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Sellers, Partners, and Customers: Reorganization, New Tools, and New Mindsets Drive Change in the Channel at National Instruments

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Before they headed home to Austin, Texas, I caught up with longtime friend Penny Wright, CA-AM, and a new friend (i.e., first-time attendee and presenter) Jimmy Hwang from National Instruments after their session “Connecting Teams and Systems to Advance Channel Opportunities” on Wednesday, March 13, the final day of the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hwang is principal manager, alliance partner program; Wright is global enablement manager on NI’s sales and partner enablement (channels) team. Before NI’s recent reorganization, Wright and Hwang worked on the same team in a matrix structure; now they still work (and present) together, but are housed in different functional areas. In tag-team fashion, the two walked me through the story—and lessons learned—that they shared with the engaged group that attended their session. Here’s a segment of our discussion—you’ll find more of our conversation in forthcoming Strategic Alliance publications.

ASAP Media: What was the purpose of your presentation and what did you talk about?

Jimmy Hwang: The purpose of our presentation was to share the work we have been doing—to share best practices. In terms of how we use systems and tools, we’re trying to adapt to the changes that are happening internally at NI. Two important changes have occurred. The first one is we are focusing on three key industries where our platform is highly differentiated and we see the biggest opportunity to grow. NI serves a wide range of customers in a broad range of industries and applications—and we will continue to do that, but at the same time we are focusing more on our transportation, aerospace/defense/governments, and semiconductor customers. We want to maintain whatever we are doing—but in terms of incremental future investment, we’re want to deepen our relationships and solution offerings to the customers in these three industries.

Second is a change in how we provide sales coverage for our alliance partners. Sellers used to have a mixed book of accounts —for example, I’m a sales person for Texas, and as long as customers and partners are in Texas, they are my account. What’s changed is that we carved out partner accounts and establish a dedicated and separate sales coverage for them. Now, we have partner sales managers, responsible for a set of partner accounts, and they don’t own any end user accounts—all t do is to manage partner accounts. If I’m a regular account manager, that’s what I do—I manage end user accounts. This clarifies the role within sales, delivering more value to customers, partners, and National Instruments.

Penny Wright: We talked about there being a lot of friction over lead sharing. Because of that historical [organizational] setup, our partners were hesitant to share their leads with NI sellers, and sellers who said, “I’m not going to bring partnering into this opportunity because it’s going to bring my commission split down. We have implemented a standard GTM and account planning process where partner sales managers are now driving those integrations and collaborating with those sales account managers.  We adjusted our commission structure to break down the boundaries to opportunity sharing and incentivize sellers to bring partners in earlier in the buying cycle. We actually did that before the reorganization—one of the first steps to getting sellers on board.

From a tools standpoint, in 2013 we brought on our PRM system, Impartner, and were able to stand up a customer-facing directory, allowing partners to manage their own profiles and giving them the ability to market themselves for free. We don’t charge for that, it’s part of their membership. This really enabled us to get our salesforce more educated on who our partners are—it’s almost a sales directory for our sellers to find our partners, so it’s not just the customers who use it to locate a partner.

National Instruments also really was behind on industry tools for CRM. We had homegrown Oracle-based systems that were internally developed, but three years ago, an external sales vice president came onboard and said, “No, we’re standardizing on Salesforce.”

ASAP Media: What are other technology updates and how is the transition going for NI and its partners?

Jimmy Hwang: Because of the now separate, dedicated sales coverage for partners, there is an even stronger need to facilitate the collaboration between our sellers and the partners. So that’s why we introduced the connector module to connect the two systems—Salesforce and Impartner. 

Penny Wright: It’s worked out really well. We have an entire Salesforce business team internally, and that’s all they do is optimize our Salesforce instance. Everybody has tools, connecting with our install base of customers. They can do outbound marketing by connecting to our Eloqua marketing automation. We’ve replaced our internal sales opportunity systems and how we did quoting and pricing and commissions. Now that sales is standardized on Salesforce, Jimmy can pull a report from Salesforce and see partner opportunity pipelines by industry and application focus areas.

We’ve made a lot of progress, but are still just scratching the surface of where we want to go. And a lot of the things that we’ve been working on for years in the alliance program management team are now being adopted because the of the recent business strategy shifts. We now fully recognize that we’ve got to focus and bring our partners into our go-to-market activity. It’s an exciting time for NI and our partners and these efforts have put us in a really good place and position to support the global go-to-market strategy.

See more of the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive, on-site coverage of the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit on the ASAP blog and in forthcoming Strategic Alliance publications.

Tags:  Channel  go-to-market strategy  Impartner  Jimmy Hwang  National Instruments  partners  Penny Wright  PRM  Salesforce  tools 

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Summit Panel Discusses ‘Herding Your Lawyers’—How to Turn Attorneys into Collaborators Using New Tools and Tricks of the Trade

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

At the 2018 Global Alliance Summit, attorney Bill Kleinman, a partner at Haynes & Boone, LLP, leads an intriguingly titled panel discussion on “Herding Your Lawyers: Turning Negotiators into Collaborators.” Law schools prepare lawyers as zero-sum negotiatorsnot collaborators, Kleinman asserts. But when alliance professionals can turn their attorneys into collaborators, it benefits their partnerships. Kleinman’s panel includes two seasoned alliance managers to help him demonstrate approaches, techniques, and tools for negotiating collaboration: Nancy Breiman, CSAP, director, global alliances at IBM, and Bernie Hannon, CSAP, strategic alliance director, Citrix.  The panel plans to use interactive tools for negotiating a strategic alliance to prepare for a mock negotiation between a municipal lighting supplier and an artificial intelligence company for smart cities lighting. For the March 2018 edition of eSAM Plus and for this blog post, I had the pleasure of interviewing all three session leaders about their insightful session before the 2018 Summit, whose theme is “Propelling Partnering for the On-Demand World: New Perspectives + Prov­en Practices for Collaborative Business” and will be held March 26-28 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The following article continues the conversation that begins in eSAM Plus.   

How can these techniques and tools be applied in multi-party collaborations?

Bill Kleinman: I’ve set up the tools for a two-party alliance, but I have used them in multi-party alliances. I have used them in five- and six-party alliances.

Nancy Breiman: Using these tools, even if it’s only with two parties, has incredible value. But I have tried to work in partnerships where there are multiple parties involved, and no one has figured that out yet. It’s very challenging on multiple fronts. Where I’d like to test the waters on this is with IBM’s blockchain ecosystem strategy. With blockchain technology, you have to have multiple parties in the ecosystem. It’s the nature of the beast.

Kleinman: Multiple parties are exponentially harder. But one of the tools we look at, which we call alliance swim lanes, permits as many partner lanes as we want.

Breiman: But then you will have five sets of KPIs, five sets of IPs, etcetera, to deal with.

Kleinman: It’s definitely a multiplier.

Hannon: The more complexity, the more need for structure. What Bill is proposing here for a two-party agreement is all the more critical when it involves multiple parties. It speaks to the need to come up with something that is structured and allows for the same discovery and results when multiple parties are involved. That is so much harder to achieve without tools. I wouldn’t even attempt to do a multi-party collaboration without tools like this.

What are some of the other collaboration challenges this session will address?

Breiman: There is no way to separate the legal construct and thinking from the alliance construct. A good alliance manager will have both party’s needs top-of-mind. You need to represent your own company while being sensitive to the needs of other partners. The legal team needs to be part of the team up front and part of the collaboration process. I don’t think they are separated.

Hannon: If you can avoid some of the trial-and-error aspect of the maturation process, you are going to be in a better position to produce better partnerships sooner.

Breiman: Bernie and I together have a lot of years of alliance management under our belts. For new people, its hard to bring them into the business because its one of those roles where maturity, seniority, and experience are needed. New alliance managers without a lot of world experience can avoid a lot of the pitfalls using these tools.

How do you apply these techniques and tools in your alliance management positions?

Kleinman: I’ve probably been using these tools over the last 10 years, and they have developed over time. They are based on things that I have come up with and read about in literature.

Hannon: I am just learning about this process in this engagement with Bill and Nancy. I have a very forward-looking view of this. A lot of the negotiations I’ve been involved with until now were done the old-fashioned way. Things have changed enough in these industries that we need to find new outcomes. Partnerships tend to be more enduring when founded on objectives and outcomes that are perhaps more mutually desirable than in the past.

The views represented by Nancy Breiman and Bernie Hannon are their own and do not necessarily reflect their company’s perspectives. For more information on this and other Summit sessions, go to http://asapsummit.org/.

Tags:  alliance  alliance professionals  Bernie Hannon  Bill Kleinman  Citrix  Collaborators  Haynes & Boone  IBM  Lawyers  Nancy Breiman  Negotiators  partnerships  techniques  tools 

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

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Monday, June 5, 2017

A highlight of the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in San Diego was spending some quality conversation time one evening with Erna Arnesen, CSAP—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—who is chief channel and alliance officer at ZL Technologies—flew into San Diego and arrived at the Marriott Mission Valley in the late evening as I was chatting in the closed hotel bar with Greg Burge, CSAP, immediate past president of the ASAP Silicon Valley Chapter. She must have been tired, but the always-friendly Erna joined us and, at Greg’s prompting, recounted several experiences “back in the day” as one of the late Steve Jobs’ right-hand executives at NeXT (remember that very cool black workstation?). I asked her point-blank what the famously mercurial Jobs was like to work with. She recalled a number of times when Jobs was amazingly gracious—but had a different memory of the day Jobs got the news she was leaving the company for another position. (You’ll have to ask her yourself for the details.)

I caught up again with Erna this week upon her return from a European business trip. Her latest endeavor on behalf of the ASAP and high-tech community is helping to organize the Wednesday, June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum. Since January, she has been working with Greg and a core group of other leaders in ASAP’s Silicon Valley Chapter, including current chapter president Ana Brown, CSAP, of Citrix, Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, of Phoenix Consulting Group, and Jennifer Ames-Hoskins, CA-AM, from Microsoft, along with ASAP staff executive Diane Lemkin. The event—focused around how to “collaborate at the speed of digital transformation”—is hosted by gaming processor board maker NVIDIA.

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, CSAP, VP of global and strategic alliances at NetApp, and Andres Sintes, Cisco’s global senior director, partner GTM, digital transformation & IoT. I asked Erna to talk about how the ASAP Tech Partner Forum came about, and what she plans to discuss with her fellow panelists.

ASAP Media: How did the ASAP Tech Partner Forum come about?

We knew about how the ASAP BioPharma Conference got started a few years back. We thought we’d start with a one-day event that would be a Tech Partner Forum—something specifically centered in Silicon Valley, less time-consuming than a multi-day summit, primarily targeting the Bay Area but encouraging people outside the region to come, and catering to high-tech partnering and strategy. Our first choice for location was Silicon Valley, not San Francisco, which is a different audience.  Silicon Valley attracts established companies as well as startups and has the big hardware and software players—SAP, Google, NetApp, Cisco, NVIDIA, etc. The audience is robust and we have quite a few Silicon Valley Chapter members attending. I see this as our opportunity to support our local high-tech ASAP membership and as an opportunity to engage non-members and expand the visibility of ASAP through both speakers and participation of attendees we could attract.

You’ve got an impressive and diverse lineup of executives from leading tech companies on the program and specifically in your panel. How is the day organized and what topics are you planning to tackle in your session?

Our theme is the strategy for partnering in the era of, and with the speed of, digital transformation and the Internet of Things. When we planned the program, we split the overall event into three major pillars:  strategy, execution, and tools. In the opening session NVIDIA will talk about the speed of alliances—they are known for being a fast-moving partnering company. Then there’s the strategy panel that I am moderating.  In the afternoon, execution and tools is the last panel of the day, prior to a networking reception.

In our strategy session, first of all, the Internet of Things (IoT) is really important to understand. What’s the ecosystem and channel strategy of companies around IoT? Two of the three speakers are focused on this as their full-time jobs—Andres Sintes and Steen Graham work on behalf of their companies to build ecosystems with partners that are expanding their footprint in digital transformation and IOT. We will start out with how to define IoT, the speakers’ role in go-to-market (GTM) strategy, and what’s the collaboration model for multi-vendor, multi-partner collaborations—more than two partners coming together, which is often the case for IOT and digital transformation.

ASAP Media will preview other critical and challenging topics on the agenda at the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Part Two of our Q&A with Erna Arnesen. Learn more and register for the event at www.asaptechforum.org.  

Tags:  Andres Sintes  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  Cisco  Digital Transformation  Erna Arnesen  execution  Google  go-to-market (GTM)  Greg Burge  Internet of Things (IoT)  Jobs  Maria Olson  NetApp  NVIDIA  Partnering  SAP  Steen Graham  strategy  tools  ZL Technologies 

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New ASAP Corporate Member, DSM, Evolved From Coal Mining to Science-Based Company with Innovation, Sustainability, and Partnering at its Core

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, March 17, 2017

 DSM is a global science-based company with a focus on health, nutrition, and materials. Headquartered in the Netherlands, it has undergone a vast transformation from a coal mining entity in the early 20th century to a diverse, innovative company with the core value of sustainably. Partnering via strategic alliances and joint ventures has been critical to DSM’s growth, says Anoop Nathwani, director of excellence in strategic alliances/joint Ventures at DSM’s Innovation Centre. Nathwani provided the following information about DSM.

What inspired your team to join ASAP at the corporate level?
DSM has a number of successful joint ventures and strategic alliances, such as with Novozymes and Syngenta, to name a few. Industry dynamics are changing, and it recognizes the need to partner more extensively and start to ensure that correct partnering capabilities, skills, and competencies are more widely and consistently used to ensure partner successful in developing new, groundbreaking solutions for the markets it serves. In order to achieve this excellence in alliances and partnerships, DSM is looking to learn from ASAP’s best practices and adopt the appropriate tools and skills that are proven with companies showing consistent alliance success. DSM also saw the opportunity to be able to “tap into” thought leaders and networks with like-minded individuals to share best practices and learn from failures from a community of alliance professionals.

How else do you anticipate ASAP benefitting you and your team?

By joining ASAP, we can leverage the resources, tools, frameworks, and knowledge base with real, hands-on case studies of successful alliances that ASAP and the member community can offer. This can help those involved in driving strategic alliances, JVs, and partnerships to consistently achieve success in their partnering activity, versus the high failure rates that we see happening in partnering in general. The ultimate benefit is to see DSM achieve its growth objectives through successful partnering.

How has DSM evolved during a critical time of change in tech?
The evolution is simply phenomenal. Rather than trying to paraphrase this, please view this link to the company Website that explains that evolutional growth: 
https://www.dsm.com/corporate/about/our-company/dsm-history.html The link also talks about some of our many partnerships. Our alliance with Novozymes is a feed enzymes alliance. Combining DSM's and Novozymes' vast resources provides access to innovative products that are setting new industry standards and reaping exciting business results: http://www.dsm.com/markets/anh/en_US/products/products-feedenzymes/products_feed_enzymes_alliance.html. In terms of the alliance with Syngenta, DSM and Syngenta are developing and commercializing biological solutions for agriculture.  The alliance recently announced an R&D partnership to develop microbial-based agricultural solutions, including bio-controls, bio-pesticides and bio-stimulants. The companies aim to jointly commercialize solutions from their discovery platform. The collaboration aims to accelerate the delivery of a broad spectrum of products based on naturally occurring microorganisms for pre- and post-harvest applications around the world. These organisms can protect crops from pests and diseases, combat resistance, and enhance plant productivity and fertility.

Tags:  alliance  alliance teams  collaboration  DSM  Innovation  joint ventures  Novozymes  Partnering  resources  Sustainability  Syngenta  tools 

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Mining Eli Lilly's Century of Alliance Experience at ‘Alliance Management Workshop: Tools and Techniques’

Posted By Genevieve Fraser, Monday, February 27, 2017

Last year marked the 140th anniversary of the founding of Eli Lilly and Company. For the past century, alliances have been critical to the company’s enduring success—and again this year Lilly will share its partnering experience and expertise in a workshop 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.

Lilly’s Chief Alliance Officer David Thompson, CA-AM joins Director of Alliance Management, Gary Butkus, CA-AM, RPh, on Tuesday, Feb. 28 for a pre-conference workshop, “Alliance Management Workshop: Tools and Techniques,” a distillation of Eli Lilly's century of business alliance experience that will provide case studies, tools, and techniques used to train alliance managers at Lilly.

Given the pharmaceutical company’s longevity, Lilly has experienced a prolonged period of patent expirations. Yet the company’s research and development efforts continue apace—in 2015, Lilly achieved significant advances in their pipeline of molecules in clinical development, due in part to the alliances it has forged.

 

As part of the “Tools and Techniques” workshop, or what Lilly refers to as Alliance Management 101, Thompson will address topics salient to alliance managers such as the various types of alliance managers and the management of business risk, human risk, and legal uncertainties. He and Butkus also will delve more deeply into the three phases of an alliance life cycle.


“Lilly wants to be an open source of information in order to advance the art and science of alliance management. We hope that people will use, share, and build upon the tools and resources Lilly has developed since 1999,” Thompson notes. “I hope that attendees know more than when they arrived, feel confident in the skills they learned, and share the knowledge they gained with their own company and alliance partners.”

Tags:  alliance life cycle  Alliance Management  alliance managers  David Thompson  Eli Lilly and Company  Gary Butkus  Resources  Tools 

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