Archive for the ‘cooperation’ Tag

A Big Step For Microsoft and Cloud Ecosystems, a New Step In My Own Collaboration on Alliances   1 comment

Yesterday I published a new post on the impact of the new Outlook.com service on Microsoft’s partner ecosystem.
I believe this service is much more than a revamping of Hotmail; it is a key development in the impact of cloud business models on partner ecosystems for Microsoft and other platform vendors. It affects the whole partner ecosystem from OEM to distributors and resellers, to systems integrators and ISVs.

This post also marks a new development for me: I have published it as guest on the blog of a fellow alliances professional, Peter Simoons.

I look forward to exploring this collaboration and others among alliances practitioners. It will be interesting to see how alliances develop among alliance managers.

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Leisure Time, Valuable Business Networking for Alliances   Leave a comment

Leisure and business go hand in hand when you enjoy both.

I was biking with my wife this week end, for family business and leisure together. We stopped to consider how to overcome an obstacle just at the same time as another wanderer did, much for the same reason.

This was an obvious foreigner, if fluent in Italian.
Her request to take a picture of her prompted me to offer a business card. She shared hers and we exchanged some more details about our interests. Beyond wandering in the neighbourhood, that each of us obviously enjoys, our business focus is similar, and our similar age gets us reviewing priorities and approaches during middle age and a global business crisis.
As it turned out, all the three of us have a business in helping organizations do business together.

We have invited each other to visit and may well meet again. If we do, it will most likely for leisurely biking (and triking) together before we ever consider business.
Still, it is amazing how we complement each other’s business. The other wanderer provides a technical capability in South East Asian languages and business culture – delivered in our town; my wife may well need this in her business, and my alliances activity becomes stronger whenever a similar option comes to enrich it.

Assessing an acquaintance will be an exercise and an investment in alliances, as well as a welcome pastime.

An Invaluable Challenge in Unlikely Alliances: Cultural Nonprofit   Leave a comment

What can be more exciting in alliances than finding a significant opportunity for teaming in an unusual place, and with reluctant organizations?

The place: nonprofit organizations of a kind that thrived in many Western economies decades ago – research and popularization societies in history, politics, economics, and other social sciences.
These cultural organizations have been gradually starved of audience and funds during the late 20th century’s growing focus on market-driven approaches even for social and cultural progress.
The current financial, then economic downturn is providing them with a new lease of life: here opinion and consensus may be shaped with different mechanisms and results from those that market forces allow.

The reluctance: over decades of practical hardship, a few of these volunteer-based, academic-rooted, deep-thinking organizations have evolved a very, very keen awareness of what is special about each, and how different they are from each other.
This self-consciousness makes it difficult to perceive the value of cooperation with selected similar organizations, much like in a siege mentality.

The opportunity: such organizations generally stand a good chance of benefitting from alliances, since each may well hold unique and little known value, for each other and their common public.

The case in point:

  • Over the last few years some valued colleagues and I have had the opportunity to help few such organizations in their work, and to encourage them to engage others in an operating network.
  • Last year, one has developed a point of view that we believe is new and highly valuable both for the discipline they cultivate, and for the larger community they address.
  • This particular organization is set to benefit from significant complementary strengths other similar organizations have.

The invaluable challenge is now to engage some of these organizations into considering and forging cooperation and alliances with each other. These alliances can leverage their complementary strengths and make the value each contains more accessible to all of them and their common public.

Following public presentation of this new idea, the next few weeks will be essential to start this networked, alliances-oriented approach.

An Alliance and a Joint Venture – Pipeline Sharing   Leave a comment

A pipeline of business opportunities is the cornerstone of most sales initiatives, so pipeline sharing is the cornerstone of alliances, and of channel management.

The very fact of sharing a pipeline defines an alliance or channel relationship; what pipeline is shared and how tells a lot about the specifics of the relationship.
For instance, when one partner shares leads and the other shares pipeline opportunities, the second acts as channel; when two partners share opportunities that each generates, and cooperate on them, they are very much managing an alliance. Even more, the content of the pipeline they share literally defines what their alliance is about in practice.

The alliance I have focused on has a joint venture. Over the last few months, as we evolve and strengthen the role of this joint venture, one key area has been pipeline sharing.

There is more than one pipeline here – the shared alliance pipeline among all partners, the joint venture’s own internal one, and the two that the joint venture can share with each alliance partner separately. Sharing them is proving more powerful and enlightening than in standard alliances, as it helps us understand what the joint venture and the alliance really are and how they can make the most of each other.

What is so special?

First of all, pipeline sharing between the joint venture and each alliance partner instantly clarifies the role of the joint venture itself, proving that the alliance is broader than the joint venture, and how this is good for all partners.
Two practical findings put the matter to rest:  

  • the alliance pipeline includes opportunities that are out of the joint venture’s pipeline; they may be few, still they are significant for the alliance and each of the partners – some are among the most significant
  • even more importantly, the joint venture’s pipelines are overall more significant than what the two partners could possibly share between them and team on – and they all are by definition relevant for the alliance partners

Clearly the joint venture makes the alliance deeper and broader than it would otherwise be, and the alliance is still more than the joint venture itself.

In addition to this, differences between all these pipelines point to ways the alliance can evolve.

Each difference is an actual, live opportunity one or more organizations are working on. Each is a pointer to how the three organizations can work better with each other, either by teaming or by leaving the joint venture alone pursuing it for the benefit of all partners.

Posted January 25, 2011 by Gianluca Marcellino in Alliances

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International Alliances: Whatever You Do, Wherever You Work, Find a Better Phrase than “Developing Countries” – Now   Leave a comment

First, go watch this. And I say “watch” as in “look at it moving”… click the “play” button and see the world unfolding.

Oh, I do hope you were sitting. With any luck, “comfortably” will come back soon.

See the huge red ball fluttering around and literally bouncing hard on the floor between 1958 and 1961?
Now, that’s really the best part of this world by some very significant measures, as we all know- today, that is.

If you watch closely it bounces up much before hitting the bottom of the chart – mercifully.
I shiver to the thought of what must it have been like, and I do so watching this graph much more than when I read gut-wrenching accounts of that story over the last few decades.

International alliances are probably among the easiest varieties of international work, and the lesson that Professor Hans Rosling’s  Gapminder drives here feels like applying to many of the most complex kinds too, from trade and manufacturing, to cooperation, to aid, to finance and diplomacy.

I start from alliances for a very personal combination of reasons. For now, let’s just say

  1. it was a long time alliances colleague and friend pointing me to this,
  2. surely alliances must be across borders and so international, or what are they? 
  3. it looks like Gapminder can help us see the limits of some myths shaping how we act – internationally.

In his donation request, professor Rosling calls them “devastating myths”.
If you find this a bit too strong, go to the link here at the top and just watch the ball pinball around, bounce hard, then float up left. Safely, I am sure we all hope, since the vertical axis is labeled “life expectancy”. 

There’s plenty more myths where this comes from, and plenty more devastation. I so hope alliances, too, can help improve on some.

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