NOTE: This page has a sequential list of training videos to accelerate your learning towards Strategic Alliances and Ecosystems Management as part of your everyday life, either as a C-Level, VP-level, Director/Manager and Sales/Biz Dev professional.

You are STRONGLY advised to go sequentially through the videos. Skim through it if you are out of time, but do not skip, espcially the portion on “Design Thinking”.

VIDEO 1: THE NEW STRATEGIC ALLIANCES

Strategic Alliances as a profession in the Digital Age is evolving. Thats what the video is about.

There are two directions this profession is going to go:

Direction 1 – it evolves, it becomes more structured, it becomes more salesy, it becomes more business driven, more impactful and becomes the defacto business development profession that creates incremental value to the topline, bottomline and revenue protection. It is all about building POWER, Keeping POWER and Balancing POWER in the market!

Direction 2 – the profession will slowly cease to exist and will diminish in the number of jobs, but not the value. Sales reps will learn the art and science of Strategic Alliances and use that as part of the everyday sales cycle. Strategic Alliances will be a sizeable portion of the Field Sales business.

VIDEO 2: A DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEM PERSPECTIVE: SYSTEM DYNAMICS

One of the critical element of the business of Partnerships, Alliances and Ecosystems is the fact that all systems follow the principle of “Cause and Effect”.

This subject of “Cause and Effect” also known as Systems Dynamics is deep and perhaps the common philosophy that needs to be followed at all times when managing multiple partners. The reason being, a change from/by one partner affects the entire ecosystem of direct and indirect influence of the project/deal and in addition every partner in the ecosystem wants to maximize their revenue/influence. That inherently is the problem, because someone will lose in the game of maximization. Change management thus becomes critical.

The following video just introduces the concept of Systems and the Dynamics. Strongly advise you go through detailed “Systems Dynamics” videos to learn the topic.

VIDEO 3: STRATEGIC ALLIANCES FOR THE CEO – IN THE DIGITAL AGE

When you are losing, someone is winning. The market is a Zero Sum Game, at least most of the time. With convergence of competition and market forces, the only thing that matters at the CEO level is POWER. 

One can build Power from inside a company through Products, Services and just the sheer force of sales people in the market. But additional power only comes through leverage. Just like your thumb is the most powerful finger, yet the fist is many, many times stronger than the thumb. What does the “fist” have more than the “thumb”? It’s POWER!

This video explains the real value of Strategic Alliances for the CEO. It is all about Power.

VIDEO 4 : DESIGN THINKING: STANFORD UNIVERSITY

We all talk about Strategy, yet the core principles of Strategy lies in Design Thinking.

If we are asked – What is the BIGGEST value that Strategic Alliance & Ecosystems professionals produce? The answer is ALIGNMENT OF POWER. It is the fundamental piece that no other role accomplishes. Thats what makes this role such a tough profession. If alignment was easy, ecosystem power would have been created easily at any partnership, at any level and at any point.

You do not need to be a PhD in Design Thinking. You just need to understand the principles that create Alignment.  Strategy to Execution. From the What to the How.

VIDEO 5:  DESIGN THINKING – SIMPLIFIED

This video is a visual way of understanding Design Thinking.

Anyone using tenets of Strategic Alliances will need to keep the information at their finger tips.

Take a look and reflect on it.

The question that Biz Dev/ Sales Reps and Strategic Alliances professionals need to ask is – How does their GTM plan align with activity-to-outcome with channels, partnerships, alliances and ecosystems.

 

VIDEO 6 : HOW ECOSYSTEMS BEHAVE AT THE VALUE LEVEL

Change always has a Loser. Ecosystems look great at a strategic level, but aligning expectations with teams on a deal with an ecosystem, requires a different kind of alignment and engagement followed by business development.

This video explains how parties in the Ecosystem behave at the deal level. Why? Simply because everyone wants to maximize their own $revenue at the deal level. The power struggles are different!

This is called the Prisoners dilemma.

VIDEO 7 : ECOSYSTEM MAPPING

Now we come to the final video in the series of Design Thinking – How do you develop a mindset of mapping the constituents in an ecosystem?

This is such a fundamental mindset, yet few professionals create that detailed framework that illustrates the entire ecosystem picture ( although they do create a mental framework most of the time).

In my personal opinion, only Strategic Alliance professionals can create additional tangible Power in a deal typically, (instead of the illusion of Power most companies think they have) just by showing the mapping to C-Level, VP-Level, Sales Level etc. Thats why Strategic Alliance professionals need to be obssessed about the truth. What It TRULY Is – NOT What It Appears to be!

This section content is all about Global System Integrators. It starts with the basics and it builds on top of each concept, one video at a time to help anyone understand how GSI’s work and how they will influence your ecosystem. These 4 videos are also on the Global System Integrators training section.

VIDEO 8:  GSI VIDEO 1: THE GLOBAL SYSTEM INTEGRATOR BUSINESS : THE FUNDAMENTALS

This is a fundamental video for any Sales/Biz Dev and Strategic Alliance professional.

Global System Integrators are a black box to nearly anyone in sales. How is Accenture different from Deloitte or a TCS? How do they make money? Why do they behave differently?

Bigger still – how is their organizational structure? How do they build deals? What do you have to keep in mind when you are working with them? What are the risks, challenges and gains working with them. How do they influence deals?

VIDEO 9: GSI VIDEO 2: POSITIONING STRATEGY – INTEGRATING INTO THE SYSTEM INTEGRATOR MODEL:

Post the fundamentals, the key element to keep in mind is “Positioning”. GSI’s are exceptional at it and know exactly where to play. Consequently, knowing where invest the time with the right GSI is also critical.

If the approach is correct – you can accelerate your business several times. However, a BIG caveat here! An incorrect approach may cause heartache, frustration and above all prevent you from accomplishing your role in building the alliance business.

Suggestion – Do the RIGHT things, first. Then do them in the RIGHT way. Most professionals reverse the order when working with GSI’s. It starts with understanding “Positioning”.

VIDEO 10: GSI VIDEO 3:  BUILDING SOLUTIONS/ASSETS WITH GLOBAL SYSTEM INTEGRATORS:

If your #1 Product/SaaS is not part of a Systems Integrator ASSET or SOLUTION, high chances you are just a product in one of the powerpoint/presentation decks.

This video explains how GSI’s build solutions and answer RFP’s. They follow a distinct pattern and you need to position yourself correctly. The PROCESS is more important than the product here.

The second important piece is –  how do you work with multiple organization structures and practices in GSI’s to work on deals proactively. Knowing this is 50% of the work done as practices, alliances and biz dev teams cooperate differently in GSI’s.

Question is – where do you start. The video explains that.

VIDEO 11: GSI VIDEO 4:  SALES EXECUTION & GTM WITH GLOBAL SYSTEM INTEGRATORS:

Once you have done the RIGHT things, this step is about doing them in the RIGHT way.

The reason working with GSI’s seem to be a “Black Box” is because of the complexity of how their teams operate and cooperate.

The video outlines a step-by-step way to build a strategy and align it with the practices/capabilities in a GSI.  The video outlines how multi-practices work together and their motives and their conflicts. Structuring the Deal Cycle with the Process and Practices help decipher the entire equation just the way GSI’s want it to be.

The GTM steps outlined are NOT account or territory related, but GSI’s and practices specific. The strategy will change based on the ecosystem, but the framework will always hold true. Contact us if you have questions or if you need a second look at your GTM.

The following content is all about building “ALIGNMENT” Plans. 

Strategic Alliance and specially Ecosystem Management professionals need to build several “structured” plans to check how the ecosystem is building POWER! In addition, sales, biz dev and alliance professionals have to continuously use the templates to structure the win-win-win… relationships/business etc for each and every deal. 

VIDEO 12 : ALIGNMENT & BUILDING STRUCTURED PLANS

“Alignment” is the most important and perhaps the unique aspect of Strategic Alliances. There is no other role that can achieve this perhaps most important part of the business of Power than Strategic Alliance professions who are on the Go To Market side.

Clarity is the biggest piece of the puzzle and without it no Alignment is possible!

Clarity requires connecting the dots, structured planning, analysis and execution. This video explains some of the critical items that one needs to develop to excel in this profession of ecosystem sales.

VIDEO 13: DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM RULES

The Digital Age is pushing towards Ecosystem Management between Platforms and Customers. Distinct rules and Market Characteristics rule the Ecosystems world.

This video explains Time Cycles, Rules and Characteristics in detail. Not being able to align customer expectations with market changes can lead to disaster if the ecosystem players don’t agree, align and cooperate with each other.

The training content is offered at no charge! Knowledge about Strategic Alliances need to be shared freely, else the profession will never expand. If you are benefited please donate to my non-profit below. The amount of $ does not matter, however it is truly appreciated, although please do not feel compelled to donate. 

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