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Particular Skills And Abilities Needed To Develop In A Department That Specializes In Strategic Technology Alliances

1190 words - 5 pages

Rationale for strategic alliancesFaced with increasing competition and limited resources, companies are using strategic partnerships to cooperatively bring products to market. While partnerships focus the complementary strengths of two firms on the market, they can be complex arrangements to manage. Today, rather than one firm doing everything itself, large and small firms are combining their resources in strategic partnerships and focusing those resources on areas of mutual interests.The Genentech and Eli Lilly collaboration on human insulin is an example of what we mean by a strategic partnership (2). Genentech contributed its novel new source of insulin to the relationship, while Eli Lilly contributed financing, FDA experience, distribution channels, and marketing. This partnership resulted in the product Humulin being brought to market.The hope of such partnerships is that two firms working together can commercialize technology more effectively than either firm working alone. However, the reality is that these relationships have had limited success. For example, only 50 percent of the partnerships studied in the fields of biotechnology and machine vision survived three years (1) and the situation in other fields is no different. While this survival rate may be comparable to the success rates of other in-house projects, the question remains: What can managers do to improve the effectiveness of their strategic partnerships?What is strategic alliance?To begin, we must have a definition of strategic alliance. In her book, Intelligent Business Alliances (3, p.4), author Larraine Segil defined an alliance as "a relationship that is strategic or tactical, and that is entered into for mutual benefit by two or more parties having compatible or complementary business interests and goals." Within an alliance, each organization retains their independence and cooperates on a limited basis- pooling only the resources necessary to confront a specific situation, product or market.The definition states that the partners must have compatible or complementary business interests. This identifies the first question they must ask themselves. Are my interests in alignment with those of my potential partner or am I really interested in simply raising dollars? Do I really want a strategic alliance, or will other mechanisms serve my purposes, for instance a vendor relationship or outsource relationship? The potential pitfalls of failing to ask these questions can be dramatic.What should I, as a manager, do?I presumed myself a manager of a consultancy organization that specializes in strategic technology alliances. From this point of view, the purpose of my work will be to identify managerial competencies that are crucial to make such relationships feasible and that contribute to the success.To be able to name the particular competencies, skills and abilities I'd need to develop in the particular managerial position of a consultancy firm that specialize in alliances,...

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