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HP-Cisco Alliance

Dr. Koustab Ghosh


IIM Rohtak
(Circulation Restricted)
The Challenges of a Strategic Alliance

Understanding the ways in which the alliance partners


products and services can work together

What is best done internally versus what is best done


with the strategic partner

Developing a joint business strategy for optimizing the


value of the alliance

Disseminating that strategy upwards to the relevant


executives and downwards to the relevant sales people
at both companies
Dr. Koustab Ghosh, IIM Rohtak 2
The Challenges of a Strategic Alliance

Motivating executives, BU heads, and sales people to


execute on the strategy by making sure that everyone
agrees on the business plan and the resources needed
to make that plan successful.

Managing complex interdependencies among multiple


partners, customers, and BUs with conflicting interests.

Overseeing the development of individual initiatives that


support the strategy, and specifically implementing the
alliance strategy through the sales force.

Dr. Koustab Ghosh, IIM Rohtak 3


Theoretical Concepts in the context of
Inter-organizational Alliance

Opportunism
Tension between collaboration and competition
Ambiguity in an alliance relationship
Formation phase - Partnering ambiguity
Operation phase - Interactional ambiguity
Outcome phase - Evaluative ambiguity
Interfirm transfer of learning
Boundary spanning role of alliance manager
(Re. eight effective managerial roles)
Coopetition (Collaboration + Competition)
Dr. Koustab Ghosh, IIM Rohtak 4
Enabling Formalization in an Alliance Relationship

Enabling formalization is driven by the assumption that


people are willing to cooperate and aim at achieving higher
collective performance, but in order to do so, they require
structures and processes that facilitate goal alignment.

How can it be done?


Structuring the alliance function, including centralized reservoirs of
information leveraging experience across multiple alliances within
the company, among competitors, and in the broader industry.

Defining the alliance managers role, including explicit skill sets,


competency models, and career paths. This increases both the
person-task fit, and attractiveness of the role.

Dr. Koustab Ghosh, IIM Rohtak 5


Enabling Formalization in an Alliance Relationship

How can it be done?


Developing the alliance managers relationship skills, as opposed to an
almost exclusive focus on technical skills, which are necessary but not
sufficient to the effectiveness of alliance implementation.

Defining metrics, in order to create appropriate incentive structures that


provide the alliance manager with formal levers for alliance
implementation.

Designing formal governance structures to insure the involvement and


commitment of higher level executives, who are otherwise disconnected
from and unsupportive of alliance activities.

Dr. Koustab Ghosh, IIM Rohtak 6