ASAP Releases Winners of 2010 Alliance Excellence Awards

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Cisco, Novartis, Xerox, Turkcell and the Itanium Solutions Alliance Honored for Innovations Achieved through Strategic Alliances

The Association for Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) today unveiled the winners of the 2010 Alliance Excellence Awards. Winners were announced in five categories: Alliance Program Excellence, Alliance for Social Responsibility, Emerging Alliance, Growth Company Alliance/Management Excellence and Long-Established Alliance. The winners in the respective categories are Cisco, Xerox, Novartis, Turkcell and the Itanium Solutions Alliance.

“Although compelling results metrics were a major criteria, our winners were chosen for more reasons than just sheer bottom-line success,” said Art Canter, president and executive director of ASAP. “Each of our winners’ stories also involved a great level of creativity, innovation and sheer original thinking for its alliance initiatives to flourish.”

Cisco Shows Senior Management Indispensability of Alliance Program        

Despite the overwhelming success of Cisco’s nationally-recognized 20 year-old alliance program that now produces $5 billion in annual revenues, an internal survey showed half of the company’s senior leadership team did not fully understand alliances’ role in Cisco’s overall strategy and success. The company’s subsequent internal awareness campaign conducted in 2009 increased recognition of alliances’ importance 50 percent to 97 percent across senior and executive vice presidents, regional sales and business unit heads and sales force personnel. The success of Cisco’s internal campaign earned it Alliance Program Excellence honors.

Cisco set about increasing internal recognition with a three-step campaign. First, the company’s vice president of strategic alliances Steve Steinhilber teamed with Harvard Business Press to publish the book “Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work,” an exploration of the inner-workings of Cisco’s alliance program and those of other successful alliance-minded companies. Steinhilber autographed and delivered hundreds of copies of the book, many of them to targeted Cisco executives. The latter initiative was part of Cisco’s larger “ambasSAdor” program designed to strategically pair alliance executives with other Cisco business leaders to brief them on how alliances contribute to their respective business segment/region’s success and how they can bring additional value in the future.

The last third of the campaign took place at the company’s annual sales conference in which Steinhilber “argued” with another Cisco executive on the merits of partnering with “compartners” versus development solely from within in a mock presidential debate format replete with political humor and fake TV spots.

All told, understanding of strategic alliances’ role at Cisco among senior leadership jumped from 50 to 89 percent. Big strides were also made in awareness among unit/region leaders (50 to 75 percent) and sales representatives (47 to 93 percent).

Novartis Malaria Initiative Saves 750,000 Lives

Many regions of the world fight a hard battle against malaria, a dangerous disease that claims one million lives annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). From the 1990s onwards, Novartis established landmark public-private partnerships that formed the basis for developing and distributing 300 million treatments of its anti-malarial drug, Coartem, without profit. This effort, known as the Novartis Malaria Initiative, has saved an estimated 750,000 lives to date, earning the pharmaceutical company ASAP’s Alliance for Social Responsibility award.

The Novartis Malaria Initiative began with an agreement between Novartis and Chinese officials to ultimately develop, test and manufacture an anti-malarial drug through a joint venture – the first collaboration of its kind in Chinese history. 2001 brought another historic pact as Novartis and the WHO signed an agreement to distribute Coartem at cost to the public sector of malaria-endemic developing countries. This agreement was unprecedented in the pharmaceutical industry, and was extended to the US President’s Malaria Initiative, the World Bank Malaria Booster Program, the airline tax charity UNITAID, UNICEF, Missionpharma, Doctors without Borders and several procurement partners. Other critical partnerships included a Kenya-based company charged with growing high-quality Artemisia annua plants that could supply the raw ingredient artemisinin needed for Coartem as well as a network of strategic suppliers in China that ultimately increased Coartem deliveries from four million in 2004 to 84 million in 2009. As the economies of scale improved, additional sourcing and manufacturing alliances slashed the Coartem cost structure in half.

In 2009, Novartis and Medicines for Malaria Venture launched a new pediatric formulation of Coartem, known as Coartem Dispersible, becoming the first dispersible fixed-dose artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). The Coartem Dispersible packaging won the 2009 Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council Award. The pack was recognized for aiding patient compliance thanks to clear separation per body weight, the availability of one full treatment course on the same blister and clear pictorials making instructions for administration easy to understand.

Finally, the “SMS for Life” pilot, a new public-private partnership initiated by Novartis, and involving The Roll Back Malaria Partnership, IBM, Vodafone and the Ministry of Health in Tanzania utilizes mobile phones, SMS messages and electronic mapping technology to bring visibility on stock levels of ACTs and quinine injectables at the health facility level on a weekly basis. This visibility helps eliminate stockouts to ensure anti-malarials are available to the patients, even in the most remote areas, where and when they need them.

Alliances Expand Xerox’s Share in High-Potential Eastern Europe, South Asia and Latin America Markets

In 2008, Xerox’s Developing Markets Operations (DMO) launched an alliance-driven initiative to grow sales in emerging countries, with a particular priority on Central and Eastern Europe, India and Brazil. Within one year, Xerox alliances in developing nations increased significantly. As a result, the number of Xerox signings in these countries also grew. Xerox DMO’s success in these parts of the world garnered the company ASAP’s Emerging Alliance award.

With Xerox’s established global alliance partners pushing the company to pursue opportunities in emerging countries, Xerox assigned a vice president of strategic alliances in emerging markets. It also placed dedicated leaders in four key regions in the developing world and part-time people in four other locations. The Xerox DMO team collaborates to implement and integrate internal processes with account management of the broader program, select a good mix of global and regional partners and serve as a local point of contact for its global strategic partners.

Xerox complemented its resources by signing contracts with global strategic partners under its “360° Strategy.” This approach enabled the company and its partners to generate revenues from all angles of the business relationship (e.g., sell-to, sell-through and buy-from) and provided a global delivery capability that could reach smaller countries.

Turkcell Partner Program Leverages Open Source Community to Develop Hundreds of New Mobile Applications

In the Growth Company Alliance/Management Excellence category, ASAP recognized Turkcell, the number two mobile operator in Europe in terms of subscriber base, for implementing 1,200 new and innovative mobile projects through 500 brands spread across 37 different sectors.

Turkcell and its ecosystem of more than 200 application service providers, content providers, service provider system integrators, independent service vendors and OEM business partners teamed up to empower aspiring entrepreneurs by providing the training, development, technical information, PR, marketing and financing support to give life to their imaginative ideas and bring them to market.

Turkcell made available its open source APIs for client authentication, location inquiring, mobile payment, SMS and MMS send, device model inquiring, direct debit and WAP Push mobile applications, while incentivizing partners to earn Turkcell’s Active Business Partner status, a category of partners that receives additonal Turkcell business and operational resources through positive revenues and excellent development performances. Turkcell engaged and actively promoted Active Business Partners and their entrepreneurs.    

Turkcell’s partner ecosystem has now delivered to market 270 new Business-to-Consumer projects, as well as 120 in the Business-to-Business realm.

Turkcell is the leading communications and technology company in four nations and boasts 62 million subscribers spread over eight countries. It is the number two mobile operator in Europe in terms of subscriber base. Turkcell is the 10th–largest technology company in the world and the fifth-largest among European companies, according to BusinessWeek. Turkcell is the first and only Turkish company listed on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Nonprofit Alliance Fosters Common Goals to Increase Market Share for Itanium®-Based Servers

The nonprofit Itanium Solutions Alliance was founded in 2005 to support the adoption and ongoing development of software solutions based on Itanium, Intel’s high-end server processor architecture. ASAP has bestowed the Long-Established Alliance award on the Itanium Solutions Alliance for its role in establishing Itanium’s place in the high-end server market.    

The Alliance was co-founded by Intel and its global Itanium OEMs with a common goal of promoting the Itanium platform in sea of proprietary, closed-system alternatives. Through the Alliance, this group of founding sponsors committed to invest over $10 billion in the Itanium ecosystem through 2010.

Right from the outset, the Itanium Solutions Alliance had to maintain a tricky balance between competing server vendors Fujitsu, GroupeBull, Hitachi, HP, NEC, SGI, Unisys and Supermicro, as well as long time software rivals Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, RedHat, SAP and Sybase. Joining these sponsor and charter members since its founding are over 200 member companies including independent service vendors, systems integrators and corporate developers. Together, they make up a global community of Itanium stakeholders.

In order to effectively manage and lead such a varied group, a multilevel structure was formed consisting of a Steering Committee of mid-level agenda-setting officials, a Global Committee of program leaders, and Regional Committees in Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

To foment the development of Itanium-based solutions for Unix, Windows and Linux-based operating systems, a Solutions Center Network was established in locations around the world. This provided local Itanium support to developers, regardless of server preference. Microsoft, Red Hat and Novell worked in conjunction with the Alliance to provide training, support and resources. “Enabling programs” also encouraged the porting of key applications to Itanium.

The multifaceted Alliance marketing strategy consists primarily of core PR and analyst relations and an annual Innovation Awards program. The Alliance also drives the development of key Itanium solutions-based content which it features on its website and through its growing network of social media channels. Since the Alliance’s founding, revenues generated by Itanium-based servers have nearly tripled and the number of Itanium-based applications on the market now number over 14,000. The latest generation of Itanium, code-named Tukwila, is now being launched and two more Itanium generations are in the works.

“As the business world moves towards a model that relies on collaboration, companies simply need to leverage alliances as successfully and creatively as our award winners have done,” said Canter. “We are proud to recognize the companies that have adapted to tomorrow’s way of doing business today.”

About ASAP
The Association for Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) is the leading professional association dedicated to alliance formation and management. Founded in 1998, the organization provides a forum to exchange best practices and frameworks for cultivating the skills and toolsets needed to manage successful business partnerships and network with the world’s best alliance management professionals in several industries. Global sponsors include Cisco, Eli Lilly, IBM, Microsoft, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, USAA Insurance and Xerox. A complete list of sponsors is available at

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