ASAP Announces 2017 Alliance Excellence Awards Winners at ASAP Global Alliance Summit in San Diego

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Four finalists with exceptional, proven achievements, innovations, and commitments to social responsibility were selected for their exemplary alliance management practices and contributions to the field; finalists and winners honored onstage Feb. 28 at annual ASAP Global Alliance Summit

The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), the world’s leading professional association dedicated to the practice of alliance management, partnering, and business collaboration, announced its annual Alliance Excellence Awards winners at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise,” Feb. 28–March 2, at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, Calif. USA. The awards were presented in four categories: Individual Alliance Excellence, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, Alliance Program Excellence, and Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility. Two ASAP Chapter awards were also presented for Excellence in Chapter Innovation and Excellence in Chapter Programs.

The awards ceremony is a much-awaited event each year at the annual Summit. “It’s an important part of what we do, and this community should celebrate its successes in the alliance world,” said Michael Leonetti, president and CEO of ASAP, when introducing the finalists.

“Every year we get better and better nominations. This year was a really tough judging process,” commented Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, chair of the 2017 Alliance Excellence Awards committee and founder and CEO of Phoenix Consulting Group, when discussing the selections. A member of the awards committee for 14 years, Watenpaugh led the committee through this year’s selection process.

Over the years, “we’ve seen the adoption of best practices, and the quality of alliance management has steadily improved and is reflected in the nominations and submissions we have seen. This year in particular, many of the nominations and key award winners looked at alliances as going beyond simple company-to-company connections. They are networks of stakeholders, customers, industry colleagues, and other industry players. It has become a very complex network of alliances, which is how alliances are evolving. They are becoming more ecosystem-centric.”

Of significance this year were the three strong finalists in the corporate responsibility category, whereas last year there were none. “It’s always great to see the contributions companies are making to make the world a better place,” says Watenpaugh.

Individual Alliance Excellence Award

The Individual Alliance Excellence Award is given to a company that has instituted practices, tools, and methodologies in support of successful formation and management for a single alliance. The alliance may be an emerging alliance or comprised of two or more companies. The winner is:

Loonaangifteketen-UWV-CBS-Belastingdienst: After this partnership of three government agencies began applying alliance management best practices, it became highly effective in the management of tax revenues in The Netherlands. Belastingdienst (Dutch IRA), UWV (Dutch National Social Security Administration), and CBS (Statistics Netherlands) applied a governance model that emphasized cross-agency collaboration versus agency competition. It resulted in a collaboration that generates 60 percent of the Dutch government’s revenue in an easy-to-use system for pensions and social security benefits. The alliance lowered costs while increasing convenience to the citizenry with 96 percent accuracy. The incorporation of ecosystem thinking helped the collaboration maintain a focus on important initiatives while building relationships across the separate departments.

Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award

The Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award highlights 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 winner is:

NetApp: While many companies still try to manage partnering processes through spreadsheets, NetApp has invested in technology and governance of its rigorous alliance co-selling program to ensure trackable processes that produce results. The processes engage NetApp and partner representatives proactively in account mapping, account planning, and pipeline management with exemplary execution of the most difficult aspects of go-to-market alliances. They also provide detailed reports on joint co-selling activities. The company is being recognized for the dedicated resources and governance invested in the change.

Alliance Program Excellence Award

The Alliance Program Excellence Award is presented to a single, specific company and its partnering capability, not an alliance. The company exceeds expectations with its scalable practices, tools, and methodologies to support successful formation and management of alliance portfolios over time. They are able to be applied to multiple alliances, as needed, are repeatable, and have led to consistent alliance performance across multiple alliances. Winners build programs on efficiency, creativity, and an integrated suite of tools, processes, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. The winner is:

Equifax: In an industry where partnerships and alliances as a business model are in the beginning stages, Equifax has created internal governance structures that enable management across a highly matrixed enterprise. The program resulted in significant growth in 2015 and 2016, access to new markets, innovation, cost savings by eliminated legal expenses associated with partner disputes, and a change in culture. Equifax now views partnering as critical to success versus a resource of last resort.

Alliances for Corporate Social Responsibility Award

The Alliances for Corporate Social Responsibility Award is for partnerships that make a profound, measurable, and positive social impact. The principal objective of the alliance is social impact, not profit—although profit, especially if used to fund program expansion, is not discouraged. The winner is:

The Synergist-Sanofi: This multiparty alliance comprised of the general public, government and health agencies, industry, and academics and healthcare professionals aims to co-creating solutions to “Break Dengue.” The ecosystem platform, information sharing, and crowd sourcing, with over 1200 member and 2200 Twitter followers, incorporates online chat, worldwide tracking of cases, and toolkits for the public that reduce the risk of infection. The Synergist framework and governance facilitates a neutral platform that encourages participation and enables partners to overcome structural or perceived ethical barriers to collaboration. The platform can be used for other diseases, such as Zika.

Two ASAP chapters also received awards. The Excellence in Chapter Innovation award was presented to the RTP Chapter with honorable mention for the Silicon Valley Chapter; the Excellence in Chapter Programs award was presented to the ASAP New England Chapter.

About ASAP
The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) is the only professional association dedicated to elevating and promoting the profession of alliance management, partnerships, and collaboration. 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 Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Capgemini, Cisco, Citrix, Covance, Eli Lilly and Company, HealthCore, Huawei, IBM, INC Research, Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, JDA Software, Merck, Mission Pharmacal, NetApp, Novartis, Plantronics, Sanofi, SAS, Schneider Electric, Takeda, The Warren Company, and Xerox. A complete list of global members is available at http://www.strategic-alliances.org.

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