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Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 37

January 17, 2019

#37 Akash Satapathy: The Importance of Communication and Transparency Between Partners

How many challenges at your job over the past week have been due to a lack of transparent communication?

Akash Satapathy is an Alliance Manager at Tech Mahindra where he manages relationships with Micro Focus and HP.  It is essential that Akash communicates clearly and transparently with everyone on his own team as well as the partners he manages as well.  This has allowed him to deepen connections internally at Tech Mahindra and externally at Micro Focus and HP.

The main thing that Akash enjoys about his role is interacting with a lot of people including the Marketing, Legal, and Sales departments.  This is the most exciting part of his role;  He is able to get a great overall and holistic view of the organization.

In this episode of the Alliance Aces Podcast, we check in with Akash about communication and transparency, the similarities between being an Alliance Manager and a CEO, what his team is working on, and some of the challenges he has overcome in his role.

Communication and Transparency

It’s been said before, but building trust is a fundamental building block to any relationship, and a focus on communication and transparency is the first step to developing that trust.  

From a purely business point of view, communication simply allows for more opportunities to work together as well.  It allows you to work on joint account planning and targeting the exact set of customers you want to pursue.  

It takes time to build this sort of trust, but communication and transparency between partners cannot be valued highly enough. Some of this is tied into each side maintaining the right expectations.  This is where things can go wrong if expectations are mismatched. But openly communicating how you feel as an alliance partner can help right the ship almost every time.

Alliance Professional as CEO of Smaller Business

Many alliance professionals feel as though they are the CEO of a smaller business within their organization.  But in addition to the responsibilities of a regular CEO, they need to know everything about their partner’s business as well as their own.  

Akash is looked at as the “HP” guy within his company; almost like the CEO of the HP relationship.  This can be complex because you don’t just need to manage the needs of your own team, but the needs of your partner’s team too. In this case, Akash emphasizes the need to have balance because you can’t favor one side over the other.  

Every organization operates differently so it takes time to learn about these nuances, but if you are patient, you will learn these details with time.

What the Team is Currently Working On

At Tech Mahindra, each alliance has a few people managing the relationships whose main goal is to do business along with partners and land more business for each side.  Through his experience, Akash has learned just how multifaceted the alliance role is.  

He is currently working closely with each sales team on the joint go to market strategies.  He is also working with both marketing teams of his partners to brainstorm over email campaigns and joint events targeting ideal customers.  

He is focused on maintaining agreements on the partnership level for both HP and Micro Focus which includes leveraging data and setting combined, achievable goals.  In India, Akash has seen a more focused approach on setting goals and using data specifically.  

Akash’s main challenge has been getting sales teams connected with each other across partner lines; that’s his main focus right now above all.  He understands the importance of always ensuring that salespeople are talking and in communication with each other!

Challenges Overcome

Internally within the Tech Mahindra organization, Akash knew some people believed that there was not enough support from their partners, but he has done his best to debunk these preconceived notions.  

He’s helped bring about new experiences with his team’s partners that have improved these perceptions as Akash has helped to manage communication and expectations.  As in any relationship, there are some things that can change and some things that can’t, but Akash knows that clear communication and expectations are so important.  

Akash is monitoring relationships and mediating between partners.  He’s often playing the part of a matchmaker and interpreting for each side, but he wouldn’t have it any other way!  

Listen to the podcast here.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Alliance Aces Podcast, or visit our dedicated Alliance Aces page.

This episode is part of the Alliance Aces Roadshow. Watch the video interview on Facebook.

To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: