Growing Up – Just In Time
As Our Profession Comes of Age, Alliance Management Will Depend on Mature Media to Support Its Essential Role in Business By Art Canter
I’VE BEEN STRUCK BY A RECURRING thought over the past several months as I’ve worked with our editorial staff to transform ASAP’s vision of Strategic Alliance Magazine into the professional publication you hold in your hands now. The alliance profession truly is growing up—just in time to tackle some of the grandest and grittiest challenges in the business world. We’ve reached a tipping point in our globally interconnected and continually changing economy. Strategic alliances and other forms of collaboration are attaining critical mass; in industry after industry, research, development, production, marketing, and sales have been transformed from largely internal functions into operational processes that must be skillfully and professionally managed across partnering companies. As one ASAP member puts it, the Chief Alliance Officer is emerging as “the best job short of being CEO.” In this context, alliance managers and collaborative business professionals become the critical players who help their companies and their partners navigate the challenges and complexities inherent in the collaborative business environment. Just as significantly, those who are not alliance managers can no longer ignore the alliance management function; their functions inevitably intersect with alliances, therefore they also must better understand, utilize, and be guided by the expertise, tools, and metrics of the alliance management profession. That, truly, is the “meta story” that overarches every story in this, our inaugural issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine: the alliance profession matters—a whole lot Quarter 2. 2011
now. In the pages that follow, see how: – Alliances were instrumental in the decade-long makeover of France’s family-owned Ipsen into a publicly held, global biopharmaceutical player. – A sophisticated alliance management program reinvigorated the longstanding go-to-market partnership between tech giants SAP and IBM. – Another software leader engages stakeholders across the company in a rigorous process designed to maximize the potential of its most promising collaborative ventures; so-called “Path to Market” initiatives now drive in excess of 50 percent of partner revenues with SAS Institute’s largest alliance partners, including Teradata, Accenture, and IBM. – Alliances also are a critical factor—for success or failure—in an increasing number of mergers and acquisitions, so smart companies now deeply engage alliance professionals before, during, and especially after business consolidations. Because alliance management matters— because this profession is growing up—ASAP has recognized your need for dedicated, professional media that support and inform the daily work of the professional alliance manager. Led by our flagship Strategic Alliance Magazine,
our ASAP Media program is unveiling a robust array of media offerings, ranging from digital newsletters and ASAP TV to our leadership-oriented “Challenges in Alliance Management” web seminar series. As with ASAP’s Global Alliance Summits and this quarter’s BioPharma Conferences, our commitment is to deliver content and programming that are as relevant as you are. Please help us in this endeavor. Individually, you can give us feedback and story ideas, become a benefactor (i.e., a paid subscriber), and encourage all of your colleagues to do so as well; on a company level, your organization can step up as a paying sponsor of the magazine and other ASAP Media. You will be rewarded on many levels for your contribution. And, I think, helping out is one of those responsibilities that comes along with growing up—as a person, and as a profession. Art Canter, president and CEO of ASAP, is executive publisher of Strategic Alliance Magazine.
The magazine of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals