Alliance Aces



Alliance Aces is dedicated to helping business leaders unleash the full potential of their partner network. Whether youre just getting started with alliance partners, or youre looking for advanced strategies and tactics, this podcast is for you. Brought to you by WorkSpan.Each episode features topics like: strategic alliances, go-to-market strategies, c-suite visibility for alliances, scaling alliances, partner joint solutions, co-marketing campaigns, maximizing joint funds, optimizing cross-company business processes, cloud software (SaaS) that enables partner go-to-market, joint business processes, finding untapped funds, improving communication with partners, navigating a career in alliance management, and more.


  • 103: Better Alignment through Partner Engagement w/ Preseetha Pettigrew

    28/04/2020 Duración: 19min

    The best alliances rest on a foundation of successful alignment, but building it can be difficult if you spread yourself too thin.   So, freeing up resources by concentrating on fewer, higher-impact partnerships can be a rewarding strategy.    And having a framework for the full lifecycle of customer engagement keeps you on track, aligned, and able to scale.   My guest today is Preseetha Pettigrew, Global VP Strategic Alliances at Seismic, where she has done tremendous work incorporating these elements into an incredibly successful alliance program.   Preseetha explains exactly how she was able to do more with less in Seismic’s alliance program and drive the company’s incredible international growth.   She goes over: - How to get the ingredients right in a partnership before scaling - Why it pays to keep an eye on partner engagement every step of the way - How to balance solid structures with the need for flexibility   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversa

  • 102: How Christine Puccio Brings Her Alliance Experience to the Cloud w/ Christine Puccio

    21/04/2020 Duración: 19min

    Over the years, managing alliances has evolved.    But many of the key insights from older models sill bear fruit when it comes to today’s cloud-based alliance programs.    Our guest today, Christine Puccio, VP of Global Cloud Alliances at F5 Networks, has had tremendous success in her 20+ years of experience managing partner programs.    And Christine shares some of her most valuable insights with us on our latest episode.    Christine covers: - How her experiences gave her a de facto MBA in working with alliance partners - How public APIs are making delivering joint solutions simpler - Why aligning your own roadmap to your partners’ rewards everyone   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: - Email: - Twitter: @chiprodgers - LinkedIn:

  • 101: Why You Should Focus on Partner Delivery w/ Winnie Zeliger

    14/04/2020 Duración: 23min

    It’s no secret successful partner delivery is a vital part of any thriving ecosystem.   So, it’s imperative to make sure your partners are trained and capable to deliver quality total solutions to your joint customers.   And when your company derives 90% of your business from partners, partner delivery is your lifeblood.    Our guest today is Winnie Zeliger, Partner Delivery Executive at Cisco, where the 90% figure holds true. So, of course, Cisco is absolutely devoted to partner success and has established multiple partner-facing teams.   There are teams dedicated to supporting partners with selling, but Winnie and her team are entirely dedicated to serving partners on the delivery side of the equation.   And they’ve seen outstanding results.    In this episode, Winnie shares: - Why success is built upon the success of your partners - Why partner delivery deserves your full attention - Why listening to, and encouraging, partner feedback is the key to winning partner programs   To contact the host, Chip Rodge

  • 100: Google’s Customer-Focused Partner Advantage Program w/ Nina Harding

    07/04/2020 Duración: 23min

    How should you approach building a partner advantage program from scratch?   Should you focus on the leveling — your Gold, Silver or Bronze designations? And who should the program center on?   Well, if you want to succeed like Google, you need to marry a partner-focused and a customer-focused approach and highlight capabilities.   That’s how our guest today, Nina Harding, Chief of Global Partner Strategy and Programs at Google, tackled building Google’s Partner Advantage program from the ground up.    In this episode, Nina goes over: - The challenges and rewards to building Google’s Partner Advantage program from scratch - Why a customer-focused approach is so beneficial - Why partner capabilities matter more than levels To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: - Email: - Twitter: @chiprodgers - LinkedIn:

  • 99: How to Face the Challenge of Scaling at Speed w/ Katie Ecklund

    31/03/2020 Duración: 17min

    Rapid growth is the epitome of the saying “it’s a good problem to have.”   Still, this doesn’t discount the very real challenges breakneck scaling involves.   And as the market landscape gets ever more dominated by SaaS companies experiencing explosive growth, it’s important we learn from their experiences.   That’s why we sat down with Katie Ecklund, Director of SI alliances at Snowflake, to see what her experiences can teach us about how to handle the challenges of the good problem everyone wants to have.   Over the last 3 years, Katie has brought her experience working at major organizations like IBM and even the US Army with her as she has overseen Snowflake’s ecosystem grow at remarkable speed.   Katie went over: - The importance of automation when scaling rapidly - How SaaS has impacted traditional resellers - How engaging with the community keeps everything running smoothly To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached

  • 98: Inside Dell’s Global Services Channel Program w/ Olav Schluter

    24/03/2020 Duración: 20min

    In many of the conversations we have about alliance partnerships, a few key things crop up.    Any healthy alliance program relies on aligning your needs with the needs of partners, enabling their success and making sure you can quantify your shared success.    Olav Schluter, Director of Global Services Channel Programs at Dell, has orchestrated these key building blocks into a symphony of ecosystem success.   He came on the show today to share how Dell achieved this and I think we can all learn from his achievements.    Olav covered: - What Dell’s Services Program is - How they tackled alignment and avoided competitive friction - How Dell enables its alliances - How metrics can be used to differentiate and provide transparency to the consumer   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by:   - Email:   - Twitter: @chiprodgers   - LinkedIn:

  • 97: Why Quality Beats Quantity in Software Ecosystems w/ Tom Roberts

    17/03/2020 Duración: 24min

    Modern software ecosystems have changed.   Ecosystems are no longer valued for the sheer quantity of solutions they offer — they are valued for, well, the actual value their solutions provide.   More doesn’t mean better; better means better.   It’s a key insight from our guest today, Tom Roberts, Senior Vice President at the Global Partner Organization over at SAP. Tom has had incredible success at SAP, delivering more than $1B in revenue overseeing the Solution Extension program as it grows 89% year-over-year.   There are a lot of great takeaways from Tom’s success and experience and he shares many of them with me today.   - How to get your ecosystem management “just right”   - Why today’s software ecosystem preference quality over quantity   - Great advice for anyone looking to replicate his success   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by:   Email:   Twitter: @chiprodgers   LinkedIn:

  • 96: Your Alliances’ Differentiation Matters: How You Can Add Value w/ Jenni Flinders

    03/03/2020 Duración: 15min

    When discussing ecosystems, often the conversation revolves around what your alliances can do for you.   Yet, the conversation is incomplete without discussing your responsibility in the ecosystem. If you want a thriving ecosystem, you need to ask yourself: How am I adding value to my alliances?   Today’s guest Jenni Flinders, VP and Channel Chief at VMWare, says a great way to add value is to analyze how you can help your alliances differentiate.   We covered a lot of ground today, including:   - Why you should target alliance differentiation   - Why simple questions provide powerful solutions   - How enablement holds an ecosystem together   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by:   Email:   Twitter: @chiprodgers   LinkedIn:

  • 95: How to Maintain a Thriving Ecosystem in the Face of Change w/ Holly Whalen

    18/02/2020 Duración: 24min

    As in life, the only constant in managing ecosystems is change.   A company’s needs change as it grows and matures. Market patterns shift and evolve.   A successful ecosystem is one that adapts in the face of rapid change. And while adaptation can mean different things to different organizations, it’s something every ecosystem will reckon with at some point.   Holly Whalen is director of the Global Strategic Partner Program at UIPath, which has experienced a period of tremendous growth in the past few years.    Holly joined us on the #EcosystemAces Podcast and shared insights learned from her experience managing an alliance ecosystem through this growth in a constantly shifting market landscape.    She went over:   - Why in alliance ecosystems, sometimes less is more   - How adaptation is easier with the right alignment   - Why managing ecosystems demands a wide range of talents

  • 94: The Simple Recipe for a Successful Alliance Program w/ Shubhra Sinha

    11/02/2020 Duración: 19min

    Managing ecosystems and alliances comes with a lot of moving parts and a diverse set of talents and skills is required to make it work.   This is especially true when building the program from the ground up.   We invited Shubhra Sinha, principal at The Value Exponent, onto the #EcosystemsAces podcast, and she shared her expertise in building alliance programs from the ground up.    What we talked about:   - Why you need a strategic start.   - Why belief in the program is vital.   - Why long-term thinking is needed.   - How you measure success.   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by:   Email:   Twitter: @chiprodgers   LinkedIn:

  • 93: The 3 Biggest Challenges MSPs Face in Cloud Migration w/ Joseph Landes

    04/02/2020 Duración: 19min

    It’s a big world out there for the Microsoft Solution Provider (or MSP.)    There are dozens, if not hundreds of different solutions for every problem a customer might be facing, but one thing is for certain.    The cloud is here, and it’s not going anywhere.    Joseph Landes is the Chief Revenue Officer at Nerdio, and was a guest on the Ecosystem Aces podcast recently. He came on the show specifically to talk about:    - What he and his team are up to at Nerdio   - How they help onboard MSPs to Microsoft Azure   - The 3 biggest challenges that are most commonly faced by those MSPs when trying to migrate to a public cloud services like Azure. 

  • 92: Leading a Global Partner Ecosystem w/ Micheal McCollough

    28/01/2020 Duración: 18min

    In a global world, with a global staff, and a global product, it can be tough to keep yourself grounded in what matters to EACH partner, can’t it?    You can’t operate in a one-size-fits-all mentality when you’re operating a partner ecosystem across multiple countries, cultures, time-zones, and even continents.    This can be particularly challenging when you’re a cloud company. Because you don’t actually have a “product” in the traditional sense of the word.    So how do you operate in the partner ecosystem as a “cloud-only” company? We sat down recently with Micheal McCollough, who is the Global Vice President of Channels & Alliances at Akamai. He was kind enough to be a guest on the Ecosystem Aces podcast and talked all about how being a cloud company has impacted the way they interact with partners. leading partners in different regions of the world, and some of the things that have worked well for them as an organization. 

  • 91: Growth: It’s Everyone’s Problem w/ Cecilia Flombaum

    21/01/2020 Duración: 22min

    Every company wants to grow. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom and pop store, or a multi-billion dollar international organization.  At some point, every company wants to grow and get bigger. To serve more people. To bring in more revenue, hire more staff, and make a bigger impact on the world.  But for companies that have a large partner ecosystem, growth can present some unique challenges. A special set of headaches that, if you’re not careful, can drastically slow you down.  On this episode of the Ecosystem Aces podcast, we sat down with Cecilia Flombaum, who is the Worldwide Lead for Business Application Partners at Microsoft. We talked all about  Growing a partnership ecosystem at scale How partners are helping grow the business The biggest challenges they face in growing a partnership ecosystem And so much more.

  • 90: 3 Challenges for Connecting Partners w/ Hannibal Scipio

    07/01/2020 Duración: 23min

    How many partners are in your ecosystem?  Dozens? Hundreds? Maybe thousands? If you’re Microsoft, the answer to this simple question is in the hundreds of thousands. Upwards of 300,000 to be more precise.  As you can imagine, managing 300,000+ partnerships is no small task. There are a lot of things that have to go right. A lot of pieces that have to run perfectly in order to allow for an ecosystem of this magnitude to function.  That’s where Hannibal Scipio and his team come in. Hannibal manages business strategy for the global Partner to Partner team. He was a guest on the Ecosystem Aces podcast recently and talked all about  The challenges that his team faces.  What it takes to ensure a successful partnership.  The three step journey of the partnership.  And so much more.

  • 89: How a Fast Go-to-Market Strategy Enables Partners w/ Ben Galego

    23/12/2019 Duración: 20min

    Going from idea to app in just eight weeks sounds crazy, right? This seemingly insane timeframe is what Appian — an app development company — has built so many prolific partnerships on. Appian found what they do well and they can do it fast. Ultimately, their business model has produced numerous win/win/win situations for them, their partners, and the end customers. In this episode of Ecosystem Aces, I have the opportunity to sit down with Appian’s Commercial Partner Director (PwC), Ben Galego. Ben fills us in on:   How Appian offers partners such a quick turnaround His tips on managing a joint pipeline His #1 piece of advice for success in strategic alliances   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: Email: Twitter: @chiprodgers LinkedIn:

  • 88: 6 Tips for a Modern Ecosystem From IBM’s Global Partner Executive w/ Justin Silvia

    03/12/2019 Duración: 23min

    Alliance & partner managers: What if we managed our partnerships the way Amazon does? What if we created a buying, delivery, packaging, and customer success experience that was just as seamless as theirs? Perhaps easier said than done, but Justin Silvia is here to tell us his tips on building seamless customer experiences while managing complex partnerships. Justin Silvia is the Executive Director of the Strategic Partner Program at IBM. What we talked about: Ecosystems, alliances, and partnerships Trusting each other’s expertise Creating a unified experience for the customer Ensuring solutions provide value to every level of the customer’s organization Partner pricing Being an internal roadmap for your organization Alliance trust   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: Email: Twitter: @chiprodgers LinkedIn:

  • 87: The 3 ‘Es’ of Ecosystem Success w/ David Herring

    26/11/2019 Duración: 18min

    On this episode, David Herring joins us to share his 3 “Es” of success within alliances. David Herring is the Senior Channel Manager of Partner Programs at Spectrum Enterprise. What we talked about: Engage Enable Educate Connect with the strategic initiatives of the executive team You don’t have to always be a perfect fit To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: Email: Twitter: @chiprodgers LinkedIn:

  • Focus on Partner Enablement + Consumption w/ Andrew Mackenzie

    19/11/2019 Duración: 27min

    I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Andrew Mackenzie, Global SI and Channel Program Leader at Pivotal.   He came on the Ecosystem Aces show to talk about Pivotal, their partners, and how they’re dedicated to “partnering differently.”   What we discuss:   A consumption-first go-to-market strategy A 3-week training program partners want to explore How Pivotal’s unique go-to-market strategy paid off How do you measure success within alliances Small boutique partners vs larger SI partners Rigid joint selling  Joint strategy adoption Potential disadvantage of a larger integrator Rapid adoption Flexible joint selling

  • 85: 3 Ways Microsoft Is Thinking Creatively to Drive Partner Engagement w/ Jeff Fritz

    12/11/2019 Duración: 20min

    Microsoft has built a lot of great alliances, but they’re not stopping there.   They’re constantly coming up with innovative ways to increase their engagement with them, their partners, and all products within the Microsoft ecosystem.   On this episode of the Ecosystem Aces podcast, Jeff Fritz, Senior Program Manager on the Microsoft .NET team, joined us to tell us all about it.   What we talked about: Meeting customers where they are Microsoft started hosting morning talk shows on Twitch ‘Code parties’ How Microsoft used a scavenger hunt to promote their partners

  • 84: Building a Channel Partner Ecosystem? Here’s Everything You Need to Know w/ Marc Palombo

    22/10/2019 Duración: 24min

    If you’re considering a reseller/channel partner program, this is the episode for you. Marc Palombo joins host Chip Rodgers to discuss channel partnerships. Marc has worked with channels for over 25 years. Now, he’s the Reseller Program Manager at AvidXchange, a payment solution that's now working with over 540,000 B2B suppliers, which, according to Marc, makes it the largest B2B supplier network. What we talked about: Finding the best mix of direct selling vs. resellers can be a challenge Revenue share agreements Cost plus wholesale model Why there’s more creatively allowed inside of wholesale models There’s a control tradeoff when you engage with channel alliances You need executive buy-in from your alliance Actively seeking out alliances where your solution is an easy add-on   To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: Email: Twitter: @chiprodgers LinkedIn:

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