By Michelle Hunt
It’s generally accepted that alliances play a key role in the development and advancement of new and emerging technologies and that there is notable value to be achieved through the formation of an alliance. That said, organizations are sometimes challenged to come up with a start-up strategy, as well as a plan for building and strengthening an alliance after its formation. Drawing upon past and current experiences, here are some key points to consider for creating and promoting the market acceptance of technology solutions through an alliance:
- Ask the right questions to determine the viability of a prospective alliance. What are the goals the alliance is looking to accomplish? How does it fill the recognized needs of a specified ecosystem? How many members would be interested in accomplishing those goals?
- Success from the onset is reliant on identifying industry leaders to publicly support the alliance and its aims. Know the leaders and recruit them to your alliance effort.
- Getting competitors in your alliance is also key. Industry stakeholders take notice when competitors are working together in an alliance as it signifies the value of the collective to the industry at large. This point alone will help to garner new and ongoing memberships.
- Know your ecosystem and pursue a broad cross-section of alliance members representing all stakeholders in a particular industry to achieve the most robust and useful feedback. (e.g., manufacturers, suppliers, installers, end users, etc.)
- Establish metrics for success. Alliance success can be measured in multiple ways: the size of the membership base, the number of projects and initiatives, the reach of its social channels, etc. However, the importance of the level of engagement from membership in work streams cannot be understated as it many times can be a predictor of market adoption.
Alliances have the potential to accelerate standardization, market acceptance and adoption of new and emerging technology solutions where it is a win-win for everyone involved. What’s more, alliances have been shown to have a significant impact on fast-tracking these processes in order to meet sometimes urgent industry demands. As the saying goes, “sometimes getting started is the hardest part.” Yet, the potential rewards of a successful alliance have proven to be strong and persistent motivators.
Learn more about the ins and outs of starting an industry alliance on our Best Practice page.