with the overall management of multi-alliances. Also, we used several ASAP best practices as guideposts.

Tags:  alliance management  Alliance Managers  collaboration  governance  innovation  Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award  multi-alliances  multiple alliances  NetApp  partners  Ron Long 

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ASAP Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility Award Presented to The Synergist-Sanofi for Innovative ‘Break Dengue’ Initiative

Posted By Noel B. Richards and Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility award is an indispensable leg on the table of four ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards presented to finalists each year at the annual Global Alliance Summit. Submissions for the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility award were starkly absent in 2016, but this year three outstanding finalists stepped up to the plate to vie for the honor. The winner was pharmaceutical company Sanofi and The Synergist, a Brussels-based non-profit. Sanofi was looking for new and progressive ways to educate the public about dengue fever, and the “Break Dengue” multi-partner initiative with The Synergist and several other entities was hatched in response. The award was announced 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.

Sanofi is well known in the pharma industry; The Synergist is a nonprofit newcomer that builds collaborations by piecing together the right people and organizations for the project. The Synergist works to “bring together the stakeholders that can make a difference. These include corporations, academics, other experts, medical professionals, patients, and NGOs,” according to its website www.thesynergist.org. Founder Nicholas Brooke was CEO of ZN, a Brussels-based digital marketing agency, when he became inspired by a TED Talk by Simon Sinek called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” (view talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action). Brooke had enjoyed financial success at ZN and decided to leave the company to build The Synergist with an agenda for solving social or societal issues and the motto “Partner for Greater Societal Impact.”

ZN began the Break Dengue project as a way to start building awareness for dengue fever, a neglected tropical disease. Sanofi Pasteur then seized the opportunity to join the effort and signed on to the project. This decision had a profound impact on Sanofi Pasteur’s corporate culture. Celine Schillinger, head of innovation and engagement, was one of many in her company who embraced the challenge. She told hundreds of partnering executives: “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.” (See link on Sanofi’s goals at http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/270931/Changing-Corporate-Culture-To-Create-Social-Impact-A-Plenary-by-Celine-Schillinger .)

The Break Dengue multi-party alliance is unique because no one group or stakeholder promotes the answer. Instead, the alliance brings in different groups with diverse and unique strengths. For example, the Malaria Consortium joined to provide expertise in combating mosquito breeding grounds. Reflecting on the collaborative created for Break Dengue, Celine Schillinger remarked: “If we can overcome [the competitive mindset], we can fulfill something that’s bigger than ourselves and bigger than our organization's goals.”

Several innovative processes turned the project into a success. The collaboration has been in place for two years working to raise awareness and reduce incidence. It has become the No. 1 source and presence for public information about dengue fever by connecting healthcare providers, NGOs, researchers, local groups, and pharma. Break Dengue also has created an online scientific community known as “Dengue Lab.”

“This community is the greatest online platform used to collaborate and share efforts to combat dengue fever,” remarked Aaron Hoyles, program manager at The Synergist, during an interview shortly after the awards ceremony. For example, as part of its collaborative efforts, “Break Dengue was able to raise awareness about dengue fever during the 2014 World Cup through a campaign called ‘Red Card to Dengue.’ The campaign reached over one million followers, receiving over 81,000 views on its YouTube video.”

An online dengue tracking tool was then created to allow endemic areas to interact with a chat tool that helps them learn if they, or someone they know, has been exposed. The tool allows a map to pop up that people can view to determine the status of dengue fever in their area, along with information on sources of treatment or prevention. The Break Dengue website can be viewed at this link: https://www.breakdengue.org/

Tags:  “Break Dengue”  Celine Schillinger  collaboration  Corporate Culture  dengue fever  multi-partner initiative  Nicholas Brooke  Sanofi  Simon Sinek  stakeholders  TED Talk  The Synergist 

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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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New ASAP Corporate Member, DSM, Evolved From Coal Mining to Science-Based Company with Innovation, Sustainability, and Partnering at its Core

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, March 17, 2017

 DSM is a global science-based company with a focus on health, nutrition, and materials. Headquartered in the Netherlands, it has undergone a vast transformation from a coal mining entity in the early 20th century to a diverse, innovative company with the core value of sustainably. Partnering via strategic alliances and joint ventures has been critical to DSM’s growth, says Anoop Nathwani, director of excellence in strategic alliances/joint Ventures at DSM’s Innovation Centre. Nathwani provided the following information about DSM.

What inspired your team to join ASAP at the corporate level?
DSM has a number of successful joint ventures and strategic alliances, such as with Novozymes and Syngenta, to name a few. Industry dynamics are changing, and it recognizes the need to partner more extensively and start to ensure that correct partnering capabilities, skills, and competencies are more widely and consistently used to ensure partner successful in developing new, groundbreaking solutions for the markets it serves. In order to achieve this excellence in alliances and partnerships, DSM is looking to learn from ASAP’s best practices and adopt the appropriate tools and skills that are proven with companies showing consistent alliance success. DSM also saw the opportunity to be able to “tap into” thought leaders and networks with like-minded individuals to share best practices and learn from failures from a community of alliance professionals.

How else do you anticipate ASAP benefitting you and your team?

By joining ASAP, we can leverage the resources, tools, frameworks, and knowledge base with real, hands-on case studies of successful alliances that ASAP and the member community can offer. This can help those involved in driving strategic alliances, JVs, and partnerships to consistently achieve success in their partnering activity, versus the high failure rates that we see happening in partnering in general. The ultimate benefit is to see DSM achieve its growth objectives through successful partnering.

How has DSM evolved during a critical time of change in tech?
The evolution is simply phenomenal. Rather than trying to paraphrase this, please view this link to the company Website that explains that evolutional growth: 
https://www.dsm.com/corporate/about/our-company/dsm-history.html The link also talks about some of our many partnerships. Our alliance with Novozymes is a feed enzymes alliance. Combining DSM's and Novozymes' vast resources provides access to innovative products that are setting new industry standards and reaping exciting business results: http://www.dsm.com/markets/anh/en_US/products/products-feedenzymes/products_feed_enzymes_alliance.html. In terms of the alliance with Syngenta, DSM and Syngenta are developing and commercializing biological solutions for agriculture.  The alliance recently announced an R&D partnership to develop microbial-based agricultural solutions, including bio-controls, bio-pesticides and bio-stimulants. The companies aim to jointly commercialize solutions from their discovery platform. The collaboration aims to accelerate the delivery of a broad spectrum of products based on naturally occurring microorganisms for pre- and post-harvest applications around the world. These organisms can protect crops from pests and diseases, combat resistance, and enhance plant productivity and fertility.

Tags:  alliance  alliance teams  collaboration  DSM  Innovation  joint ventures  Novozymes  Partnering  resources  Sustainability  Syngenta  tools 

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Unusual Alliance Management Project in The Netherlands Wins ASAP Alliance Excellence Award for Model that Streamlines Government Services

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, March 2, 2017

There was plenty of celebration and even a few surprises 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, Calif. USA. One was the presentation of the Individual Alliance Excellence Award, which recognizes organizations that have instituted practices, tools, and methodologies in support of successful formation and management for a single alliance. The award was given to Loonaangifteketen-UWV-CBS-Belastingdienst for their novel alliance created between three government agencies in The Netherlands: Belastingdienst (Dutch IRA), UWV (Dutch National Social Security Administration), and CBS (Statistics Netherlands). The agencies applied a governance model that emphasized cross-agency collaboration that generates 60 percent of the Dutch government’s revenue in an easy-to-use system for pensions and social security benefits. The alliance lowered costs while increasing convenience to the citizenry with 96 percent accuracy. After the awards ceremony, I spoke with Diantha Croese, key alliance manager at Loonaangifteketen, Menno Aardewyn, business consultant at UWV, and Paul Vincken, alliance manager at Loonaangifteketen, about their experience, roles in the transition, and how they found themselves in a problem that required alliance management skills.

Diantha: The government wanted to lower administrative and implementation costs and improve convenience for citizens, such as making it easier to request information on taxes, benefits, students grants, pensions, and social security.

Menno: Additionally, there were two streams of money. One was for taxes and wages; the other was from social security. They wanted to bring the two streams together so one organization would complete the money stream.

Paul: The politicians requested the change.

Menno: It was forced on us by the government. The main idea was to make it cheaper and less complicated. But then the problems started.  It went completely wrong in the beginning because there was no attention to the alliance. Many people had to leave our organization, and there was no will to collaborate. People in different division didn’t understand each other.

Diantha: It was almost like the different divisions spoke a different language. The systems failed.  No one had the overhead view of where the risks were. Nobody saw the big picture.

Paul: We worked for two years in a big mess, from 2007-08 until 2010.

Diantha: It required problem analysis.

Menno: The analysis was very pure and prudent. The analysis was ordered by the government and made a lot of things clear.

Diantha: The analysis found we needed to do 50 procedures to get it started again.

Diantha: An independent alliance manager then stepped in and told everyone what to do. That helped bring people together, and helped us understand our role, why things weren’t working, and what we could do to get it to work.

Menno: He was an overriding authority.

Paul: He could intervene in the processes of the partner organization. That was his power. He had an extremely powerful start.

Menno: He was one of the solutions to solve the problems after the analysis.  This was normal procedure, but the alliance management tasks started after the first big meeting we had over two days with all of the key players on all the management levels of all the organization. It included the people who had all of the systems knowledge. These 40 people reorganized the thoughts they had. The old classical management instructions that are based on a hierarchical system weren’t working. We started to think completely new again on what we needed to manage with each other, and how we should do it together. So it was collaboration from the beginning.

Diantha: Each organization had someone they reported to, and they were aligned together in relationships they had not been in before.

Menno: We noticed in the analysis there were four dimensions that needed to be addressed to solve the problems: content, procedure (how it should be done), relationship needs, and cultural difference (awareness of the collaborating partners). We evaluated with surveys on how to manage the four dimensions. These diagnostics were really important to mirror what was really happening.

Diantha: We noticed some of the problems we faced couldn’t be solved between us, so we had to find other partners who could help us and create value for each other. We had been so busy with our own process, we finally had time to look around and see what other people were doing.

Paul: So we are evolving into a new ecosystem.

Menno: There are no boundaries anymore working together.

Diantha: They feel like colleagues.

Diantha: We did a lot of trust building. There are no groups anymore.

Paul: We are one.

Menno: It was really worth it also for our personal development. We changed because the organization changed.

Diantha: We have a lot of storytelling now so people can learn from our experiences.

Menno: We wrote a little book about all of our experiences and all the experiences we had with other organizations. The resulting system is transferable to any government. We mention many more alliances than just our own alliance.

Diantha: The model can be used in public or private companies. It’s all about aligning people.

Menno: But not just in knowledge, but the way we behave, the procedures, and how to respect each other.

Diantha: You have to help others to become successful, and that needs to be in the brain of every employee. It’s important that those at the top of the organization who want a collaboration practice what they preach. If that is not in order, then you have a problem. 

Tags:  alliance  alliance manager  Belastingdienst  CBS  collaboration  Diantha Croese  ecosystem  Loonaangifteketen  Management Project  Menno Aardewyn  Netherlands  partner  Paul Vincken  UWV 

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