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Our People

Pioneering collaboration expertise. Unmatched skills. Deep industry experience.
Whatever your challenge, we've been there and know how to help.


Alliancesphere's people are a team of thoughtful, creative leaders. We are groundbreaking practitioners of alliance management and collaborative business. Most of us bring 15 to 30 years or more of experience to bear—along with a lot of passion—when we tackle our clients' most pressing business challenges.


Alliancesphere's people are a team of thoughtful, creative leaders. We are groundbreaking practitioners of alliance management and collaborative business. Most of us bring 15 to 30 years or more of experience to bear—along with a lot of passion—when we tackle our clients' most pressing business challenges.

Alliancesphere has supported the world's largest, most longstanding high-tech alliance since our doors opened more than 10 years ago. Today, four of the world's six largest IT companies rely upon Alliancesphere, as do emerging innovators and some of the world's leading consumer products, financial services, manufacturing & supply chain, and transportation & logistics companies.

These companies count on Alliancesphere for an unfailingly honest and holistic perspective on their business and its alliance and collaboration challenges. We consistently tell them:

From collaborative innovation to collaborative selling, Alliancesphere helps some of the world's largest organizations confidently develop game-changing strategies to transform their organizations and realize the full potential of their alliances and other collaborations. We've served hundreds of clients and partners around the world. We'd love the opportunity to serve you too.

Alliancesphere's Management Team

lorin

Lorin Coles

deb

Deb Barnard

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A colleague describes Alliancesphere cofounder and managing director Lorin Coles as "incredibly gifted—he loves the complex challenge, loves brainstorming and creating models and innovative approaches on the fly." A global IT client says, "Lorin is a guy who thinks in pictures, big concepts, on top of the latest trends, who asks provocative questions." Years ago Lorin's big concept was this: a smart, fleet-footed consulting firm distinguished by its relentless, singular focus on customer-centered alliance execution. In 2002 he cofounded Alliancesphere. Since then Lorin and his crack team have worked tirelessly to convert "big pictures" into a rewarding reality—extracting maximum value from collaborative engagements for such large-enterprise clients as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, NetApp, and Coca-Cola.
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A world-class facilitator who drives alliance execution by bringing diverse parties together and getting them on the same page, Alliancesphere cofounder and managing director Deb Barnard describes herself as "a creative person, but pragmatic—a doer, a person of action." A leading IT executive says, "Deb is great to work with. She has high energy, delivers excellent work, and provides strong leadership in difficult situations." The consulting model Deb created years ago—based on driving change and locating the correct "cause" of nonperformance—now constitutes one of the primary lenses in Alliancesphere's sharp focus on collaborative execution.
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andrew burke

Andrew Burke

bob butler

Bob Butler

shawn russell

Shawn Russell

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Although Andrew Burke's career trajectory sounds like something Garrison Keillor might turn into a sketch on Prairie Home Companion about the fictitious Professional Organization of English Majors (POEM), the former English major and teacher is anything but an absentminded (or nutty) professor. On the contrary, he's a skilled consultant and consummate business professional who brings nearly two decades of communication, training, and alliances experience to his work with Alliancesphere. In engagements such as the HP-Microsoft alliance, Coca-Cola, and many others, Andrew constantly brings to bear his sharp critical thinking and qualitative analysis skills to unearth hidden connections and put them together to make logical sense and drive business results.
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His ancestors came over on the Mayflower, he spent three decades with IBM, and he once cleared a path for three future NFL running backs as an offensive lineman at Auburn. For Robert "Bob" Butler, it's still third and goal every day: time to make the big play, knock down obstacles, and push the ball into the end zone. Nowadays, he's clearing the way for successful alliance execution as a principal at Alliancesphere. Bob joined the Alliancesphere team in 2009, having met founder Lorin Coles a decade before. A 30-year-plus IBMer, Bob applies his far-reaching sales, business development, and alliance management experience to many types of organizations, including large-enterprise ecosystems. He's an expert at getting work done and keeping projects moving upfield in large, complex environments. And after all these years, he still looks forward to suiting up and playing in the big game.

As Bob has learned over a business career spanning more than three decades at IBM and as he applies it every day in his work with Alliancesphere clients teamwork, speed, nimbleness and strength count for something away from the gridiron as well, especially in the ever-changing, fast-moving world of business development and alliance execution.
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Somehow Alliancesphere principal Shawn Russell never met Lorin Coles at the University of Georgia—even though they were practically next-door neighbors, both majored in business, and they had mutual friends. But when they did finally meet, in 2003, well, the rest is history. An early Alliancesphere recruit and key player, Shawn excels today managing Alliancesphere's Client Services, keeping tabs on all the moving parts and people over multiple alliances and making sure it all stays on track. He continues to apply his 20 years' experience in business development, alliance management, and marketing and skills as a quick thinker, coordinator, and manager to benefit such Alliancesphere clients as HP, Microsoft, UPS, Coca-Cola, Intel, and Equifax.
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norman sterling

Norman Sterling

sean taylor

Sean Taylor

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With over three decades' experience in the high technology sector, Norman Sterling's skills are rooted in international sales, consulting, and customer relationship management. With Alliancesphere, he helps clients plan, design, and execute solutions to their business problems. His success in working with some of the world's largest and most complex organizations—including Microsoft, HP, Pfizer, IBM, Dell, Sprint, and Sun Microsystems—has given him a unique strategic and operational perspective that he puts to work for Alliancesphere clients every day. The intellectual capital he has created, along with new methods and processes he has introduced to his clients around the world, has made him a "trusted advisor" to companies in multiple industries. World class? You bet. A dual UK/US citizen now living in Georgia, Norman speaks the language of international business.
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With a degree in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, perhaps by now Alliancesphere client partner Sean Taylor might have made the short list for undersecretary of state—but instead he practices high-level diplomacy in a high-stakes business context as the company's chief client relations guy, the skilled connector who knows clients' businesses and, like a good diplomat, keeps relationships flowing smoothly among Alliancesphere clients, partners, and customers. Sean's two-decade career has encompassed roles in business development, sales, alliance management, account management, and marketing, and his work at Alliancesphere includes more than eight years as the company's Hewlett-Packard Client Partner, focusing primarily on the HP-Microsoft alliance.
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