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IBM was one of five companies recognized by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) as a 2011 Alliance Excellence Award winner at ASAP’s 2011 Global Summit in Atlanta, along with SAP, HP, Ipsen, and Inspiration Pharmaceuticals. As is the case with all of the four award categories, the Global Entrepreneur program earned ASAP’s Alliance Program Excellence Award for reasons that go well beyond the end results. “These awards don’t just honor great outcomes such as bottom-line revenue growth. Although net results are certainly  important factors in our award selections, the Alliance Excellence Awards also recognize the process as much as the endgame. The creativity that goes into how alliance success is obtained is as important as the results eventually achieved by these programs,” said ASAP president and CEO Art Canter. In a short time, IBM had to evaluate which of its core alliance management skills would work with this revenue segment that was new to them, then develop new systems and processes to fill in knowledge gaps. IBM found that three main principles were just as true partnering with small businesses as with larger ones: 1) start with your partner’s end goals and work from there, 2) help connect them with clients to grow their customer base, and 3) let partners leverage IBM’s extensive resources and ecosystem. “When you put those three focus areas or principles together, whether you are working at a small company or a large one, those apply as critical elements that will make sure you’re going to be successful,” said Mike Riegel, vice president of marketing for ISV and developer relations at IBM. The key differences in working with these new companies? Their narrow focus on immediate-term objectives and the blazing pace at which they work, both of which according to Riegel are needed for survival. “When you’re at a start-up company the culture is such that you are very focused on a very short set of milestones. You are either trying to get the design finished, you have a beta discussion with a customer or prototype, or you are focused on the right business design elements or value proposition elements to

Mike Riegel, vice president of marketing for ISV and developer relations at IBM. Riegel spearheaded IBM’s Global Entrepreneur program, which earned ASAP’s Alliance Program Excellence Award for 2011. discuss at your VC meeting next week.” Whatever near-term goal a SmartCamp participant happened to be honed in on at the moment always required urgency. “They work at a very quick speed and they want an answer quickly,” said Riegel. This, of course, can be a major obstacle at a company as large as IBM, whose valuable services and expertise are scattered throughout dozens of offices around the world. Navigating the internal protocols and red tape to find the right person or group can be tricky, especially for outsiders. IBM remedied the situation by designating a single contact for each start-up, responsible for obtaining the requisite piece of information or contact person in the vast world of IBM. Now, with one phone number SmartCamp participants had prompt access to IBM Research, Global Services, product capabilities, or specific knowledge related to the myriad of industries or vertical markets IBM has excelled in for its 100 years of existence. With Big Blue’s new partners now making a significant impact on Smarter Planet initiatives, IBM is expanding the number of countries that host SmartCamp competitions, adding China, Brazil, and India among other countries to the program. “It’s really stretching globally to capture all of the innovation and the investment happening all around the world,” said Riegel. n Strategic Alliance Magazine

Profile for ASAP

Strategic Alliance Magazine  

The magazine of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals

Strategic Alliance Magazine  

The magazine of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals

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