Customers and clients want solutions. They want solutions they can obtain quickly and deploy quickly. They need solutions that add agility and increase their competitiveness in their respective markets.
A single company cannot always deliver a product that meets all these criteria. Strategic alliances are driving the future, and Subhashish Acharyaknows about alliances.
Subhashish, or more commonly known as “Subs,” works at PTC as the Director of Global IoT and AR Strategic Alliances, building global ecosystems between PTC and Hewlett Packard Enterprises. He’s learned a few things along the way.
Subs joined us to tell us his brilliant alliance philosophy.
Why you need an ecosystem (and what it is).
Today’s technology market is transforming. Because of the needs and demands of customers, one product cannot provide the entire needs of a customer.
“There’s a need to create an ecosystem of complements of different partners, different products — altogether — to build an ecosystem that can create more value than the parts.”
An alliance fits into this ecosystem as two parties working to provide a solution to benefit their customer.
So, what’s Subs’ insider’s alliance philosophy? Build and execute.
BUILD is all about identification: For success in alliances, you must be accurate in identifying the partnerships, processes, technologies, and products that complement the alliance.
In this build piece, there may be intellectual property involved, new technologies, signed documents, etc. If delivering a solution, value proposition is solidified here as well. Accuracy and clarity is key here.
“Sometimes some of these alliances look very good at a high level, but it should be complementary, not only at the strategic level, but at the account level.”
EXECUTE: Once you build an alliance, how do you go-to-market? What’s the alliance strategy? How do you sell? These questions and others are part of the critical execution side of alliance strategy.
Seems simple enough? Subs let us know of three big challenges alliance professionals face:
3 challenges alliance pros face:
Challenge 1: Identification.
Subs stressed the importance of identifying an appropriate, mutually beneficial alliance strategy.
Don’t be clouded by emotional draw and “possibilities.” To build an alliance, you must assess the alignment of business model, products and services, and ultimately answer the question: “What’s in it for each other?” Filter every possible alliance by whether or not the alliance will create more value for the customer at the account level.
Identification during the go-to-market planning phase must also be very carefully set. Questions you must answer: What’s the engagement strategy? How are we going to the accounts? What are the accounts? Who are the people?
Challenge 2: Need for a platform.
Multiple other areas in enterprise have their own platforms — there are few platforms providing all the needed solutions for alliances. There has to be a platform for alliance professionals to join and build together.
Challenge 3: Multi-level education:
Everybody needs to be clear on what is in it for them. The alliance professional’s job is to make it remarkably clear to everyone what the value is.
Education becomes especially important when it comes to engagement and selling: Hangups can occur if there isn’t attention to detail in this phase.
You must effectively communicate to a variety of levels, from the vice president to the account managers, on both sides of the alliance. Not everyone will see the value of the alliance. You have to illustrate the value the alliance creates, and drive buy-in from all levels, for all parties.
For this to be effective, communication skills must be sharp.
Alliance professionals must be go-getters.
Alliance professionals must be entrepreneurial. Alliance professionals must be able to properly communicate: What’s in it for both parties? They must be able to understand how the parts connect how the value is created.
“An alliance professional is never a backseat profession. It is absolutely a go-getting, go-get-the-stuff done kind of profession.”
One last thought.
When asked if he had any other thoughts, Subs couldn’t waste the opportunity to emphasize one more time the importance of execution.
So go: build and execute your alliance.
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To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: