Articles About Better Partnering

Ecosystem Partnerships Extend and Evolve Alliances

June 9, 2020|

Published by  TIDWIT Inc. at  June 2, 2020 An interview with Norma Watenpaugh, CEO & Founding Principal, Phoenix Consulting Group Q:  You have been involved with the channel and emerging ecosystems for some time.  How has the concept of partnership evolved over the past several years? NW:  I would not say the concept of partnership has evolved so much as a recognition [...]

Partner Relief in Uncertain Times

April 20, 2020|

Small businesses have been unusually hard-hit in these uncertain times. The dynamics of the partner ecosystem is that most of the partners are small business and they serve small businesses. Being a small business myself, I know how precarious cash flow can be. Many of these businesses are seeing their revenues shut down as their customers shutter their business, [...]

Building a Culture for a Collaborative Ecosystem

March 27, 2020|

Building a partner ecosystem is hard. But what's harder than building an ecosystem? Building a culture that supports an ecosystem strategy. I spoke with one executive who was responsible for building the partner ecosystem at a well-known payroll processor, and our discussion perfectly illustrated this challenge. The executive's decades-old company was expanding beyond payroll processing into a full suite [...]

  • Illustrate principles
  • Illustrate principles

Why Principles-Based Collaboration Is Essential For Agile Ecosystems

December 17, 2019|

as published in As we enter an "Era of Ecosystems," we need a different approach and thinking to manage these multi-dimensional and multi-lateral business relationships. I believe the partner management processes that have been developed as a profession are still relevant, but we do need to rethink how we apply them. Nine-way governance models just aren’t efficient and [...]

We Need All of our Alliances to be Agile!

September 16, 2019|

In early 2018, my colleague Laura Powers, an Agilest Icon, and I held a workshop on Agile Partnering. One of our attendees was Kristina Scott, Sr. Director Partner Enablement, Marketing, Operations at Seclore. Seclore is an emerging security software startup with a broad ecosystem of channels, technology alliances and OEMs. A year after the workshop, Kristina remarked “Thinking back [...]

Sleeping with the Frenemy

August 19, 2019|

or How to Build Successful Partnerships with the Competition as published in In the complex landscape of today’s business ecosystems, it is almost inevitable that companies with a large network of partners are, in fact, competing with some of those same partners. This has given us "co-opetition," a term that is derived from "cooperative competition" (also affectionately known [...]

  • Business ecosystems
  • Business ecosystems

It Takes an Ecosystem

July 17, 2019|

or How to Build to Build Partner Ecosystems for Agility, Innovation and Growth in Your Business as published in As someone who has been architecting and managing business partner ecosystems for more than 30 years in the tech industry, I am quite interested in the attention ecosystems have been receiving from management pundits of late. I've observed that [...]

Agile Collaboration – A Better Way to Partner

May 4, 2019|

Or "Seven Steps to a Successful Agile Collaboration" as published in As organizations transform to more digitally savvy business models, I am seeing that it is more than business processes that need rethinking. I believe transformative digital business models require ecosystems of partners and a faster, more responsive way of working within these networks of business partners. Essentially, [...]

  • people holding their fingers in a star

The Profile of Successful Alliance and Partner Leaders

February 27, 2019|

star performers The role of a partner manager is to enable innovation, growth and competitive advantage through partnerships. That’s quite a tall order and implies quite a skill set to deliver. There are defined skills, aptitudes and attitudes of a highly successful partner manager.  They are skilled at adapting to an ever-changing environment and operating in a [...]

Better Together – The Ten Ingredients to the Secret Sauce of Successful Partnering

January 16, 2019|

As published in Forbes. com It’s no secret that companies of all sizes are facing some daunting challenges in digital transformation, globalization and the constant pressure to do more with less. More and more companies seek out partners to buffer the impact, gain skills and access innovation. More than half of CEOs, particularly those that IBM labeled "reinventors" in [...]

Balancing Trust and Control in Alliance Governance

December 4, 2018|

Governance isn’t exactly the most exciting topic. Yet, it is essential in any partnership. At its heart, governance is a system for managing performance. Most of the partner managers I’ve known that positioned themselves as relationship managers are long gone from the profession, laid off in the one of the last economic downturns. Those who managed – and delivered [...]

What Metrics Matter?

September 15, 2018|

When you ask an alliance manager "What metrics matter?", more times than not you will hear revenue, revenue, and revenue. Revenue is the most common yardstick for measuring business value. Yet, a single metric cannot give you the insight necessary to manage all the ingredients required to manage a sustainable business. Many businesses have moved to a more holistic [...]

Value Creating Negotiations – Getting to Win/Win

July 2, 2018|

Partnerships are about creating new value that could not be easily achieved alone. So the focus of negotiations should pivot on partner math 1 + 1 > 3. Your first discovery conversation with a potential partner is usually about how you create more value together. Then, how do you each realize value in the partnership. Sustainable alliances are built [...]

Collaborative Innovation and the Role of Alliances

May 15, 2018|

Diversity is an Opportunity to Create Value Innovation takes many forms. We often focus on innovation as technological breakthroughs and indeed those are important to fuel new revenue streams and corporate growth. But there are other forms of innovation which can be just as powerful and just as disruptive to the status quo in creating strategic competitive advantage. Innovation [...]

Collaboration Bliss

March 19, 2018|

Finding the Right Partner Qualifying the right partner can have an immense impact on the eventual success of a partnership. Too often I’ve seen companies rush into a partner relationship, because “we like those guys!” While chemistry is important in a successful partnership, there has to be the right fit in other dimensions as well. Best practice recommends you [...]

Are you Ready to Collaborate?

March 13, 2018|

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 organization that 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 [...]

Why Channels Matter – to Alliance Managers

December 17, 2017|

ASAP Netcast Webinar I was honored to moderate a panel of experts in discussing the growing interdependencies of channels and alliances in the industry. Here is the feature write up from the ASAP newsletter, Quick Takes. Moderator: Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, Founding Principal, Phoenix Consulting Group Panelists  Erna Arnesen, CSAP, Global Channel and Alliances Officer, ZL Technologies Steven McGarr, Global Strategic Partners [...]

The Next Generation Partner Ecosystem

September 28, 2017|

Business models have fundamentally changed from selling and buying gear to responding to how customers consume technology and how it changes their businesses. We are experiencing seismic changes in the tech industry driven by the convergence of SMAC (social media, mobile computing, analytics and cloud technology), the change in technology consumption, the rise of Digital Transformation (DX) and the [...]