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The Diverse Discussion

Alliance Management—Like Each Individual Alliance—Looks Different Depending on Who’s Observing and Measuring It By Art Canter

THE ASSOCIATIOn OF STrATEGIC ALLIAnCE PrOFESSIOnALS (ASAP) prides itself on providing the alliance community with a forum to trade best practices, learn from other industries, and even put forth differences of opinion for discussion among the world’s leading alliance professionals. Although our webinars, global events, and Councils each play an instrumental role in fostering debates and exchanges of ideas, this edition of Strategic Alliance Magazine exemplifies how ASAP Media will provide additional key vehicles for connecting the entire alliance community so that we see the true diversity of thought among ASAP’s membership and partner community. In this issue, we present a section exploring the metrics that prove to be most useful in gauging the past and present success of alliances, and most instructive in the ongoing monitoring of future partnerships. In illustration of the old saying “If you’ve seen one alliance, you’ve seen one alliance” popularized by former ASAP chairman of the board Mike Leonetti, CSAP our guest authors illustrate how what is valued by one industry or set of alliances might be viewed differently by others. Where Norma Watenpaugh , CSAP tells of how a Phoenix Consulting Group survey of high-tech companies revealed the importance of measuring relationships and the “soft side” of alliance management, our three authors from pharmaceutical industry leader Eli Lilly and Company remind readers not to rely too much on subjective assessments Quarter 3, 2011

because “the promise that a partner’s ‘good feelings’ will pay off is too distant and uncertain a return on investment.” In fact, they’re both right, and their stances are not so clear-cut as they may at first appear. Watenpaugh also delves into concrete metrics that seem to be commonly tracked by performing alliances more than non-performing ones, while Lilly only seeks to provide an objective way to demonstrate value to go along with subjective measurements, which the authors note are “certainly important.” The larger point is that each viewpoint and the contexts in which they are made provide more food for thought for alliance professionals looking for ways to improve their own alliance management practices. The variety of perspectives can also be seen in our special focus on IT, which profiles the increasing alliance activity between the high-tech and energy management industries. In separate articles, this story is told through the eyes of a longtime leader in alliance management at Cisco, which has a well-established AM practice, and Schneider Electric, a company still feeling its way through the formative stages of its alliance function utilizing domain experience from unin-

terruptible power supply (UPS) company APC, which it acquired a few years ago. In business, issues are rarely black and white, and this is probably more true in alliance management than in other disciplines. ASAP Media would not be fulfilling its role if it were not presenting an array of different slants to the same ideas and issues. As in many of the dayto-day activities of an alliance manager, sometimes disagreement without discord is what enables growth in a relationship or a profession—or as Phil Sack, CA-AM says in the context of our piece on collaborative selling, “You can agree to disagree.” We hope you agree that this issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine presents valuable content that you can use every day as you tackle your alliance management responsibilities. At ASAP Media, that’s our goal—and we look forward to your continuing feedback on how we’re doing and how we can better respond to your needs. Art Canter, president and CEO of ASAP, is executive publisher of Strategic Alliance Magazine. 5

Profile for ASAP

Strategic Alliance Magazine  

Non ASAP Member Limited Edition, Q3, 2011

Strategic Alliance Magazine  

Non ASAP Member Limited Edition, Q3, 2011