Strategic Alliances are a core component of bringing innovative products to market in the digital age. “Having an agile process with executive and cross functional leadership involvement is paramount to success,” said featured speaker Steve Blacklock, VP of Global Strategic Alliances at Citrix. Steve spoke yesterday evening at the 2nd AAC Meetup to an intimate group of fifty at Workspan HQ in San Mateo. Enterprise technology professionals that participate in the Alliance Aces community got a window to a core component of digital transformation – Alliances for cooperative product efforts at enterprise scale that get to market before the market moves.
According to Steve, “The strategic partnerships that don’t get realized are those that take too long. Innovation in partnering and forming these alliances is required. You just don’t have as much time as you used to before the market (evaporates).”
Some key points to consider based on how Citrix addressed alliance initiatives:
Maintain these “Principles for Success:”
- Clear Vision/Strategy Framework
- Setting clear vision/strategy/initiatives/execution framework for team and measuring success
- Focus on Leverage
- Consistent focus on points of leverage in developing plans and programs
- Everyone Sells!
- Setting up team to evangelize, carry flag for alliances – every conversation is an opportunity
- Recognize & Execute the Opportunity
- Executive engagement – making the most of the opportunities and making something of them with top execs
- “Creative Tension”
- Creativity with your partners competitors is a great motivator
- Create leverage – Strategic, Technology and Solution, Marketing and Sales.
Execute with process and less bureaucracy with an executive level, cross-functional committee that has a clear charter and expected outcomes.
The committee performs monthly reviews of formal, well-defined submissions that include all aspects of roadmap and go-to-market for the alliance outcome.
Citrix uses four pillars of leverage in determining the value and maximizing the opportunity of each Strategic Alliance:
Successful Alliances require considerable attention to keep the train running down the track. It’s an orchestration of alignment between corporate strategy, internal and external evangelism and governance.
Some of Steve’s closing (overarching) points included:
– An existing function has to manage and own the initiative – NOT the Alliance team
– Discipline is key – the process is constantly reinforced with consistent and frequent communication.
Note: An interesting comment concerning NDAs in strategic alliance programs resulted in Amit Sinha, Workspan Co-Founder and CFO, suggesting the use of a one to many and/or a many-to-many NDA for all participating partners.This is worth following up on with Amit and Workspan
Are you working on Alliances and partnerships? It’s a moving target that requires change as part of your process. Connect on the Alliance Aces community to learn and share best practices.