Phoenix Rising Blog – Alliance Strategy
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 01:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
Imagine you have just joined a new high-flying company, leading the partnering organization. You are full of aspirations and optimism. This is going to be great! A nascent partner organizationthat you can shape and grow to meet the astounding growth potential of this booming market. Then you quickly come to realize that this organization is NOT partner friendly. The R&D organization suffers from not-invented-here syndrome. The Professional Services and Sales organizations sees partners as their competitors. Plus, the internal culture is very aggressive – toward each other! Lastly, your boss thinks Win/Win means he wins twice – at the expense of the partner.
Trying to establish value-creating, collaborative business relationships in that environment is like pushing a rock uphill. A lot of effort for very little progress. So how do know if your organization is ready for collaboration? A Collaboration Maturity Assessment can help. This kind of assessment is one of the recommendations of the International Standard Organization (ISO) for Collaborative Business Relationships. While there are many elements to managing a business partnership, having an environment conducive to collaboration goes a long way to setting the stage for success.
What are some of the capabilities of a company that is ready to collaborate? They include understanding how collaboration and partnerships fit within the overall organization; a culture that fosters collaborative behavior and the management processes to ensure repeatable success. Here are some of the necessary elements of Collaboration Maturity Assessment:
Company strategy. Your organization’s strategy considers external collaboration as a means for achieving strategic objectives in creating innovation, capturing new markets and new revenue streams.
Leadership. Your leadership team believes in the importance of collaboration inside and out. They take responsibility for the vision and direction of the collaborative strategy. They actively sponsor key strategic alliances and are accountable for success.
Support. Your organization provides the necessary resources, infrastructure, systems, and staffing to support your collaboration strategy.
Personal Development and Training. Your organization fosters and hires personnel with the necessary skills and competencies to manage collaborative relationships.
Process Improvement. Your organization has the discipline and commitment to continuously improve the processes and capability supporting collaboration.
Communication. Your organization has a communication style that is inclusive, transparent and engenders trust among stakeholders.
Decision Making. Stakeholders within the organization are empowered to make decisions collaboratively, based on mutual agreement.
Knowledge Sharing. Information and ideas such as lessons learned, best practices, standard operating procedures are openly shared and accessible to all stakeholders.
Commitment to Win/Win Value Creation. All parties in a collaboration acknowledge that benefit and value is created and must be shared through the successful execution of the collaborative activities.
Partner Management Processes
Partner Lifecycle. Your organization has defined a structure approach to managing collaborations that follow a phased approach to formation, operations, and transformation.
Relationship Management Plan. Your organization maintains a relationship management plan for each collaboration that outlines the charter, mission, goals, processes, tools, governance and communications to be employed in the management of the partner relationship.
Metric Driven. Your organization utilizes metrics or balanced scorecards to measure performance of each individual collaboration but also the performance of the collaboration program. Metrics are used to drive action.
Working and Staying Together. Your organization does an effective job to ensure that stakeholders are harmoniously working together and are aligned on the goals of the collaboration.
So what became of the company mentioned in the opening paragraph? Well they eventually figured it out over a very painful two-year period and the result was they doubled in size with 80% of the new growth coming from partner influence. It would have been much smoother had the organization had the collaboration maturity to know what partner friendly looked like.
Parth Amin, CSAP, Founder | Alliance Dynamics, LLC
Parth Amin, a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), recently founded Alliance Dynamics – a boutique consulting firm specializing in alliance formation, implementation, and transformation services. Parth is also a delegate to the Technical Advisory Group representing the United States on the ISO 44001 Committee for Collaborative Business Relationships. Prior to founding Alliance Dynamics, Parth spent 16 years in the Healthcare Industry and held roles in Program Management and Alliance Management, most recently being the Vice President of Strategic Alliances.
Posted Monday, July 31, 2017 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
When we talk about digital transformation, so much about it is about the customer experience. At a recent ASAP Tech Partner Forum, Tiffani Bova from Salesforce cited an example of how as a consumer, you might order a Starbucks, from your Tesla, through Alexa. When you drive up to pick up your coffee...
Posted Monday, July 24, 2017 at 02:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
Recently I was invited to facilitate a roundtable/workshop at the June 7, 2017 ASAP Tech Partner Forum in Santa Clara, Calif., centered on digital transformation. We heard from many experts and pioneers in the technology space about the challenges and changes they were navigating. It was like drinking...
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 12:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
How do you engage when your partner is strategic to you – but you are not strategic to them.My partner thinks of me as a supplier, or a channel, or 'fill-in-the-blank.' How do I become a strategic partner? This is a common refrain from startups and small companies wanting a relationship...
Tags: strategic partner, alliances
Posted Monday, May 25, 2015 at 01:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
Partnering Strategies to Accelerate Growth in the Internet of ThingsFor some time we’ve been hearing that Internet of Things is coming. Well it’s here!There are many examples that we probably don’t think much about. Beyond our personal devices: smart phones, watches...
Tags: By one estimate IOT will represent $14T of new value creation by 2020 with 50-75 billion devices connected.
Posted Monday, September 15, 2014 at 09:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Partnering Return on Investment is often quite attractive since the investment in a partnered initiative is shared. In other words half of the resources or costs are on your partner’s balance sheet. There are other organizational advantages as well which become apparent when a build...
Posted Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 09:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Creating Business Value for CustomersCreating a competitive edge is crucial for all businesses and can be achieved through alliances. Alliances can also be a defensive measure in countering a competitive shortfall such as a gap in a company’s product line. In our research we found that creating...
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
The definition for an alliance is when two (or more) organizations combine their resources to create new value that could not be (easily) achieved by either party alone. Innovation is often described as the process of combining disparate ideas to create something new and in today’s business climate...
Posted Monday, August 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Market Impact embraces those strategies that are aimed at growing the businesses of the allied partners. It includes strategies such as entering new markets, gaining a market share position, and generally expanding the capability to gain new customers. The top five selections of our best practices...
Posted Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
The Strategy of AlliancesAlliances in the technology sector are overwhelmingly evaluated based on revenue and for good reason. They deliver incremental revenue over above business as usual. However, revenue is a lagging indicator and does not provide insight into whether the alliance is achieving...
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 02:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
Because more and more, channels are becoming the preferred route to market for alliances.As a recent CRN article on the VCE alliance illustrates, when alliance managers choose channels they need to understand how they work, what motivates channel partners, what are the economics, and how to deal with...
Tags: channels, SaaS, Strategic Alliances, Routes to Market, Go to Market
Posted Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Every organization has a unique culture as a result of the norms, values and accepted behaviors that are held within the community. People are often unaware that they do function within a company culture. However, when they begin to work closely with another company culture, they become aware...
Tags: Collaboration, corporate culture, partner friendly, alliance management
Posted Friday, November 15, 2013 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Collaborative competencies are a distinct set of skills that effective alliance professionals have in applying the processes and practices described in the previous blog but collaborative competencies also include many ‘soft skills’. The softskills are ironically the most difficult...
Tags: Collaboration, competencies, alliance management
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Alliance management is in many ways a young profession, yet there is a set of defined processes and practices that have been shown to be effective in creating and operating successful collaborations. Research has shown that companies that approach collaboration through...
Posted Monday, October 21, 2013 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
Success Begins at the TopIt is hard to overstate the importance of a champion at the senior levels of the organization. Many alliances fail or falter when they lose the executive champion and the role is not backfilled with a strong leader.The role of the champion is many fold. They represent...
Tags: champion, executive sponsor, alliance, strategic partner
Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 at 03:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh
Alliance Management Practices: Performers and UnderperformersAll business managers, not just those managing alliances, have been challenged with navigating a stormy economy. We had to make decisions on where to cut back, how to to make the best of diminished resources, and still achieve targeted business...
Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 08:46 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
Findings from a Survey Conducted by Phoenix Consulting Group, June 2009Social media is gaining presence within partner ecosystemsThese are natural communities and naturally lend themselves to these media.There has been a trend for some time by large vendor companies to position themselves as the...
Tags: Social media, partner ecosystem, ecosystem management, partner strategy
Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 04:38 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
Findings from a Survey Conducted by Phoenix Consulting Group, June 2009Well, arguably yes and no. Some technologies that might be labeled early Web 2.0 were in pretty widespread usage. Others such as Twitter are caught up in the tornado. Some, such as MySpace, already seem to be in decline.Blogs...
Tags: social media, partner marketing, ecosystem management, partner ecosystems
Posted Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 12:23 PM by Norma Watenpaugh
The ASAP 2009 State of Alliance Management Report looked at thirty-six commonly recognized best practices of alliance management and benchmarked them across the community of respondents representing 431 companies. This year the researchers looked a bit deeper into innovation alliances and identified...
Tags: emerging, best practices, alliance, management