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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor—Effectively Employing the Breadth of People in Your Alliance

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

To maximize the value of an alliance, it’s important to effectively employ and appreciate the full mix of participantsfrom your sidekick partner to the trainer and sponsor in the background.  That was the focus of the session “People, Process, Culture: Building a Winning Alliance Program” at the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Eco­system,” at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland. The discussion was led by three individuals who built highly successful collaborative programs from scratch: Joe Havrilla, senior vice president and global head of business development & licensing, Bayer Pharmaceuticals; Gerry Dehkes, CSAP, global cyber ecosystem lead at Booz Allen Hamilton; David Erienborn, CSAP, director of strategic alliances at KPMG. During the session, they spent a considerable amount of time plying the question of how to create a thriving dynamic between your alliance team, partners, and even ex-partners. 

Joe: At the end of the day, the strategy is about people. Microsoft and KPMG are not going to do anything, since they do not exist other than in our heads they are not going to do anything. You only have the beginning of a strategy until you have taken your strategy from the company down to the people. People come into work not to execute a strategy; they come in with their own strategy. So how do I align their strategy to our best interests? In some cases, you also may need to work with the ex-partner.  If you understand ahead of time where you are in conflict with the other company, you can design a way of working together. 

Gerald: Here’s the approach we took, which is the secret sauce of this particular alliance program. Typically an alliance director will talk with partners and service leaders, and then bring in sales people. We realized the benefit of 10-20 alliance managerswith each trying to get to that sales forceand decided to take that part of the organization and organize it around the industry groups. Really position the alliance enablement person, and they would have only one person to go to. We found that to be very effective, those folks became part of the team. They decided strategies, winning alliance-based offers, they would always be there for that industry. That model helped us become successful. It’s that last piece that’s criticalgetting those alliances out to sales-facing people. 

David: It’s important that training people understand what they are trying to accomplish. If you can translate alliances at a company level down into the mind of the educators, and that this whole alliance is to get them to do something, they become aware of the importance of training to do something. It’s important for them to know this is the strategy. How do you set this up so they get visibility and appreciation? You need to make the training people a winner. 

Joe: You need to know the difference between sales and revenue, understand what margin is, and understand that finance people will be called on for estimates. If I include them from the beginning, I am a lot more likely to get their support when I need it. Another group that is important to your alliance are the sponsors. I’m an advocate and agent, but not the sponsor. They can bring resources to bear and spend time on building relationships. The alliance should be one of their top four priorities for their year. They have to be someone who can really step up. There aren’t any sponsor schools, they’ve never been trained to do it. We need to help sponsors understand what their job is, invest time in it, determine who can be a sponsor, and make sure they have the training to do it. 

Gerald: You need to define the elements of value that all the partners are looking for. It’s not a specific part of the agreement or financial transaction, yet it’s a strongly held expectation of the partner. If you don’t clarify that up front, you wind up being surprised. If there was an expectation that was discussed earlier, but you never codified the agreement or the people responsible for executing the agreement, then you have disconnect and conflict. It’s important that somebody is capturing the expectations. The other tool that is helpful upfront is to do a partner fit as part of due diligence. When you start with a rigorous checklist approach on partner resources, decision process, internal policies and procedures, you can mitigate conflicts down the road. 

David: Trust is predictability. I don’t trust my 15 year old to drive a car because I can’t predict. So we do a lot of trust building. As you get more of your people out there dealing with partners, you have to educate them and give them the boundary conditions, not to restrain them, but you want a consistent approach. You want enough leeway to solve problems. You don’t want to inhibit them from creativity, but you want predictability. 

Tags:  agreement  alignment  alliance team  Bayer Pharmaceuticals  CSAP  David Erienborn  Gerry Dehkes  Joe Havrilla  KPMG  sales  sponsors  strategies  strategy  Trust 

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Ben Gomes-Casseres and the Bayer Team Return to the 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference with an Interactive Roundtable on Creating Alliance Success

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, September 6, 2016

One session at last year’s ASAP BioPharma Conference was such a success that Ben Gomes-Casseres, CSAP, DBA, and the Bayer HealthCare team are returning with the same theme in a new interactive roundtable format. Their deep dive on “Making Better Alliances: How Alliance Management, Business Development, and Legal Can Collaborate More Effectively” will delve into how to successful integrate alliance management, business development, and the legal division to improve alliance success rates.  They return to the stage for this year’s ASAP BioPharma Conference Sept. 7-9 “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed” at the Revere Hotel, Boston Common, Boston.

 

An alliance strategy consultant, professor at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and author, Gomes-Casseres will be moderating the session with Bayer award-winning cross-functional team of John A. Calvo, Karen Denton, CA-AM, and Claudia Karnbach problem-solving an alliance management case. Attendees will be participants, too, tackling tricky alliance scenarios with best practices through dynamic peer-to-peer exchanges. I asked Gomes-Casseres a few questions about the impetus for the session.

 

What are the most common reasons for the high failure rate of alliances?

As a community, we have made great strides in alliance management, but we have been myopic. We need to broaden our view so that we can see more clearly the faults in alliance strategy and design that frequently lead to dissolution.

The reason half of all alliances fail can be largely attributed to poor up-front design, which includes: 

  • Choosing the wrong partner
  • Deciding to partner for the wrong reasons
  • Flawed contract terms

Part of the problem is that alliance management is left out of the early decision process. Part of it also is that alliance management, business development, and legal speak different languages and concerns. Making a robust alliance requires effective collaboration between business development, legal, and alliance management. However, this aspect of internal collaboration often receives less attention from alliance managers than the work they perform after the deal is “done.” That’s one component in critical need of change to improve the success rate.

What solutions will you and the Bayer panel be recommending in your session? 

At the 2015 BioPharma Conference last year, I held a session with Bayer Healthcare executives from alliance management, business development, and the legal division that focused on four areas: 

  • How Bayer’s does the “Deal to Alliance” process, which is a way of describing how to pay attention to both alliance strategy and management
  • The importance of involving alliance management early on in the deal
  • The contributions alliance management makes to negotiation and contract terms
  • How combining these elements builds more robust alliances

This year, I invited the same team that provided a session at the BioPharma Conference last year to come back and work in an interactive continuation of that session with participants. We plan to quickly rehash what was covered last year and then do a deep dive into fresh and innovative approaches. We plan to share a case study and explore in open discussion how to solve it. In the process, participants will learn how alliance management can contribute to business development and contracting and the best way to bring the D2A process back to their own companies.

 What is your goal of the session for participants?

 The goal is simple but essential to having a solid alliance. We want to:

  • Make more robust and quicker alliances
  • Resolve the differences of perspective among functions in alliance design
  • Broaden the role of alliance management in the organization

How does your new book Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations, published by Harvard Business Review Press, promote some of these ideas?

 Remix Strategy provides the tools to fix this problem. The solution lies in designing alliances so that they can be governed effectively to create value. I call it the “Deal to Alliance” process, which means paying attention to both alliance strategy and management. For a healthy alliance, it’s critical to integrate the process of designing and implementing alliances along their full lifecycle.

Tags:  alliance management  alliances  ASAP BioPharma Conference  Bayer HealthCare  Ben Gomes-Casseres  business development  Claudia Karnbach  collaboration  John A. Calvo  Karen Denton  Keywords: Remix Strategy  management  patner  strategy 

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ASAP’s New “Quick Takes” Explore Impact of IoT and Ecosystem Partnering—and Proves to Be a Highly Successful Format for Engaging 2016 Summit Participants

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson & John DeWitt, Friday, March 18, 2016

Some forms of communication are more effective than others. The “TED Talks” speaking format, for example, has drawn significant numbers of interested viewers for over 30 years. That is why ASAP decided to introduce its new “ASAP Quick Takes,” patterned after the “TED Talks,” unveiling them for the first time at the 2015 ASAP Biopharma Conference, and again, at the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. 

The talks were a big hit and garnered lots of positive feedback. Such short talks are successful for several reasons: The message is sometimes simple, imaginative, and an easy take-away; the time limit of about 20 minutes forces speakers to distill the main points, which more-readily captivates the audience. 

Take, for example, John Bell’s “Quick Takes” talk where the marketing executive for strategy development at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health advised a collaborative approach: “Play in the sandbox. We are sitting on massive scale of opportunity to work in open innovation,” he said. “The toys must be shared. You can’t have it all your way, and you must behave yourself,” he added, while outlining the rules for success in today’s partnering environment. “Today, it’s a whole playground! Amusement parks, even. You can do many things [with] so many kids to play with. Which one would you choose, and why would they play with you?” he asked provocatively, prompting the audience to join him in the creative box for 20 minutes. 

Bell’s invitation was a terrific precursor to the talk by Larry Walsh, CEO of The 2112 Group and a well-known journalist, who asked the audience to join him in a virtual chess game. Strategy is a key component of success, he said. “Strategy is about making choices. If you fail to make choices, you often put yourself at risk,” he continued. “Lots of businesses say they make choices, but they are consumed by revenue generation and don’t discriminate between good and bad decisions. They also fail to anticipate. This is where surveying the landscape equates with chess. If you don’t survey the landscape and understand your competition, you cannot anticipate what the opposition will do,” he noted. Among other things, “you need to lay traps and position assets to create advantages.” 

Think ahead and read the board, he advised. Not only what you are going to do, but what your opponent is going to do. Chess helps you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actionsto problem-solve in an uncertain environment.” 

Another “Quick Talks” speaker, Anne Nelson of IBM Watson, threw out an elaborate blueprint for success for IoT multi-partnering. IBM’s new business unit, formed in 2014, has seen astronomical growthsome 500 new partners in just two years. The IBM Watson Group provides over 30 services that partners can write applications against or leverage to improve applications. “What did you tweet over the last two weeks?” she asked the audience to recall. “Watson can provide personality insights from those tweets” and generate different coupons for discounts depending on that profile. “We are opening the platform to partners on data as well,” she replied. ‘This platform is the only one in the industry today with this many apps.” 

What’s the value for partners in alliances with IBM in the Watson ecosystem? “We’re the number one B2B brand, Watson has 70 percent unaided awareness—so brand is going gangbusters in terms of value to partners,” said Nelson, who was recruited to IBM Watson Group from IBM’s direct sales organization in January of 2015. “We have over 40,000 IBM sellers who touch millions of accounts,” she noted. 

For a longer-term view of success, Marcus Wilson, president and co-founder of Anthem’s real-world research subsidiary, HealthCore, Inc., spoke about his 20-plus years building healthcare partnerships. The key component is building trust, he said. His experience included pioneered the emergence of physician and patient education and clinical decision support services based upon real-world data. Wilson’s experience exemplifies the “kind of creativity and entrepreneur skill increasingly required when we are reinventing what we are doing all the time,” said Jan Twombly, CSAP, ASAP chairman of programming, and president of The Rhythm of Business, who prefaced the talks as moderator. 

As an entrepreneur and “intrapreneur,” Wilson shared several formative personal experiences, starting as a young clinical pharmacist doing his residency at a Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Delaware health center. “Influence is everything,” Wilson emphasized. “I had no power to prescribeI would have to walk into physicians’ offices and convince them that it was their idea to treat the way they should. I had to influence the healthcare center to offer all these new services—which eventually became incredible force for us.” Similarly, he said, “We met with FDA 10 years ago about real-world evidence. They said, that’s great, but this stuff is voodoo science.” Thanks to influence—reinforced by lots of data—“it’s becoming much more mainstream today.” 

You can read individual blog posts about these “Quick Takes” talks on our website at http://www.strategic-alliances.org/blogpost/1143942/ASAP-Blog.

Tags:  alliances  Ann Nelson  ASAP Quick Takes  assets  B2B brand  collaborative  healthcare partnerships  Heathcore Inc.  IBM Watson  IoT  John Bell  Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health  Larry Walsh  Marcus Wilson  multi-partnering  open innovation  partnering environment  problem solve  strategy  TED Talks  The 2112 Group 

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Engaging Peer-to-Peer Roundtable Sessions Become Popular New Central Feature at ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson & Ana Brown, Monday, March 14, 2016

Fostering opportunities and tools for peer-to-peer learning is one of ASAP’s goals, and that concept was well-integrated into this year’s ASAP Global Alliance Summit with several popular roundtable sessions. The feedback has been positive so far on the two roundtables, which quickly became an active format for sharing at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. 

Following the “ASAP Quick Takes” talks, the first roundtable session provided participants with the choice of 17 valuable, timely topics connected to the broader “ASAP Quick Takes” theme of “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem.” Participants chose between 26 different discussion groups facilitated by thought leaders from ASAP’s membership. Topics ranged from “Strategic Alliance Management across the Enterprise” to “Knowing with Whom to Partner Now” to “Quick Take ‘Hot Takes:’ Seeing Around Corners.” Look for an upcoming blog item on the second engaging roundtable session that took place the following day: “Alliances around the World: Cultural Roundtables,” facilitated by Philip Sack, CSAP, ASAP Asia Collaborative Business Community, and co-presented by Guarino Gentil Jr., CA-AM, Merck-Serono; Subhojit Roye, CSAP, Tradeshift; Andrew Yeomans, CSAP, Merck-Serono. 

I randomly selected a group at the ASAP Quick Take Roundtables led by Donna Peek, CSAP, director, partner enablement & operations, global alliances & channels, SAS on “The First 100 Days of an Alliance” and watched a lively, relevant conversation unfold. Peek, who also is ASAP’s vice-chairman of the executive management board, dynamically led the group, drawing out ideas and fostering engaging conversation as the participants ramped up their communications into active sharing. “The train is already barreling down the track and you are trying to adjust and redefine,” she said, while jotting down a checklist of what an alliance manager should be focused on in the first 100 days that looked something like this: 

  • Identify critical stakeholders
  • Identify executive governance
  • Define frameworks
  • Find good fits for the collaborative team
  • Make sure everything is included that needs to be in the contract
  • Clarify strategy and scope
  • Make alignment part of the term sheet process 

This last point, offered by Ana Brown, project manager, strategic alliances, Citrix, so captured participant attention that we thought her idea worth sharing as an example of how helpful and practical these exchanges can be. Brown offered to write up the idea for a larger audience. 

#Termsheetlove: Bringing Back the Term Sheet
By Ana Brown

The use of a term sheet has been a longstanding precursor to any agreement. With busy times, and changing alliance leaders and teams, sometimes such processes are left behind.

If you find yourself having multiple conversations with your internal stakeholders, all at different times, redlining your partner agreement—sometimes for months. Finding yourself thinking, “Oh my gosh, that call was so long ago I can’t remember what the issues with the agreement were in the first place,” then this recommendation is for you.

Bringing back the term sheet with some easy steps will help you: 

  1. Gain alignment with all your internal stakeholders before going into the agreement process.
  2. Cut the lead-time to fully executed agreement more than half (months for some of us)! 

First, work with your legal team to come up with the best term sheet template (and get buy in from your internal stakeholders that the term sheet will answer most, if not all, of the questions they may have on any potential partner agreement).

Next, complete the term sheet after completing your business plan and receiving buy in from your business unit and partner. Alliance leaders fill out the term sheet (deal exec summary and details) and simultaneously circulate it to the internal stakeholders so that they all know.... (Example of stakeholders include: channel operations, revenue recognition, legal, GEO VPs, etc.—anyone who needs to know the deal is coming.)


Alliance leaders then schedule a kickoff call with stakeholders to review the term sheet, receive stakeholders’ approval to the term sheet (email approval is okay), and are then ready to move the deal to agreement and work with legal to execute.

Ta-da! You just made a bunch of friends by creating internal alignment and cutting the lead time to fully executed agreement in half.

#Termsheetlove - spread it forward :)

Tags:  agreement  alignment  Ana Brown  Andrew Yeomans  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  ASAP Quick Takes  collaborative  Donna Peek  frameworks  governance  Guarino Gentil  leadership  Merck-Serono  partnering  peer-to-peer learning  Philip Sack  scope  stakeholders  strategy  Subhojit Roye  term sheet  Tradeshift 

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Intel’s Jonathan Ballon on Partnering and the Internet of Things: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Ever Been a Better Time to Be an Alliances Professional”

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson & John DeWitt, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

You arrive at work one day to discover the plaque on your door changed overnight from Manager and Entrepreneur to Creator and Visionary. Welcome to the new world of alliance management, where the Internet of Things is injecting radical change into the old job description. That’s the wake-up call Jonathan Ballon brought with this year’s opening keynote address, Partnering: The Connective Tissue of the Internet of Things, on Tuesday afternoon, March 1. This year’s ASAP Global Alliance Summit is being held just outside the US capital, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. USA.

Ballon’s presentation exemplified and magnified the Summit theme of “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem.” Describing what he called The IoT for Life, Ballon says the new speed, scope, and scale of partnering will require never-before-seen levels of innovation, creativity, bold experimentation, and the ability to learn quickly, iterate strategies, try new models for value creation, and deliver and capture within new solutions.

“It’s happening now, in real time, so you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and crafting your ideal ecosystem strategy,” Ballon told the rapt audience of several hundred partnering executives.

The IoT is driving change on a massive scale, and offers the potential of improving billions of lives by harnessing data collected from sensors attached to objects and turning this data into problem-solving solutions, says Ballon. This is not coming around the bend, he emphasized; the future has already arrived with remote patient monitoring benefiting patients and providers. Widen the lens, and the potential becomes enormous in areas such as agriculture, security, environmental protection, and more.

Ballon noted that partnering of this type is a profound shift for Intel, traditionally a vertically integrated company. And it’s simply quite difficult to do well, he said. “Personally I’ve been experiencing a lot of challenges around partnering in this new IOT world,” Ballon acknowledged. Specifically, he said, partnering in the rapidly exploding IoT ecosystem is different than traditional partnering in four key ways:

  • Business and partnering models are being created in real time
  • Partners often aren’t the “usual suspects”
  • Partnering is occurring at an exponentially faster speed and scale
  • Experimentation and learning are the focus at this juncture in the development of IoT ecosystems

To be successful in this new IoT ecosystem requires rethinking the role of partnering and making it integral to your business model—and embracing that your role as a partner will vary, even if you are used to being the orchestrator of your ecosystem. 

“Roles you play can change from opportunity to opportunity,” explained. “Some customers expect Intel to step up and be that back to pat. Other times we’re standing behind a systems integrator.” The most important thing, he says, is having “the agility of a school of fish” when you are aligning your ecosystem around the unique demands of each customer.

The Internet of Things is already here, but Ballon noted that many challenges of partnering in the ecosystem remain to be solved—including the fundamental economics of compensating multiple partners (and your sales forces, for that matter). “Sharing in the rewards of your customer value proposition—how do you value, calculate it, and pay for it. When you’re monetizing a service and checks need to go to other parties, I don’t’ think anyone has figured it out yet,” he said.

“One thing is certain: coopetition is the new norm,” Ballon said in describing the complex partnerships that come together around every IoT solution Intel rolls out. “There’s not a single case where there’s a clear line between what we and a partner does. We deal with this every day. The rubber meets road with sales force in the field. It’s a very trick thing and it requires the right compensation models with sales force to support these types of [partnering].”

Generally, Ballon said, expect the unexpected. “Not everything is going to be well programmed from the get go.”

The audience peppered Ballon with questions at the conclusion of his presentation. One executive generated chuckles when he asked, “How much of my partnering role will be automated?”

“Probably not much,” Ballon responded. “I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be an alliances professional because the opportunity presented before us, the IOT, is showcasing the value of this function. I would bet three years from now the number of people in this room will double.”

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliances  ASAP  Intel  IoT  Jonathan Ballon  partnering  strategy  systems integrator  Visionary 

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