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5 perspectives of the changing alliance landscape


Last month, the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) once again delivered an amazing array of speakers, presentations, and networking opportunities at their annual global alliance summit in Tampa, USA.


The 2-day conference program was filled with insights, case studies and practical anecdotes from familiar and new faces alike.


We highlight 5 different perspectives from the conference speakers, all with the common theme of realizing value in an ever-changing and evolving landscape.


1. ASAP Perspective

Michael Leonetti, President and CEO of ASAP opened with the well-known statistic that “Over 50% of Business Partnerships Fail”.

There are many reasons for this failure – but “Up to 80% Can Succeed IF Alliance Best Practices Are Employed”.

Developing and maintaining a meaningful partnership is only half of what is needed to make an alliance a success; it is the years of work by the alliance manager and supporting stakeholders that allow an organization to derive real value from the alliance.

And this is what this year’s summit was all about: “Realizing Value in the Evolving Alliance Landscape”.

Three keynote speakers provided their experiences on realizing value in alliances.


2. Public sector perspective

LtC Andrew Farina, Assistant Professor and Management Program Director at the U.S. Army’s West Point emphasized the importance of great leadership, required when bringing 2 organizations together and the skills needed to align them successfully. His military background gave a very different viewpoint on leadership from the corporate examples discussed in other sessions, with examples given from the lessons learnt throughout his military career, with many being equally applicable in the private sector.


3. Ecosystem perspective

The summit also welcomed back Jay McBain, Chief Analyst, channels, Partnerships & Ecosystems at Canalys.

McBain noted that “in what’s been called the Decade of the Ecosystem, we’re increasingly seeing channels, partnering programs and ecosystems converge, with a focus on routes to market and what’s best for the end customer.”

McBain outlined 10 trends to watch. Here’s our top 4:

1. 48% of Channel Chiefs report that they are now in ‘Ecosystem Mode’. Meaning that organizations are recognizing the value added to alliances from multiple partners. It’s no longer a bi-lateral agreement, the ecosystem acknowledges the value of all organizations inputting into the partnership.

2. The average customer uses 7 partners along the sales journey. Whether it’s an affiliate, a supplier, a vendor, a technology, a stakeholder or a consultant, there are many ways partners influence a customer journey.

3. Programs quickly transition from precious metal tiers to points, meaning, there is less focus on financial transactions and more on co-innovation, value creation and access to networks.

4. Partnering technology is one of the fastest growing SaaS categories. Users have to weigh up cost and time to decide, do they want to invest in creating technology or partner with an organization that can provide the product? See our own perspective below.


4. Global perspective

Kevin Oliver, SVP, Global head of Business Development & Licensing and Chief Operating Officer, US & Europe at Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, provided a very different interpretation of the landscape, examining “the changing alliance paradigms on the global stage”.

Oliver described the need for a different approach with different capabilities and operating models to create successful partnering opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region where cultures and business operations are very different and outlined how Simcere innovates and drives mutual value through alliance leadership and management.


5. Technology perspective

Finally, Louis Rinfret, allianceboard’s CEO and Founder, looked at the alignment gap faced by many alliance professionals.

An alignment gap happens when partners do not have shared expectations. This gap can cause serious problems within a partnership when crucial alliance criteria, goals and milestones or organizational cultures do not align.

Rinfret examined how technology can support organizations to manage their alliances in a way that aligns all the important and essential elements of a partnership, allowing alliance professionals the time and insights needed to concentrate their efforts on activities that add meaningful value.


If you would like to see any of the slide decks featured in this article, please visit the ASAP website, the event app or contact ASAP to request the pdf.

If you would like to view Rinfret’s full slide deck, or are interested to learn more about allianceboard and see a demo of the platform, don’t hesitate to contact us here: https://www.allianceboard.com/contact-us.



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