Since 2002, Alliancesphere has helped emerging leaders as well as some of the world's largest business organizations confidently develop and execute game-changing strategies that build collaborative capability, strengthen strategic relationships, and drive billions of dollars in partner-based sales each year, across the Americas and around the world. We work hand-in-hand with you and your team, from corporate to field levels, to deliver results at the point of impact—the pivotal times when mutual value is realized through successful collaborative execution with your internal stakeholders, external partners, and most importantly your customers.
Read full case study An Emerging Leader Maximizes Value by Integrating 'Partnering at the Core'
An emerging data management leader had reached a crossroads in its partnerships with global systems integrators (GSIs). Simply put, these alliances were not recognized as core to the business, so the company was not optimizing these partnerships to maximize their full value. Now, thanks to its ongoing (and still expanding) engagement with Alliancesphere, these GSI relationships are treated as core to the business—and deliver mutual value by bringing differentiated solutions to joint customers. Read full case study
An emerging data management leader had reached a crossroads in its partnerships with global systems integrators (GSIs). Simply put, these alliances were not recognized as core to the business, so the company was not optimizing these partnerships to maximize their full value. Now, thanks to its ongoing (and still expanding) engagement with Alliancesphere, these GSI relationships are treated as core to the business—and deliver mutual value by bringing differentiated solutions to joint customers.
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Read full case study A Top-50 IT Leader Turns around a Relationship on the Brink
The relationship between a leading IT company and one of its top customer accounts in the energy sector stood on the brink of breakdown when Alliancesphere was engaged. Four years and numerous joint successes later, the energy company's CIO says the IT partner (along with the partners and integrated solutions stack it brings to the table) provides the strongest degree of collaboration among its 15 top-tier IT suppliers. Read full case study
The relationship between a leading IT company and one of its top customer accounts in the energy sector stood on the brink of breakdown when Alliancesphere was engaged. Four years and numerous joint successes later, the energy company's CIO says the IT partner (along with the partners and integrated solutions stack it brings to the table) provides the strongest degree of collaboration among its 15 top-tier IT suppliers.
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Like many of its competitors and industry peers, this approximately $5 billion Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company saw furious growth the first half of the millennium's first decade, both organically by capitalizing on the booming market for running IT work processes on behalf of large enterprise and midsize companies as well as through acquisition. But now the dynamics of its marketplace were changing. Its transactional vendor-type relationship with its partners no longer sufficed to meet the needs of its customers who were getting weary of the BPO company's penchant for not being up to date on its IT vendor partners' latest releases or complying to their standards. They needed to work more collaboratively with these partners to meet customer demands, but they did not have a true alliance capability.
The BPO company engaged Alliancesphere to build the organization's missing "third leg." Utilizing Alliancesphere's Strategic and Operational Services, the two companies worked together to build an alliance program from scratch. Alliancesphere helped sell this new partner program internally to company leadership, then began designing the shell of the alliance function; it assembled the core alliance team and streamlined and categorized the client's list of current and potential partners. With the program elements in place, Alliancesphere instilled in the client the ability to work collaboratively with partners and execute the program. Under Alliancesphere's guidance, the client and its partners built new solutions, brought them to market, and drove sales utilizing Alliancesphere's governance, metrics, and other proprietary alliance management tools and processes.
Within a year, the discipline of alliance management was integrated into the BPO company's existing culture. By demonstrating a clear strategic roadmap designed in consultation with Alliancesphere, the company's major vendors, many of which were Global 1,000 companies, granted the BPO company significant price breaks that translated into tremendous cost-savings out of the gate for the client. With Alliancesphere augmenting the new alliance team with support in all phases of execution, the new alliance function ultimately delivered $24 million in revenue to the company's bottom line over its first two years.
For years, a large shipping company had been operating in different ways with each of its segments of partners. Whether dealing with an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), a reseller, or another type of partner, the company's alliances operated in siloes with little coordination with each other. In addition, this company was not approaching many of these relationships with a collaborative mindset, often trying to force their partners into exclusive agreements with their software products in a marketplace where "coopetition" with chief rivals was inevitable.
Alliancesphere's Alliance Strategy and Operations solutions were used to create a new partner nomenclature consisting of four partner categories... 1) Marketplace (online retailers), 2) Application (back-end application providers such as ERP and warehouse management), 3) Technology (system integrators), and 4) Service Providers. Within each classification, partners were stratified into three new tiers: Strategic, Select, and Authorized. The new classifications provided an easy-to-understand structure for the company as well as customers, partners, and other relevant external stakeholders.
Alliancesphere worked with the client to create a baseline program replete with structure, program guide, and implementation plan for each of the four partner types. In each case, Alliancesphere outlined the scope of the program, defined deliverables, developed metrics, and applied governance structures.
The shipping company's relationship with its partners improved dramatically. In particular, it was now easier for the shipping company's Application partner segment, through which the shipping company was transacting $8 billion of revenue, to find the right fit for the former's software products thanks to the new program guide.
Two Global 100 technology giants that had been selling solutions together for decades had hit a snag in its relationship. The U.S. regional manager for one of the companies noticed that the partnership's results in the Western part of the country was one of its worst-performing regions. Activity had nearly ground to a halt as there was no alignment between each party at any level from region to field, while trust was essentially non-existent. The field teams did not view each other as potential levers for additional sales as neither understood the value the other brought to the table.
The two companies brought in Alliancesphere to conduct its Collaborative Partner Planning (CPP) service to get both Western U.S. teams on the same page. With both regional teams together in the same room, each was able to illustrate at a high level what success looked like for their respective companies, share their broader visions, and provide an understanding of their respective corporate cultures. The salespeople also delved into specifics showing the investments each party was making, the range of solutions they were going to market with, and the value propositions that were ringing in the marketplace.
The CPP exercise brought to light several new ways each could help the other sell to new market and customer segments. As a result, the U.S. regional manager saw its West region go from worst to first in terms of pipeline in 90 days. With a deeper understanding of each other's value proposition, the teams were working with a renewed trust. More important, the realignment between vice presidents and regional managers took them from speaking different languages to finishing each other's sentences.
Two multinational Global 1,000 technology companies had one of the world's largest packaging and shipping corporations as a common customer in their client base. The salespeople at the two IT vendors had not considered their respective counterparts to expand their business with the shipping company as they were weary of ceding account control, nor were either eager to learn another company's capabilities and culture. Suddenly, the shipping company forced the two IT vendors' hands with an opportunity that entailed delivering an enterprise-class solution but at a price point of a local integrator.
The two technology organizations embarked on Alliancesphere's Collaborative Partner Selling (CPS) process to enable each sales team to educate the other on their respective capabilities and subsequent overlaps. CPS also gave salespeople the chance to bring to light the unique obstacles presented by each company's "hidden organization" (i.e. , how business is really conducted behind closed doors).
With a full understanding of the products, timing, and workload, the joint sales team put together a proposal for the initial opportunity, but in the process, the two teams discovered additional opportunities for other customer engagements.
CPS put both companies firmly on the same page, and the companies landed the initial business from the shipping company in large part because they were able to present a united front in the RFP. With a better understanding of the partner and a new sense that the whole was more than the sum of the two companies' parts, the sales teams began investigating larger opportunities involving more complex offerings. Together, the companies began jointly approaching other industry and customer segments in efforts to expand market share.
A major global automotive company was counting on two Global 100 IT companies to work collaboratively to configure a solution that fit their immediate needs. Although the motor vehicle institution was a common client of the two technology companies, the particular customer teams had not worked together recently and were thus not familiar with each other's products and approaches. The two account groups needed to get accustomed to each other, get on the same wavelength, and present a unified front to the customer.
The companies agreed to bring in Alliancesphere to help the teams work together and compose a detailed account strategy and execution plan to meet the customer's immediate needs. Through Alliancesphere's Collaborative Partner Selling (CPS) exercise, the two companies set out to devise the right product solution along with the market strategy, governance, metrics, and other elements necessary to execute the client engagement.
In the process of gathering data for this one point opportunity, the teams uncovered synergies that could lead to additional wins within the same client, including an opportunity to land its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) business, an area in which both companies presented a stronger solution together rather than selling their solutions standalone.
The companies not only solved the automotive company's initial issue, the joint team beat out several players for the CRM business, several of which were more established in the CRM industry, with one side earning the hardware end of the business and the other acquiring software licenses. The integration of the two vendor teams was so thorough, the IT director for the client company referred to them as "interchangeable."
Alliance managers generally tend to run into obstacles getting sales, product development, and other stakeholders to utilize partners and make sacrifices that drive partnerships to achieve company goals. Factor in quarterly revenue pressures and those outside of the alliance management function might see disincentives to investing the necessary time and resources, while giving up full control of the process. This was exactly the case for one Global 50 technology company in which the alliance management professionals were having trouble convincing employees from other divisions that it could meet its fourth quarter projections with a collaborative selling effort.
Alliancesphere's "G2G" process ("Good to Great" or "Get to Green") is designed to meet situations like this. As is the case with all of its G2G engagements, Alliancesphere helped this company compose and prioritize a "T100" list of the top 100 partners in terms of timely revenue potential. Alliancesphere then helped the client determine which accounts to engage, how to select and align the right ones, and then drive them to execution—all within the shortened window presented by the oncoming quarter close. Alliancesphere even augmented the company's talent pool by executing specific elements in order to drive the full G2G program in time.
In two months, Alliancesphere helped the company operationalize 40 accounts and fulfill quarterly expectations in time before the end of the company's fiscal year in October. The timing was particularly important for this company because the first quarter is often challenging with end-of-year wind-down activities and holiday vacation schedules.
A Global 50 IT vendor looking to instill Cloud capabilities knew it needed help transitioning to the new IT reality. Armed with a list of potential partners for its Cloud ecosystem, the company first approached its longtime partner Global 100 IT vendor about participating in its program, but without a fully-developed launch plan the proposed partnership went nowhere. The vendor realized it needed to step back and think more deeply about its strategy as it pursued its other top candidates.
Alliancesphere was brought in by the vendor to develop a comprehensive "launch-and-land" plan that covered every element of strategy and execution associated with identifying and executing partnerships. Alliancesphere helped align all relevant alliance participants from the country/regional level by preparing key executives with critical information about the program's strategy and objectives. It facilitated all elements of plan development and implementation, including field execution and governance.
This 10-week process coordinated country executive kickoffs and individual team launches. The workshop itself defined offering, business model, go-to-market, and governance workstreams. Along the way, Alliancesphere arranged for checkpoints at critical stages to ensure proper landing of partners and actual alliance execution.
Alliancesphere's proprietary tools and processes are at the heart of the vendor's partner-hosted Cloud initiative, and it is now being utilized to launch, land, and bring up to speed the top 30 IT vendors, integrators, and other partners on its wish list, including a top-five system integrator in Europe considered by many executives to be a critical ally in making the transition to Cloud. (See Snapshot 8: "Global IT Corporation Integrates Major European System Integrator into Cloud Program.")
Like many companies in its industry, a Global 50 IT vendor was driven to a major crossroads by the emergence of the Cloud. The company needed to rally its partner base to be able to deliver new Cloud products and services that met the growing demands of tomorrow's customer. In particular, many executives were placing their bets on a specific top-five system integrator in Europe to help drive initiatives of clients who declined its proprietary Cloud solutions.
The vendor was prepared to utilize its Executive Briefing Center—the practice of bringing in partners to executive briefings to share the company vision, discuss possibilities, and determine what each partner needs to do to drive the alliance to success. Unfortunately, in recent years Executive Briefing Centers had failed to drive at the tough issues between partners.
The company turned to Alliancesphere to help onboard the European system integrator into its operations. Alliancesphere incorporated the Executive Briefing Center procedure into its Collaborative Partner Planning (CPP) offering. As the relevant employees of each partner company gathered to share their strategic vision and formula for execution, it was revealed that three groups had devised plans for the partnership independent of each other. Alliancesphere helped the parties stitch the plans together into one agreement with an approved set of success measures and governance models thereby eliminating disconnects.
Thanks to the CPP process, executives at all levels of the integrator organization responsible for the vendor's affairs now have immediate and clear visibility into all of the important details of the partnership, including strategy and execution. With the vendor moving forward with its partner-hosted Cloud program, it is entrusting its partner ecosystem with tremendous responsibility—the training of sales forces, implementation, pricing and negotiation, and hosting execution. The European integrator is furthest down the path in aligning itself with the vendor's Cloud partner requirements.