ASAP Announces 2016 Alliance Excellence Awards Finalists

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Representing the ‘best and brightest’ partnering companies, the nine nominees selected for efforts, achievements, and innovations in alliance management practices include AbbVie-Genentech Roche, Cisco-Dimension Data, International SOS-Control Risks, Panduit-General Cable, Takeda Russia, Bayer, Huawei Technologies, and National Instruments.

The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), the world’s leading professional association dedicated to the practice of alliance management, partnering, and collaborations, announced nine finalists in three categories for their annual Alliance Excellence Awards: Individual Alliance Excellence, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, and Alliance Program Excellence. The winners will be announced at the upcoming 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Partnering Everywhere: Expert Leadership for the Ecosystem,” March 1–4 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA.

“The ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards highlight the best and brightest in partnering and alliance management. The significance of these awards cannot be underestimated,” remarked Michael Leonetti, president and CEO of ASAP, about the unveiling of the finalists. “These awards are ‘proof in the pudding’ that effective leadership, a strong alliance management function, and sophisticated partnering practices pay off in successful, healthy alliances. The awards highlight the efforts, achievements, and innovations that improve strategy and productivity of partnering programs, with benefits to partnering companies’ bottom lines as well as to society in general. These finalists were selected because they have proven their worth as leaders in the field of alliance management.”

Past winners received ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards for significant strides through partnering that increased revenues, contributed to society through creative business models and problem solving, enhanced products/services/technologies, advanced the profession, etc. The contributions positively impacted many facets of business—including marketing, sales, R&D/joint product development, regulatory affairs, strategic sourcing and services, and the channel. All winners dovetailed in three key areas: creative, out-of-the-box thinking that evolved the art and science of alliance management; compelling and measurable results; general persistence in overcoming obstacles.

Individual Alliance Excellence Award

Four finalists (representing eight companies) are vying for the Individual Alliance Excellence Award, which is given to companies that have led in the planning, implementation, and results for a single alliance. The alliance may be between two companies or multiple organizations. The finalists are:

AbbVie-Genentech Roche: This eight-year collaboration is based on significant trust that allows each company to lead certain clinical development independently, with oversight provided via joint governance meetings involving their research on relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (R/R CLL). The shared commitment to patients and patient care drives product development, which resulted in the distribution in 2015 of venetoclax to patients as quickly as possible. The companies collaborated to gain Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the treatment of relapsed or refractory CLL, which accounts for about one-quarter of all new cases of leukemia.

Cisco-Dimension Data: Cisco and Dimension Data named their alliance “Better Together” after successfully managing a lengthy high-tech alliance spanning the Internet’s birth to the Internet of Everything. The companies have co-developed and re-engineered vertical solutions, security, and managed services that are delivering desirable IT outcomes. More recently, they collaborated on a service creation strategy that allows Dimension Data to operate 17 Cisco-powered managed cloud platforms around the world. The partner solutions and services are provided in 58 countries via vendors, technology towers, consumptions models, and architectures. Record revenues for both companies are the shared fruits of this longstanding alliance.

International SOS-Control Risks: When two competing companies in the travel security-related services decided to partner, the jointly owned and managed entity was nothing short of progressive. Strong governance structures and a yearlong alliance design period provided the underpinnings for the first alliance of its kind in their business sector: medical services and security consultancy. The joining of forces allows clients the convenience of accessing a package of complementary services and has shifted market perception of support and assistance to business travelers and ex-patriots—from mass security events, such as violent coups, to epidemics. The partnership has paid off in rapid growth, profitability, and market leadership.

Panduit-General Cable: Within the past year, the partnership developed from a sell to/buy from relationship to direct sales efforts with joint channel campaigns. The companies operate as technology research partners (establishing joint intellectual property) that offer significant future value and ROI, with increased partnership revenue due to the innovation and efforts of the alliance management teams. They credit access to the ASAP community of knowledge and practices, as well as defining and applying metrics, as keys to success.

Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award

This year’s Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award will be presented to one of two companies for the use of new, individual alliance management tools or processes that have an immediate and powerful impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management. The tools or processes are additions to existing portfolios that address specific elements of alliance management, such as measurement, training, conflict resolution, general communication across the partner ecosystem, or similar facets of the discipline. The finalists are:

National Instruments: The Alliance Partner Directory ( is part of NI’s partner relationship management strategy involving an innovative management tool that enables NI customers and employees to find and research the best experts to solve difficult engineering problems. The database allows customers to view vast amounts of company information, including case studies, datasheets, and ratings and reviews from the partner’s customer, which enhances credibility and trust. Alliance partners can manage their own profiles through a private portal. The system also tracks the number of leads, contacts, and customer information. The directory was developed in conjunction with partnering management software company Treehouse Interactive.

Takeda Russia: In an effort to enhance bonding between Takada Russia and its CIS and In-Lic partners, the company created a two-day Partner Days event in 2006 that has become embedded bi-annually. The theme of the 2015 event was “Traditions and Innovations,” which reflects Takada’s tradition of respect for cultures, traditions, and historical values. The goal of Partner Days is to assist in cooperation and communication to high-level stakeholders where all partners are invited, regardless of alliance size, which sends the message that all alliances are valued. Participants experience a mix of business and cultural activities, which has resulted in enhanced company communications, performance, and sales.

Alliance Program Excellence Award

The Alliance Program Excellence Award is presented to a company that exceeds expectations by consistently implementing and managing alliance portfolios and demonstrating consistent success of those alliances over time. Winners build programs on efficiency, creativity, and an integrated suite of tools, processes, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. The three finalists are:

Bayer: Bayer began making radical changes to the company’s organizational structure about five years ago with the establishment of the Alliance Capability Enhancement Project, where more than 400 people were assigned to train staff in core alliance skills, including remote learning. The goal was to change the corporate mindset to collaborate more successfully and deliver significant joint value in partnering. Alliance management is now integrated much earlier in the deal making process, resulting in measurable improvements in launch speed; senior managers are more actively engaged in partnering and many have regular meetings with partner counterparts; team training has increased and improved alliance management techniques, including cultural and product supply workshops. Through the use of new technology, Bayer also built a virtual community of shared sites for alliances and a resource hub.

Huawei Technologies: A newcomer to ASAP, Huawei has quickly grasped the value of thoughtful alliance practices by creating a Managing Alliance Relationships (MAR) process to create a partner-friendly organization across all alliance and ecosystem activities. The company launched two successful pilot programs, SAP and Accenture (HASA), which adapted new international structures that complement Chinese culture. MAR is geared to transforming Huawei’s sales and service markets into an open and trusted partnership culture to expand into the enterprise market. The pilot programs have adapted into collaborative-friendly entities that work well beyond China’s boarders and have added millions to its global pipeline so far.

National Instruments: Nearly 25 years ago, National Instruments established the Alliance Partner Network to enhance partnering success “through a holistic business view.” The network consists of 1,000 alliance partners in over 70 countries. Membership benefits include: access to a billion-dollar ecosystem; visibility to millions of potential customers on; significant discounts on solutions tools for addressing the toughest engineering challenges, certifications, products, and training; direct engagement with NI sales and marketing organizations worldwide. NI also provides Regional Partner Managers worldwide to help members be successful. The network is known for generating and delivering solutions through educational tools and collective efforts to solve some of the most difficult engineering challenges in the world.

About the 2016 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards
Award finalists in each category are selected by the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards Committee led by committee chair, Annlouise Goodermuth, senior director, alliance management, strategy, science policy and external innovation at Sanofi. This year’s winners and other news from the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit will be reported on the ASAP blog site and via press release in March.

About the 2016 ASAP Global Alliance Summit
Held this year on March 1-4 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA, the annual ASAP Global Alliance Summit is the world’s largest gathering of alliance, partnering, and business collaboration professionals. For more information or to register for this year’s summit, visit

About ASAP
The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) is the only professional association dedicated to elevating and promoting the profession of alliance management and partnerships. Founded in 1998, the organization provides professional development, networking and resources for cultivating the skills and toolsets needed to manage successful business partnerships. ASAP’s professional certifications include the Certificate of Achievement-Alliance Management (CA-AM) and Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP). Active global members include AbbVie, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer Healthcare, Capgemini, Cisco, Citrix, Covance, Dell, Eli Lilly and Company, Huawei, IBM, INC Research, Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Merck, Mission Pharmacal, NetApp, Novartis, Plantronics, Sanofi, SAS, Schneider Electric, Takeda, Verizon, VMware, The Warren Company, and Xerox. A complete list of global members is available at

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