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Making Adjustments: ASAP Global Alliance Summit Now in June!

Posted By Michael Leonetti, CSAP, Monday, March 9, 2020

We’ve all had the experience of an unexpected event that suddenly threw a wrench into our alliances or our lives. Depending on the nature of the event, its magnitude, and how close to home it hits, we generally do our best to understand how the landscape has changed, adjust to the implications, make accommodations, and move forward. Reality may defy our hopes and expectations, but we pick up the pieces, dust ourselves off, and keep getting up in the morning amid the now-altered environment.

So it is with the coronavirus, or COVID-19, whose effects worldwide have already proven serious. Our hearts go out to all those who have been directly affected by this virus, especially the families of those who have died from it around the globe. In addition, this contagious disease—and the fear of it—has already had a significant economic impact, including declines in business and vacation travel and the cancellation or postponement of a number of conventions, conferences, and trade shows in various industries. Most organizations have been forced to respond in some way, whether to shift events to alternative dates or from physical to virtual, to curtail travel to safeguard their people, or to try to limit the damage to their bottom line. Or all of the above.

We at ASAP have faced these challenges as well, resulting in the difficult decision to reschedule our Global Alliance Summit, which had been scheduled for next week, to June 23–25 in Tampa, Florida. In the great scheme of things this move may barely register, but for a member organization like ours, as you can imagine, it’s a big deal. Shifting the Summit to new dates has required a huge and immediate lift on the part of ASAP staff and board, which is ongoing as I write this.

The good news is, the show will go on! I’m very happy that we were able to secure the original conference venue, the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, for our late-June dates. I’m even more pleased to report that at present, nearly 75 percent of our presenters, panelists, and moderators have confirmed that they’ll be there.

What this means is that we’ll still have a terrific program, as planned—a program that, as always, includes presentations by some of the alliance and partnering profession’s best and brightest minds and leading lights, including these:

  • A keynote presentation by Steve Steinhilber, global vice president, ecosystems and business development, at Equinix: “Creating Alliances and Digital Ecosystem Capabilities in an Increasingly Platform Enabled and Interconnected World.” Steve ran alliances at Cisco for a number of years, and while there authored the influential book Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work (2008). He was also among those interviewed for our Q1 2020 cover story in Strategic Alliance Quarterly on the rise and far-reaching effects of ecosystems in nearly every industry, and his insights into this important and growing area are sure to be valuable and applicable to any industry.
  • A fascinating panel moderated by Adam Kornetsky of Vantage Partners titled “Big Pharma M&A and Alliance Portfolios: What’s at the End of the Rainbow?” This interactive discussion will feature panelists including Mark Coflin, CSAP, vice president and head of global alliances at Takeda Pharmaceuticals; Dana Hughes, vice president of integration management and alliance management at Pfizer; and Jeffrey C. Hurley, senior director, GBD global alliance lead at Takeda. These longtime ASAP members will share their recent M&A experiences, provide insights into how alliance portfolios have been managed through the transaction process, and engage participants in sharing additional perspectives critical for unlocking and maximizing the full value of an alliance portfolio.
  • A presentation by Dan Rippey, director of engineering for Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner program, and Amit Sinha, chief customer officer and cofounder of WorkSpan, called “How the Microsoft Partner-to-Partner Program Is Disrupting the Way Technology Companies Are Leveraging the Power of Ecosystems for Business Growth, Customer Acquisition, and Gaining a Competitive Advantage.” With the rise of ecosystems has come the increasing deployment of partner-to-partner (P2P) programs, and Microsoft’s may be the largest on the planet, connecting partners directly with each other to deliver value to customers without Microsoft’s intervention. Powered by WorkSpan Ecosystem Cloud, this program increases profitability by selling solutions from one or more of Microsoft’s partners, achieving faster time-to-market by leveraging prebuilt joint solutions, closing larger deals, and reaching more customers by co-selling with other Microsoft partners for a bigger joint pipeline. This new model of partnering has wide applicability and Dan and Amit’s description of how it works is a must-hear.
  • Another terrific panel moderated by Jan Twombly, president of The Rhythm of Business, called “Biopharma Commercial Alliance Management Challenges.” Panelists will include Brooke Paige, CSAP, ASAP board chair and former vice president of alliance management at Pear Therapeutics; and David S. Thompson, CSAP, chief alliance officer at Eli Lilly and Company. In the long life of a successful biopharma alliance, the commercialization phase brings its own particular challenges and problems. This panel promises to be a lively discussion of such topics as how alliance managers deliver value in a commercial alliance, considerations for driving alignment in local geographies and at a corporate level, aspects of alliance governance to get right to maximize value, and much more.

I’m not indulging in hyperbole when I say that these are just a very few of the highlights. Again,  more than three-quarters of the original Summit agenda is planned  to remain intact—including preconference workshops, single-speaker presentations, illuminating panel discussions, and of course, valuable networking opportunities.

We know there are many factors governing decisions on where to travel and why—especially under current conditions. But we’re confident that even after shifting to the June dates, we’ll be fielding a stellar lineup at the Summit in Tampa—one you’ll want to be present for. If you haven’t registered yet and/or for whatever reason were uncertain about attending in March, you now have some extra time to decide.

Additionally, the Renaissance has set up a new block of rooms at our discounted rate of $219.00+ per night. To book your room for the new conference dates, please click on the link below:

https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1583953400577&key=GRP&app=resvlink

Let’s all try to plan for normal again! Won’t you join us? I hope to see you in Tampa!

Tags:  alliances  Amit Sinha  biopharma  Brooke Paige  Dan Rippey  Dana Hughes  David Thompson  Ecosystems  Eli Lilly and Company  Equinix  Jan Twombly  Jeffrey Hurley  Mark Coflin  Microsoft  P2P  partners  Pfizer  Steve Steinhilber  Takeda  The Rhythm of Business  Vantage Partners  WorkSpan 

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It’s Here: New Handbook Supplement Covers IT Partnering Principles and Practices

Posted By Michael Leonetti, CSAP, Saturday, February 29, 2020

Nothing remains static for long—not in alliances and partnering, and not in most industries today. Take your eye off the ball, and you may miss an important trend with far-reaching implications. Drift away from strategy and lose focus, and your competitive edge may be eroded as well. Continue doing things “the way we’ve always done it” and you might find yourself eclipsed, left in the dust by more innovative, less hidebound competitors.

Standing still is not an option—nor is sticking your head in the sand. Here at ASAP we’ve been busy moving forward, looking ahead, and responding to both the latest partnering trends and what many of our members have been asking for. So we’re thrilled to announce the release of our new IT supplement to The ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management: The ASAP Guide to Information Technology Partnering, now available in electronic format.

Most of our ASAP members already know about The ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management—some of them even contributed to it! Since its publication, the Handbook has proved a valuable, comprehensive resource for alliance professionals and their teams, providing a wealth of information, guiding principles, and best practices that take readers through the stages of the alliance life cycle and beyond, into emerging areas of alliance practice.

One of those emerging areas is information technology—a huge part of all our lives and one whose effects and implications go way beyond the “usual suspects” in Silicon Valley. As Forrester’s Jay McBain tells us in the Q1 issue of Strategic Alliance Quarterly, today, “every company is becoming a technology company.”

What does that mean for alliance professionals? What adjustments will they need to make to their thinking and vision going forward? What roles will they play in this massive digital transformation happening everywhere, across industries? How will they manage, orchestrate, and navigate the complex technology partnerships that encompass everything from multipartner go-to-market efforts to vast platform ecosystems (and everything in between)?

We set out to find the answers to those questions—and many more—and present them in a form that our members can readily and easily use. Hence the publication of The ASAP Guide to Information Technology Partnering, which contains the latest and most advanced thinking on leading, managing, and deriving revenue from alliances, partnerships, and complex ecosystems in the high-tech field. This supplement has been specifically tailored to the needs of the IT field and its pressures, concerns, and fast-moving trends. To create it, we reached out to a wide range of ASAP members and others—respected alliance leaders, successful consultants, industry analysts, widely published researchers, and more—to collect and synthesize their knowledge and insights. The result is the compilation and distillation of that thinking, from academic research to real-world, in-the-trenches experiences and proven partnering principles.

The ASAP Guide to Information Technology Partnering explores the challenges of working in a continually changing IT landscape marked by ecosystems, strategic alliances, channels, and other partnering arrangements. It’s a world of competition, collaboration, coopetition, and constant technological disruption, where agility and speed are essential and the next big innovation is likely to hit the market tomorrow.

This supplement and updated guide dives deep into such critical subjects as:

  • The evolution of the IT channel
  • The rise, spread and functions of ecosystems  
  • How ecosystems relate to the Alliance Life Cycle
  • The role of alliance professionals as ecosystem orchestrators and facilitators
  • Collaboration and competition in IT partnering
  • Revenue-generating, customer-focused go-to-market guidelines and collaborative selling methodologies
  • Alliance metrics in an ecosystem context
  • Today’s alliance professional as entrepreneurial leader, driver, and strategic visionary
  • Alliances as an essential enterprise function in the high-tech world

In addition, it features descriptions of best practices, frameworks, and checklists for IT partnering; key questions and qualities that are essential for IT alliance professionals today; resources for further reading; a helpful glossary; and fillable online worksheets and forms.

We’re pretty confident that The ASAP Guide to Information Technology Partnering will soon be required reading for anyone who is embarking on or transitioning into an alliance management role in technology, and that it will aid more experienced practitioners with advanced insights as well. Along with another Handbook update for the biopharmaceutical field—coming soon—this supplement, I think, represents a welcome addition to our growing storehouse of helpful and thought-provoking content for our ASAP member community.

How do you get a copy? Easy. Right now you can purchase copies for yourself and your team at the introductory special member price of $47.20 per copy. Just visit our website at https://www.strategic-alliances.org/page/store click on the Publications button and scroll down to The ASAP Guide to Information Technology Partnering. And let us know what you think—we value your feedback, and your thoughts and concerns are greatly appreciated! It’s what makes the ASAP community such a powerful vehicle for networking, knowledge, and education for all of us

Tags:  Alliance  Alliance Life Cycle  alliance professionals  collaborative selling  ecosystems  entrepreneurial leader  go-to-market  high-tech  IT channel  IT partnering 

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Coopetition Pulse Survey Request from ASAP EPPP Vantage Partners

Posted By Jonathan Hughes, Partner, Vantage Partners , Friday, December 20, 2019

In today’s rapidly evolving market ecosystems, interactions between companies are neither simple nor static.  Companies engage in both competitive and collaborative interactions with one another; companies that were once considered fierce competitors are now also each other’s most strategic partners.  Consider, for example – Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are fierce competitors in the video streaming space, and Amazon Web Services provides the backend infrastructure for Netflix’s streaming operations. 

Unfortunately, many companies fail to maximize value from their relationships – with resellers, alliance partners, customers, and suppliers – because they fail to employ effective strategies for managing coopetition.  How well does your organization optimize the value of its third-party relationships?

ASAP is collaborating with Vantage Partners in an effort to collect data points from its members which will contribute to the findings of this survey.  The outcomes of this survey will add to ASAP’s growing knowledge base and member resources.

Please consider contributing to this study by answering five short questions about your company’s experiences, capabilities, and strategies for managing coopetition with the Vantage Partners Coopetition Pulse survey:

Take the Vantage Partners Coopetition Pulse Survey now                                                                                          

You can also opt-in to receive our report, incorporating results from this survey, on the value of effectively engaging in coopetition, and what separates market leaders from laggards.  This survey is completely anonymous; responses will only be reported in aggregate and will not be attributed to any individual or company.  

Tags:  Amazon Prime Video  competitive  competitors  coopetition  ecosystems  Netflix  strategic partners  strategies  Vantage Partners 

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The Perfect Storm Meets the Perfect Ship: The Changing Face of Partnering in Tech and Biopharma

Posted By Michael Leonetti, CSAP, Wednesday, October 30, 2019

In most industries, change is now so rapid that we often have trouble seeing through the fog of day-to-day demands in front of us. The effects we experience, react to, and feel most keenly may be local—our jobs, our companies, our partners, our industries—but the bigger picture behind it is global, and the frequent wind shifts of global trade, the interconnected worldwide economy, and changing consumer and customer behavior cannot always be foreseen. Instead of being able to ride out the proverbial “calm before the storm,” we have to navigate our way through a series of storms, each one seemingly more disruptive than the next.

            This is certainly no less true in the fields of biopharma and technology partnering, two industries from which so many of our ASAP members hail.

            The technology sector is still undergoing a transition from traditional channel management to ecosystem management, from multipartner alliances and channels to ecosystems of hundreds of partners at various levels—all very challenging to keep tabs on, much less manage and oversee. Go-to-market efforts that formerly might have involved just two or three companies may now be mounted by 10 or 15 ecosystem partners—or more—leveraging their strengths and customer knowledge to sell solutions together.

            The sea change is happening in biopharma as well. The space has seen increasing partnerships between technology and biopharma companies, like those involving digital therapeutics startups, service providers, diagnostic companies, and even ecosystem-like multipartner deep engagements—all as pharma companies must still maintain their excellence in asset-based product partnerships in order to remain competitive.

            Even the language can get confusing. Alliances? Partnerships? Relationships? Ecosystems? We’ve heard from some who say they “don’t do alliances—it’s just partnering now.” Others may prefer the term alliances to partnerships from a legal or perhaps philosophical standpoint. Still others put the emphasis on ecosystems as the direction everything is heading.

            What’s going on? How to make sense of these shifting winds and rolling waves of disruption? Is there a perfect ship that can make way through the perfect storm?

The passage through these choppy seas is not always clear, but I believe the ASAP community—our “ship,” if you will—is perfectly positioned to illuminate the fog, avoid the icebergs, and take advantage of the opportunities provided amid all these developments. Here’s why:

  • Throughout its two-decade-plus history, ASAP has been driven by its mission to collect and promote the best partnering practices of both biopharma and tech companies, along with other industries that utilize partnering to create value.
  • Early on, ASAP predicted and began to prepare its members for frequent, if not routine, partnerships between health care/biopharma and tech companies.
  • We know that complex ecosystems and multipartner relationships require modified, agile best practices to be successful. ASAP has long been working tirelessly to provide solid education and actionable guidance in these areas.
  • We now have the opportunity to take advantage of the partnering skills as defined in The ASAP Handbook of Alliance Management and supplement these learnings with other informative insights that continue to be unveiled throughout all of ASAP’s media and publications—including Strategic Alliance Quarterly, Strategic Alliance Monthly and Weekly, and ASAP Netcast Webinars.
  • Finally, there’s the unparalleled access to education and networking provided by ASAP conferences and other events, such as the upcoming European Alliance Summit in Amsterdam (Nov. 14–15) and the Global Alliance Summit in Tampa (Mar. 16–18, 2020).

It’s all there and yours for the taking. Want to get on board with the latest partnering practices in the technology and health care/biopharma industries? Look no further than this seriously skilled community of practitioners—“our ship.” Together, we’re setting a course for the future of alliances and partnering.

Tags:  Alliance  biopharma  channels  collaboration  diagnostic companies  ecosystems  Go-to-market  health care  multipartner alliances  partner  partnering  service providers  technology  therapeutics startups 

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From Amsterdam to Fort Lauderdale: A Tale of Two Summits (Part 1)

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Wednesday, March 6, 2019

It’s interesting how “business ecosystems”—a biology metaphor—first became widely used terminology in the digital arena of software and technology—not in the life sciences. Same with “agile”—a development approach popularized by software startups morphed into a general teamwork and business management approach, now being adapted to collaboration within and among organizations of all types. Both of these terms took center stage in a number of presentations last November at the ASAP European Alliance Summit in Amsterdam—and will be spotlighted again next week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, organized around the theme of “Agile Partnering in Today’s Collaborative Ecosystems.”

You’re not alone if you think that “agility” and “ecosystems” are relevant topics—but you aren’t quite sure what “agile partnering” and “ecosystem management” actually mean. These emerging concepts are being defined, researched, and tested in the real world by practitioners across the ASAP community. Their learnings became the agendas of these two conferences—creating definition and clarity, building new capabilities, sharing case examples and new practices, and exploring new models for partnering. 

Ard-Pieter de Man, CSAP, PhD—an alliance management consultant and professor of management studies at the School of Business and Economics of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam—has been on a tear about the topic of ecosystem management:

  • Managing ecosystems—which de Man freely acknowledges is a contradictory notion—is the theme of a panel discussion next week at 2019 Summit, where de Man will be joined by senior partnering leaders from three very different fields: Harm-Jan Borgeld, PhD, CSAP, PhD, head alliance management, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; Ken Carpenter, senior director, global partner qlliances, JDA Software; and Sally Wang, vice president alliances and partnerships, International SOS.
  • De Man discussed his hot topic in-depth in an article he authored for the Q4 2018 issue of Strategic Alliance Quarterly that includes findings from interviews with 12 executives involved in ecosystem management.
  • In January, he elaborated on the potential alliance management implications of ecosystems and emerging ecosystem management practices in several posts he contributed to the ASAP Blog.
  •  November 8 at the ASAP European Alliance Summit, he discussed “Ecosystem Management vs. Alliance Management: What’s the Difference?”

Back in December, I caught up with de Man on Skype to ask about how he might describe ecosystem management—and how different audiences, in industries and sectors other than technology, might apply the concept to their collaborations. (For more of my conversations with De Man, see articles in December 2018 Strategic Alliance Monthly and Q1 2019 Strategic Alliance Quarterly).

“It’s much like orchestration,” he said, borrowing yet another metaphor popularized by tech. He continued (including a term from astronomy that also pops up in ecosystem conversations): “A lot of public-private initiatives involve more complex constellations with numerous partners. I did presentation last Friday for the city of Amsterdam. They have a lot of challenges. I introduced the ecosystem concept to them and they found it really useful because they’re always working with a lot of different partners. And it looks like many of these public [sector] challenges are going to be addressed by multi-partner alliances. You can’t necessarily call them ecosystems, but they have characteristics of ecosystems. Speed is getting important. You might think, with the public sector involved, that things may slow down—but that’s no longer acceptable.” He went on to say, “Alliance capability is very valuable to have, and probably a qualifier if you want the ecosystem play. But you also have to develop new capabilities—the bar has been raised over the last couple of years.”

Next week in Fort Lauderdale, De Man and his Summit panelists plan on “bringing in the experience that people have now working in such an ecosystem environment,” he explained. “Each will discuss their issues: How is ecosystem different than alliance management? What are the different approaches, different competency profiles, do you hire different people? What is the same or similar? How do you think it will develop over the coming years?”

Learn about De Man’s panel discussion and other seminal sessions at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, and register for the event, at http://asapsummit.org. See the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive before, during, and after coverage of the 2019 Summit in Strategic Alliance publications and on the ASAP blog. 

Tags:  agile partnering  agility  alliance capability  Ard-Pieter de Man  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  collaboration  ecosystem management  ecosystems  multi-partner alliances  public-private initiatives 

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