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Partnering and Digital Transformation, Part Two: A Preview of the June 7 ASAP Tech Partner Forum with Erna Arnesen, CSAP

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I’m back for Part Two of ASAP Media’s conversation with Erna Arnesen, CSAP, whom you can talk to yourself if you’re attending the Wednesday, June 7, 2017, ASAP Tech Partner Forum. Erna is a well-known and widely respected figure not just within ASAP but also in the high-tech community, where she’s been recognized as one of “Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence” by the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. Erna currently serves as chief channel and alliance officer at ZL Technologies and has been working with a team of fellow ASAP Silicon Valley Chapter leaders to launch the ASAP Tech Partner Forum, which is focused on how to “collaborate at the speed of digital transformation” and hosted by gaming processor board maker NVIDIA at its corporate HQ in Santa Clara, Calif.

Erna also is the facilitator of a pivotal panel discussion on “Strategies You Need to Partner Everywhere,” where she will be joined onstage by Steen Graham, general manager, IoT ecosystem/channels, Internet of Things Group, Intel; Maria Olson, VP of global and strategic alliances at NetApp; and Andres Sintes, Cisco’s global senior director, partner GTM, digital transformation & IoT. We ended Part One http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/277657/Partnering-and-Digital-Transformation-A-Preview-of-the-June-7-ASAP-Tech-Partner-Forum-with-Erna-Arnesen-CSAP of this article in the middle of Erna describing what she plans to discuss with her fellow panelists—and why these are urgent topics for technology partnering and strategy executives.

ASAP Media: The event theme focuses squarely on how partnering and strategy must evolve to keep pace with digital transformation. How do you and your panelists intend to approach this topic?

As high-tech companies work to evolve and transform the way both they and their customers do business, partnering strategy is more complex. It’s complicated because you need to work with more and more partners doing bits and pieces of the total solution. While the technology connections are often highly automated, the collaboration often is manual. So we’re trying to manage the partnerships of complex technologies, many things in business are being digitally transformed, but our ability to work with partners isn’t that developed yet. Maria Olson of NetApp will talk about that—how even with her largest alliance partners, like Cisco, a lot of the communication, such as exchanging information, sharing leads, and so on are not always being handled with sophisticated technologies.

Andres Sintes of Cisco is going to raise some of the critical questions involved when you are focused on the infrastructure behind partnering. How do you connect ecosystems and share tools when you are still using 20th century technologies? Are we the cobbler’s children? Why are we as partners sometimes lacking the technology?

Another, related line of discussion is the process of simplification. As people digitally transform their businesses, they need to figure out how to make the more complex systems simpler from an operational standpoint. Whether you’re involved in two-way or multi-partner collaborations, you still need to have this mindset.

From a strategy standpoint, what other issues are top-of-mind for your panel—and presumably other strategy, partnering, and channel executives?

Everyone on our panel wanted to talk vertical strategy. Are we moving back, or forward, toward a verticalized set of tools and solutions? We believe that many partners and shared customers do have unique vertical requirements, and all three of my colleagues will give some examples of where they see that effect. We’ll also tie that into the Internet of Things (IoT), where you’re working with partners that often are not even IT providers, but vertical suppliers that evolved into digital strategies forcing them to be more IT centric.

Also we hope to have some discussion about very large, complex digitization like Smart Cities. The technology is advancing to make the Smart Cities vision more feasible. Cisco has been talking about it and developing the vision for 10 years—again, it’s one of the verticals with opportunity.

Another theme is monetization. People throw around digital transformation and integration of IoT, but what’s the real return on investment (ROI)?  What’s the strategy for monetization for you and partners, and what’s the benefit for customers in terms of their ROI?

Our last theme will address the effects of digital transformation on the partnering strategy. What is the impact on the ecosystem of today and tomorrow?

This will be an in-depth, hour-long discussion. In a nutshell, what do your panelists hope participants will take away with them when they return to their jobs?

To partner at scale for digital transformation, companies really have to build out more of the IT infrastructure around their alliance partnerships. They also need to focus on a multi-partner approach, verticalization, and simplification. If I had to summarize the messages they will share, it will be along the lines of those four major elements.  Let’s see how the panel discussion unfolds, though, and what insights are in store for the audience.

Read more in Part One of our Q&A with Erna Arnesen discussing the June 7, 2017, ASAP Tech Partner Forum at http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/277657/Partnering-and-Digital-Transformation-A-Preview-of-the-June-7-ASAP-Tech-Partner-Forum-with-Erna-Arnesen-CSAP.  Learn more details about the event program at www.asaptechforum.org.  

Tags:  alliance partnerships  Andres Sintes  channel executives  Cisco  Digital transformation  ecosystem  Intel  Internet of Things (IoT)  IT infrastructure  Maria Olson  monetization  multi-partner collaborations  NetApp  partnering strategy  partnerships  simplification  Smart Cities  Steen Graham 

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‘It’s About the Relationships, Stupid’—Finding the Fullest Potential and Meaning in Your Partnerships

Posted By Geena B. Richards and Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Maria Olson, CSAP encouraged her audience to reach their full potential in business alliances during an inspirational talk 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. During one of four plenary  “Leadership Spotlights,” NetApp’s vice president of global and strategic alliances told her listeners, “You have a duty to understand your true potential. If you don’t, you are cheating yourself and stealing from the world.” She then then provided several tools for unlocking that “true potential.”

Olson will be providing more thoughtful advice for her fellow leaders as a panelist at the ASAP Tech Partner Forum to be held at NVIDIA in Santa Clara, Calif., next Wed., June 7, 2017. In an in-depth session moderated by Erna Arnesen, chief channel and alliance officer at ZL Technologies, Olson will join Steen Graham of Intel, and Andres Sintes of Cisco to discuss “Strategies You Need to Partner Everywhere.” http://www.asaptechforum.org/17/tech17sessions.html#everywhere

“It’s not about the tech, it’s about the relationships . . . Without the relationships, we would not have the success,” Olson emphasized in her March 1 plenary talk. “As partners, have we reached the full potential, or are we still on the journey?” she then asked the audience to consider. Partnerships are important, and if they can reach peak potential and performance, they can have an even larger impact, she added. To do so, consider four key questions:

  • What is the meaning of the partnership?
  • What is the purpose of the partnership?
  • What impact is this partnership having on our customers and the market?
  • What contribution is this having in terms of revenue, innovation, and to our society as a whole?

It can be approached like a mathematical equation, Olson said: “You need to understand the meaning, purpose, contribution, and impact. When you understand these things, it will ultimately lead to success.” Ask yourself, “What was the meaning of this partnership? It was really about creating value for the customer,” she then answered. “The purpose was flexibility—being able to bring together pieces to make it easy for the customers. The impact it has had is innovation.”

Now consider multi-alliances, she continued. “Trying to work with two partners is hard, but with each new partner, it gets harder and harder. The multiplier effect is like partnering with an earthquake. You have a Richter Scale going on of 10.” To organize and assess many partnerships, she advised following these key points:

  • Have key performance measures in place to measure partner success
  • Measure revenue in terms of go-to-market initiatives
  • Consider how the company is performing in terms of training and enablement with channel partners
  • Make co-innovation a priority

With each relationship, applying these points will bring greater alliance success, Olson said. “The key to relationships is trust. . . . Trust is extra important in terms of being able to partner with companies and go back to the meaning, purpose, etc. Without trust, one cannot create greatness,” she added.

“So how do you help your teams understand their full potential? The Cisco/NetApp partnership is about 10 years old, and we’re still reaching our full potential,” she concluded, and then she hinted at one last secret ingredient for the sauce: “What really drives people is learning, really trying to learn how to do things in a friendly environment.”

Learn more about the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum, an all-day event for senior tech and partnering executives hosted by NVIDIA at its corporate HQ in Santa Clara, Calif., at www.asaptechforum.org

Tags:  Andres Sintes  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  Cisco  co-innovation  contribution  Erna Arnesen  go-to-market  High Tech  inpact  Intel  Internet of Things  IoT  Maria Olson  multi-alliances  NetApp  NVIDIA  Partner success  partnerships  Steen Graham  trust  ZL Technologies 

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Dynamic Summit Workshop Promises Practical Tips and Hands-On Exercises To Help Manage and Prevent Alliance Conflict

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, February 20, 2017

Candido Arreche, CA-AM, global director of portfolio & partner management, Xerox worldwide alliances, is known for his captivating, insightful, and fun hands-on workshops at ASAP events. Arreche will be returning to the role with a new six-hour workshop “How to Resolve Conflict in Your Alliance,” from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tues., Feb. 28 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. During a recent interview, Arreche shared his vision for the daily practice of conflict resolution that can keep an alliance relationship moving and growing.

Why a workshop on conflict resolution?

In every partnership, there is always conflict. You have a honeymoon period, but when you roll up sleeves and do the work, there is always conflict. A lot of alliances stagnate because of conflict or misunderstanding. How we work alliances, how we manage that conflict is how we will get that alliance relationship moving again. Conflict resolution is not only the stuff we have to do when we hit the conflict, but what do we do beforehand. Good conflict management works at how to manage negative conflict and how to prevent it.

Do you have any techniques for getting stagnant relationships moving again?

My workshop is mostly exercises to build trust and relationships to understand what the problem or conflict is to be able to work together. The focus is on how to build collaboration when there is an impasse in your alliance relationship. I teach theory, but that is only one-tenth of the workshop. Nine-tenths is everyday collaborative relationship building exercises. I teach them to change behavior patterns. People leave understanding the true problem and take a bag of useful, everyday tools. I also apply some of my Six Sigma exercises.

Can you give an example of one of these exercises?

One of the biggest challenges in problem solving is that people really don’t understand the root cause of the issue. Even management, when it has a problem, wants to solve the problem instead of trying to understand the problem. We are all moving so fast that we want to jump the gun and fix it. But fixing the problem doesn’t always fix the communication problem. I have one Six Sigma exercise called The Five Whys, in which you go through five whys to get to the true root cause before you start fixing it. You can only do that in a collaborative fashion. You need to work together to find common root causes.

Communication seems key to the process. What else is critical?

There are four important C’s in partnerships: communication, culture, continuity, and commitment. A lack of any one of those can contribute to conflict. We’ve talked about communication a bit; so let’s look at the cultural aspect. If you create better communication protocols, clearly understand the commitment of each organization around the alliance, and keep the continuity going, then when you run into the culture piece, you have the building blocks already in place. It’s like a linked chain, and you can’t tackle the cultural component without the others. In terms of continuity, it’s important to keep the alliance moving and fluid. If your alliance stops moving, you will have to overcome the friction again. If a member of the alliance is no longer involved, then it’s going to take an enormous amount of effort to bring someone up to speed. If there is a break in continuity, things stagnate or stop. It’s better to apply these tools daily than at the negotiation table. We want to roll up sleeves and do things that are more applicable to the day-to-day. Finally, people don’t understand how severe the conflict can be when you don’t have committed partners and organizations. One of the best skills of a good leader is good communication and seeking mutual commitment.

When do you know when a partnership is not worth saving?

Nobody likes a sunset in a relationship when you have vested interests. If there is a lack of commitment, delay after delay, and the amount of conflict is escalating, then it’s time to take a hard look at your situation. However, if your partner on the other side of the table is not equally committed, that may lead to bringing in an alternate. It’s also important to keep in mind that not all conflict is bad. It can be turned to your advantage. Conflict can become an ally. 

Tags:  alliance  ally  Candido Arreche  collaboration  communication  Conflict  conflict resolution  continuity  culture  partner  partnership  partnerships  Xerox 

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New ASAP Corporate Member Export Development Canada Focuses on Alliances to Build Stronger International Trade Ecosystem

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

This is one in a series of blog posts welcoming seven new corporate members into the ASAP fold. Export Development Canada (EDC) is a Canadian Crown corporation providing trade finance, risk management services, and expertise to Canadian exporters and investors worldwide to drive Canada’s economic prosperity. EDC partners with a variety of organizations and stakeholders to reach businesses through new channels, share knowledge and information and, ultimately, create a stronger international trade ecosystem in Canada, according to Laura Hewitt, EDC’s director of public affairs, who provided the following information about the new ASAP corporate member.

 

Why did your team decide to join ASAP at the corporate level?
We were inspired to join ASAP after hearing about the resources available from colleagues in other organizations. We have a number of teams in our organization that create and manage alliances and partnerships, and we’re looking to find information and advice to continue to “up our game” in this area.

 
What is EDC’s purpose and mission?

EDC is focused on ensuring that Canadian companies have access to the tools and knowledge they need to grow and succeed internationally. We connect businesses, regardless of their size, directly to foreign buyers and global supply chains in order to benefit Canada. EDC’s mandate is to support and develop, directly or indirectly, Canada’s export trade and capacity to engage in that trade, as well as respond to international business opportunities. At the mission’s core is using our knowledge of international trade and global buyers to take on and manage significant levels of risk to facilitate the success of Canadian companies in international markets. Our work helped to generate almost $67 billion in Canada’s GDP in 2015more than 4 cents of every dollar.

How do you anticipate ASAP benefitting your mission and goals?

We are interested in ASAP’s resources to shaping our strategic planning for stakeholder engagement and partnerships, in addition to educational tools for measuring alliance and partner success. We also hope to attend some of the webinars or networking events and learn from other professionals in our field.

Please share a bit more information about your company and the type of partnerships you seek.
Helping more Canadian companies engage in international trade requires finding partners to help us deliver solutions in new ways. We need to think beyond our traditional partners (such as banks and insurance brokers) and consider new ones outside our usual playing field. Here is a recent example of where we partnered with Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company:
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160920005439/en/Shopify-Partners-Export-Development-Canada-Shopify-Capital. If you want to learn more about Export Development Canada, here is a link to our annual report: http://www1.edc.ca/publications/2016/2015ar/#/en/home.

Tags:  alliances  EDC  expertise  Export Development Canada  export trade  partner  partnerships  risk management services  stakeholder  trade finance 

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ASAP European Alliance Summit To Provide ‘Extensive Content’ to Expanding Number of Participants

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What was just around the corner begins tomorrow, one of Europe’s most advanced educational business opportunities the 2016 ASAP European Alliance Summit. Held at London’s exquisite Royal Garden Hotel near Kensington Gardens, “The New Ecosystem for Partnerships” is being jointly sponsored by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals and Thought Leader Global.

The number of attending alliance managers and partnering practitioners is expected to double as compared to last year, providing ample opportunity to network. “This year’s ASAP European Alliance Summit is highly international and diverse with more than 100 participants confirmed so far,” said Ariann Ignati, operations manager at Thought Leader Global, which is known for arranging business media and events for senior management in multinational enterprises. “We have extensive content and presentations from the life sciences, IT, manufacturing, and many other industries,” including energy, smart cities, biopharma, engineering, chemical, and consumer goods.

An international contingent of around 30 progressive business thinkers from more than 15 countries will provide some of the most cutting edge information in their industries during two streams of programming. Presenters will cover the topics of cross-sector alliances, joint ventures, innovation, and ecosystem partnering; discuss in-house case studies; delve into the impact of the cloud, Internet of Things, and digital systems, among other topics. Session topics range from Google’s “An Alliance Built on Culture” to Facebook’s “New Partnership Models in a Digital Landscape,” Siemens Technology to Business’s “Innovation, Disruption and Partnerships within the Startup Ecosystem,” Ipsen’s “Developing an Onboarding Process for Alliances/Partnerships,” Janssen Business Development’s “Making your Alliance Global: Having a Global Approach for Managing Alliances,” and many more. Click here for an expanded list of of session and speaker information.

Sessions will be provided by heads of alliances and joint ventures, corporate partnering experts, and business development specialists, as well as alliance, JV, and partnership departments from companies such as IBM, Bayer, Facebook, Takeda, Philips, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Renault Nissan, Google, Deutsche Telekom, Unilever, GE Oil and Gas, Shell, DONG Energy, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Syngenta, Huawei, Ericsson, Servier Monde, Janssen, Oracle, the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation, and New Generation Leader.

“It’s a critical time in alliance management as it adapts and grapples with the changing landscape of the emerging multi-industry ecosystem,” said Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president & CEO of ASAP. “This is an opportunity to jump in and hear from some of the biggest movers and shakers in their industries on how their companies are breaking from the pack to collaborate in innovative and adaptive ways as the Internet of Things impacts their partnering.”

Leonetti plans to attend the Summit, opening the event by making himself available to anyone interested in finding out how ASAP membership and best practices can enhance your business practices. Those who arrive early will have the opportunity to take the ASAP Certification of Achievement-Alliance Management (CA-AM) Prep Workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

For more information and an expanded list of offerings, go to: http://www.strategic-alliances.org/?page=eurosummit

Tags:  2017 ASAP European Alliance Summit  alliance  alliance managers  cloud  cross-sector alliances  digital systems  Ecosystem  ecosystem partnering  innovation  Internet of Things  joint ventures  partnering  Partnerships  Thought Leader Global 

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