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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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HR Tech Alliances & Partnerships Coming Out of the Shadows

Posted By Michael Leonetti, CSAP on behalf of Ward Christman, Wednesday, September 30, 2015

HR technology companies will leverage partnership management tools and techniques while gaining insight into ASAP.   Remember the days when ASAP began and our rallying cry was most partnerships fail 70% of the time or greater?  Well according to the founders of HR Tech Advisor success is a very real concern for HR technology company partnerships. Therefore a partnership with ASAP is a must.   Check-out the good work HR Tech Advisor is doing to help ASAP’s best practices become a part of the HR Tech world.  From Mike Leonetti, CSAP, President & CEO, ASAP. The following blog is being provided to ASAP by Ward Christman of HR Tech Advisor for reprint in the ASAP Blog.

 

HR Tech Alliances & Partnerships Coming Out of the Shadows

Giving Indirect Sales Some Breathing Room

It’s the best trade show of the year, your booth looks great and you’re looking sharp with a smile ready to greet that next big client walking up to your booth. Your elevator pitch is ready, you say hello and your pulse quickens as your new buyer greets you by asking “may I speak with your head of partnerships?” (gasp) To make matters worse, while you’re telling them the person they want isn’t at the show, three prospects walk by your booth! Repeat this 10 times and you’ll test the patience of even the calmest sponsor. How can this be fixed?

 

New this year at HR Tech World Congress is a special section of the expo hall just for people in charge of Partnerships and Alliances. This new area will undoubtedly spawn new partnerships while helping improve the direct sales efforts by keeping the booth activities dedicated to capturing the main buyer traffic.

In this new special section called HR Tech Alliances, there will be:

Speed Dating – for discovering potential new business partnerships

Panel Presentations:

  • How to partner with  ____________ (panelists TBD)
  • Build, Buy or Partner?
  • Investor/Incubator/Fund view
  • HR Tech CEO view
  • Global Head of Alliances view

 Workshops: Best Practices in Alliances and Partnerships

  • Finding new partners
  • Growing existing partnerships
  • KPIs and benchmarking

This new innovative offering, being run in partnership between HR Tech Advisor and HR Tech World Congress, is a first for the HR Tech industry. “Being experts in Partnerships and Alliances, we knew something had to change, so we approached HRN Europe who, as it turns out, were already wanting to do something like this!” says Ward Christman, Chief Advisor for HR Tech Advisor and co-founder of HRTechAlliances.com. “It’s long overdue that HR Tech Alliances & Partnerships come out of the shadows” says Christman.

 

Marc Coleman, CEO for HRN Europe who runs HR Tech World Congress, also is a fan of helping HR Tech companies better collaborate with each other – “We have seen a number of partnerships formulate during our events. We want to empower the HR Tech suppliers to do more business with each other so the effectiveness of the ecosystem delivers better results for the HR Tech buyers.”

 

“With an 80% partnership failure rate in our industry, we have a long way to go to match other industries. The fix begins with collaboration that exploits each partner’s value proposition.  And then harmonizing partnerships via a pragmatic balance of “Dilemma Capture, Deal Collaboration, and Data Control.” says Larry Cummings, Chief Connector and co-founder of HRTechAlliances.com.

 

For HR Tech companies looking to expand their reach in Europe and beyond, be sure to sign up soon for booth at HR Tech World Congress – they are truly almost sold out. If you can’t get a booth or can’t send your team, be sure to inquire about sending your Head of Alliances/Partnerships (or Business Development) – this is going to be one amazing event you won’t want to miss!

 

More info: web: HR Tech World Congress or email: HRN@HRtechAlliances.com

Tags:  collaboration  HR Tech Advisor  HR Tech buyers  HR Tech World  HR Tech World Congress  indirect sales  Larry Cummings  Mark Coleman  partnership  Ward Christman 

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