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Managing Complex Software Engineering Alliances in a World Teeming With Digital Twins

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, May 5, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Michael Moser spends a good deal of his day collaborating in a digital world. With tech experience that reaches back 25 years with some of the biggest companies in the industry, such as HP, he is well-positioned to manage very complex software engineering alliances. When he came onboard at Dassault Systémes in Vélizy-Villacoublay, France, 15 years ago, he had already been introduced to interactive 3-D software, such as the engineering model for the Boeing 777. Since then, 3-D software has evolved significantly; it’s now a realistic, animated prototype capable of interconnecting via the cloud, he explained to me in an interview during the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. For Moser, who offered the session “Master a Portfolio of Tactics to Animate the Partner Ecosystem,” the challenge of the day is deciding how to build partner networks that capture mushrooming opportunities in a growing industry. 

What are digital twins, and how do customers use them?
Dassault Systémes creates 3-D experiences for customers to sell a product. The customers can then present it digitally through simulation, which allows users to demonstrate and experience the product before a physical product is built. It’s called a digital twin, because you have a twin of your real-world product in the digital world. Dassault works with many industries, such as transportation, shipbuilding, aerospace and defense, high-tech products, architecture and engineering, consumer package goods (supermarkets), life sciences (the human body), energy creation and consumption, natural resources (mining), and security (panic patterns and fires).  The program can create digital twins for nature and the planet, such as altering a riverbed to impact a valley. It can simulate molecules and life and test chemical reactions. It’s all physics in the end. 

What types of projects have used a digital twin?
Electronics, data management, online connections, Internet of Things technology, sensors. It’s used by healthcare a lot, not only for analysis but also for emergency support, and security for simulating a terrorist attack or nuclear accident. If you apply this concept to a city, for example Singapore, which is one of our customers, it can be used to investigate the impact of changes on new buildings and physical parameters, such as lights, wind, and pollution. A client asked Dassault to simulate towing an iceberg from Antarctica to Africa for fresh water. It worked, so now they know it can be done. We also can build thermoanalytic systems for rising temperatures resulting from global warming that consist of human models walking through a city and experiencing temperature variation. 

What are the benefits of building digital twins?
It saves money for the customer as compared to the old model of build a prototype, such as a town in the desert. With a digital twin, you don’t have the expense of building or destroying a physical structure. It’s also much more green and sustainable because you don’t have to building physical structures. With a simulated car crash, you might need 10 prototypes for a crash. With a twin, you only have to build one to certify safety. Another benefit is flexibility: They can be altered to optimize the design. It also saves time. For example, instead of asking customers to walk aisles and document their findings on questionnaires, you can have customers wear goggles, send them through a store, and change the aisles based on capturing their reaction. With goggles, you are really in the midst of the digital twin because it scans the body, and you can actually see your hands. You look down at your feet, and your feet are in the virtual world. You also get better feedback because you can test multiple scenarios to optimize design and collect feedback to incorporate it. 

How do you try to capture this growing, and sometimes illusive, market?
Not only does Dassault simulate and construct prototypes, we are engaged in solution partnerships. There are an enormous number of technology partners with programs integrated into software. They develop solutions and want to sell them, but they aren’t always properly promoted. They need to sell to a broader ecosystem of customers and users. I take those partners’ positions and interests and design a support structure to sell and promote their solutions. One technique I use is a social marketing platform called “Talk,” an online community where partners can explain their solution to potential users. We integrate them to go to market, develop sales leads, and provide a platform to communicate akin to LinkedIn that is comprised of a Dassault customer base. 

What do you foresee for Dassault’s future?
The challenge is to bring it to next level and give more freedom to this ecosystem. If you have a bulletproof Pentagon style, you won’t meet the requirements of the new world, which is integrated instantly with apps. I am in favor of loose controls because if you don’t work that way these days, you will lose opportunity. These skills are more needed than deep technology skills, at least in the partnering environment—you need collaboration skills and open mindedness. 

Tags:  collaboration  Dassault Systémes  digital twin  ecosystem  go to market  Mike Moser  partnerships  technology partners  thermoanalytic systems 

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How to Partner for Open Innovation: A Sneak Preview of John Bell’s Forthcoming ‘ASAP Quick Take’ at the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, February 11, 2016

Addressing various facets of “partnering everywhere” in our rapidly evolving world, four experts are slated to present “ASAP Quick Takes” (patterned on the “TED Talks” format) at the ASAP Global Alliance Summit. This year’s summit is organized around the theme “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” and will be held just outside the US capital at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland.  

Among the executives in the ASAP Quick Takes line-up is John Bell, PhD, head of external innovation at Johnson & Johnson Consumer, who will present the talk “Creating Partnering Opportunities through Open Innovation.” Bell brings distinctive credentials: He has worked as head of strategy & new business at Philips Research, head of strategic alliances at Philips, strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an assistant professor. Despite his busy schedule and prominent daytime job, he somehow also carves out the time to teach alliance strategy at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands. During a recent interview, I asked Bell for some insights on his upcoming ASAP presentation. 

How has Johnson & Johnson led the way in corporate alliance management through structuring and outreach? 

In the Consumer division, we work closely with start-ups and strategic suppliers. For instance, with some of our strategic suppliers, we developed a way of working that activates the innovation capabilities of these partners to come up with innovative solutions. In the past, we typically approached suppliers with the question to make a specific product at a specific price point. Today, we share with a select group of partners what kind of consumer needs we aim to solve. Their R&D and our Johnson & Johnson R&D people then start to co-create novel solutions. 

How does your hands-on workshop help alliance managers sharpen their skills and expertise to broaden alliance activities in their organization? 

By sharing some of our learnings and providing insights into the steps we have taken and are still making, we believe that alliance managers can learn what is relevant to their own organization. 

What are some of the ways Johnson and Johnson supports strategic development to capture valuable market and competitive insights? 

Johnson & Johnson has established so-called Innovation Centers in the heart of eco-systems around the globe: San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai, and London. In those Innovation Centers, there are 25 to 30 business developers, dealmakers, alliance managers, and legal and financial people. They focus on identifying and fostering innovation across the pharmaceutical, medical devices, and consumer ecosystem, and invest in early transformational “ideas” and start-ups. These innovation centers act as a first touch-point to the market and competitive developments. 

How does Johnson & Johnson lead the way in effectively managing alliances and establishing trust and stability in partnerships for maximum profitability? 

Maximizing profitability is not per se the main motivation for our partnerships. In many instances, co-creating innovative solutions is the main objective of our partnerships. We have dedicated alliance managers in place who manage the partnerships typically from inception until integration into our business. On top of that, we typically develop a network of multi-level relationships with our partners to strengthen the ties and understanding between Johnson & Johnson and our partners. One of our ambitions is to become the partner of choice, which implies that we value trust, openness, and win-win.

Tags:  allainces  alliance strategy  John Bell PhD  Johnson & Johnson Consumer  medical devices  partnerships  pharmaceutical  Philips  PwC  R&D  start-ups  University of Tilburg 

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Balancing Mega-sized Collaborations Requires a Three-Legged Stool: The Broad Institute’s Take on Managing Big Partnerships

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, September 17, 2015

Partnerships come in all sizes. The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, however, significantly tips the beam with its industrial-scale platforms and collaborations that seek to pioneer a new model of biomedical science.

“The Boston-Cambridge nexus makes it possible,” explained Stephanie Loranger, PhD, director of project planning and execution at the Broad Institute, during her talk “Managing the Three-Legged Stool: Science, Compliance and Alliance” on Friday, Sept. 11 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference. “The fundamental goal of the Institute is to take on high-impact, multidimensional projects that are too difficult to take on by a smaller lab. Sometimes the projects are contained in one program, but they usually stay in multiple platforms and programs.”

The mega-projects range from government collaborations (including entities such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation) to philanthropic organizations (such as the Carlso Slim Center for Health Research, Klarman Cell Observatory, and Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research) to corporate projects with companies like Norvatis Pharmaceuticals, Roche Diagnostics, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Calico, and Googlea new collaboration.

 

The Broad Institute also has operating agreements with neighboring organizations such as Harvard University, Mass General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Its board of scientific counselors includes three Nobel laureates and its programs contain hundreds of researchers. Platforms range from genomics known for world-class sequencing to proteomics to genetics perturbations, where they run massive crisper screens.

 

“What is unique about these projects is that they are run by scientists who have their own grants and are pushing the boundaries of these platforms,” she explained. “They augment the creativity of scientistswhat they can’t do in their own labs can be done there.”

 

The Institute has a three-legged stool of essential components for execution of large, multi-programmatic collaborations within the ecosystem, she said. It requires balancing

  • Science management and execution of world-class platforms
  • Compliance managementmeeting budgetary, IP, reporting, and legal obligations
  • Alliance management of very large institutional partners that need major coordination

This last leg of alliance management is new to the Broad Institute“a different beast that we have not dealt with before,” she pointed out. “We don’t have an alliance management team. We have people who play roles of alliance manager. It really depends on the collaboration and who is our partner.”

 

Practically, what does this mean in relation to the Broad Institute? she asked.

  • Access to large, multifaceted datasets that one organization/collaboration cannot fund alone
  • Access to unparalleled cross-functional and cross-institutional research
  • Rapid acceleration and translation of emerging knowledge and novel discoveriestherapeutics is the big in plan for next 10 years

Tags:  Alliance management  Broad Institute  collaborations  Compliance management  cross-functional  cross-institutional research  genetics perturbations  genomics  Partnerships  platforms  proteomics  Science management  Stephanie Loranger  therapeutics 

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A Primer from a Pro on How Nonverbal Cues Can Give You an Advantage in Negotiations and Other Business Transactions

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, March 6, 2015

There were no nodding heads, yawns, or coffee breaks at the special 90-minute afternoon session presented March 4 by Dr. Jack Brown of The Body Language Group during the ASAP 2015 Global Alliance Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA.  An expert in nonverbal communication, Brown spoke to a captivated audience about “Negotiation, Nuance, Conflict & Resolution—The Nonverbal Advantage.” A keen people-watcher for more than 25 years, he has consulted to C-suite executives, law enforcement, government, industries, and at universities, to name just a few clients. The advantages of reading body language in business transactions, partnerships, collaborations, and everyday exchanges can provide you with a big advantage, he says.

 

“Some 55 to 80 percent of communication is nonverbal,” Brown says. “Another 10 to 38 is paralanguage [an in-between category] … and 7 to 10 percent is verbal.” Understanding that breakdown and the associated communication nuances can help us become more powerful during negotiations, mediation, conflict resolution, and in exchanges in general.

 

Understanding body language can save you a lot of trouble down the road in your business transactions. Learning how to read a sociopath is invaluable, he quips. “Trust your gut … and run!” he advises, prompting a ripple of laughter from the audience. “Trust your gut”—the reoccurring mantra of his talk. “Be like a spy satellite or fighter pilot,” he continued, while flipping through slide after slide of facial and body cues –contrasting the cues of U.S. President Barack Obama to Russian President Vladimir Putin and spotlighting Hollywood stars.

 

“There’s a huge amount of information that we as a society ignore. … Younger people have good instincts, but we [adults] are really good at suppressing [them],” he adds.

“Women are better at it … they tend to be better communicators and nonverbal communicators.” Older people and animal lovers also have the touch. Nonverbal communication is innate and cross-cultural, but there are cultural differences for sure. For instance, at least from a western perspective, the Japanese tend to be the hardest to understand—they tend to have more idiosyncrasies, he says. 

 

Always look at multiple cues before assessing someone. One non-verbal cue isn’t enough for a conclusion. For alliance managers who communicate frequently via telephone—a topic that drew rapt attention—close your eyes, he suggests. Blocking out a sense can help you zero in more clearly on vocal cues without ever having to observe the other party. For in-person meetings, get a glass table, he advises.

 

For more information on the art of reading nonverbal communication in alliance management and business transactions, watch for forthcoming content in the ASAP Member e-News and Strategic Alliance Magazine, available as a benefit of membership in ASAP.

Tags:  ASAP 2015 Global Alliance Summit  ASAP Member e-News  collaborations  Conflict  Dr. Jack Brown  Negotiation  nonverbal communication  partnerships  Resolution  Strategic Alliance Magazine  The Body Language Group  vocal cues 

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