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Publishing: Establishing & Managing Partnerships and Relationships

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An overview of an approach to establishing strategic partnerships and business relationships to drive value, extend market reach and build stronger organizations.

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Publishing: Establishing & Managing Partnerships and Relationships

  1. 1. Michael Cairns Managing Partner Information Media Partners Establishing & Building Strategic Partnerships
  2. 2. Introduction Michael Cairns is a publishing and media executive with over 25 years experience in business strategy, operations and technology implementation. As a business executive, Mr. Cairns has successfully managed several troubled and under- performing businesses, creating new business opportunities, developing new funding sources and enhancing shareholder value for investors. His years spent as an operating executive have largely been with brand-name publishing companies such as Macmillan, Inc., Berlitz International, Wolters Kluwer Health, Reed Elsevier and R.R. Bowker. As a consultant, Mr. Cairns has worked with clients as diverse as AARP, Hewlett Packard, InterPublic Companies and Reed Elsevier with an emphasis on business strategy, market development and corporate development. His skills and experience include:  Business and corporate strategy development and implementation  Operations management and business transformation  Traditional and digital publishing and operations  Print-to-digital transformation and adoption of new business models  Software development and software services Mr. Cairns holds an MBA (Finance) from Georgetown University and a BA from Boston University. He has served on several boards and advisory groups including the Association of American Publishers, Book Industry Study Group and the International ISBN organization. Additionally, he has public and private company board experience. 2 Michael Cairns Information Media Partners Strategy Consulting New York, London, Melbourne Tel: 908 938 4889 Michael.cairns@infomediapartners.com Find me: LinkedIn
  3. 3. Information Media Partners Michael Cairns established Information Media Partners in 2006 as a boutique strategy consulting firm focused on the information and education publishing segment. The work conducted by the firm includes product development, corporate development, sales management and corporate reorganizations. We work with established businesses, private equity owners and potential acquirers. Examples of our work include:  Reorganized and re-focused a $25 million software publishing company by aligning business operations with client priorities; implementing internal collaboration tools and project management standards; re-building executive team to focus on effective and efficient management  Defined a new business strategy for a large non-profit association and advocacy group, expanding their business model into global markets to exploit their core knowledge and expertise across a broader market  Led an information technology capabilities review at a large international advertising holding company. Completed over 200 interviews in 15 international offices and multiple group focus sessions to define the operational ‘gaps’ between existing agency capabilities and those necessary and important for client delivery by region  Completed a sales management effectiveness review for a global software company and defined six key project initiatives to improve sales effectiveness, market development and account management We approach our client engagements in a standardized, logical manner which creates the best environment to identify key business drivers, administrative and logistical road blocks and/or product or market definition issues. Our investigative approach leads to better insights into your businesses and supports the development of workable solutions and recommendations for success. Visit the Information Media Partners website for more information. Sample Client List
  4. 4. Why Partnerships?  Expand markets  Build experience and capabilities  Grow revenues  Broaden product lines  Strengthen vendor/supplier relationships  Improve products  Reduce operating risk  Improve technology 4
  5. 5. Essential requirements  “Must” have an active desire to work together: Mutual interest in specific success/outcomes  Partner must have market/product experience  Should be willing to motivate sales staff to sell partner products  Invest in internal training, marketing & literature to support partner products  Partner should be willing to work collaboratively  Provide full service and support to customers  Must have stable management/relationship
  6. 6. How mature is your business?  Functions well defined?  Processes efficient and economical  Management team properly motivated  Management and staff understand objectives  Do you have documentation?  Do you have shareable knowledge and expertise?  Do your staff have time to manage partners? 6
  7. 7. Understand where your business is
  8. 8. Reasons to consider partnerships Structural drivers  Globalization  Homogenization of markets  Fierce competition Technological drivers  Cost of R&D  Complexity of products  Speed of technological developments
  9. 9. Best Practices in Building Partnerships  Common objectives  Communication  Governance structures  Stakeholder involvement  Training opportunities
  10. 10. Partnerships characteristics  Essential part of international corporate strategies  Make up for the lack of economic power, competence, foreign experience  Allows cost- and risk- sharing  Market intelligence to monitor new markets and monitor particular fields of technology  Reduce lead times for innovative products  To access competitively priced resources (labour)  Technology transfer
  11. 11. Common objectives  Document partnership with Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  Clearly outline each party’s commitment, both financial and in- kind  Gain agreement internally for partnership program: Staff, management, board of directors, existing customers  Identify potential partners and establish relationships  “Test” relationship if possible  Meet and visit partners  Determine capabilities of the partner: Speak to other partners/supplier to the partner  Agree common objectives with the partner  Define specific goals for agreement process  Set time limit for initial agreement
  12. 12. Communication  Establish clear goals with partner and communication internally and externally  Ongoing communication with all stakeholders (partner, management, customers, etc.)  Full-time project co-ordinator or facilitator • Works for the partnership project • Point of contact for stakeholders  Development of common tools for information sharing with stakeholders as well as with greater audiences  Frequent meetings: updates, strategy sessions, product development  Share marketing and promotion materials and objectives  Websites, web portals, etc.  Social networking sites
  13. 13. Governance structures  Provide a clear, well-developed governance structure (e.g. steering committee, sub-committees, working groups – as appropriate)  Use a decision-making process that incorporates all stakeholders  Ensuring the active participation of all stakeholders at the table  Ensure conflict resolution mechanisms are in place  Managing competing interests and priorities in the partnership  Develop performance evaluation frameworks in collaboration with stakeholders  Ensuring that the deliverables and activities are carried out according to schedule
  14. 14. Stakeholder involvement  Define roles and responsibilities for all partners at the start  Ensure the active participation of all stakeholders over the course of the project  Establish common goals and priorities in consultation with stakeholders  Delegate tasks according to capacity and expertise  Share resources equitably, and ensure a reasonable “buy-in” on the project from the partners  Cash or in-kind contributions, including: • Personnel • Access to facilities or facilitating interaction with other organizations/communities • Knowledge mobilization activities
  15. 15. Training opportunities  Ensure the meaningful involvement of key staff  Working with partnering organizations  Hands-on skills  Ensure capacity-building and learning by:  Integrating partnering organizations into project plans • For example, training personnel from partnering organizations to conduct interviews, organize events, present at conferences, etc.  Fostering the exchange of knowledge and expertise between all the stakeholders of the project
  16. 16. Michael Cairns Managing Partner Information Media Partners Developing a Partnership
  17. 17. Key challenges: Understand differences in:  Education/Training/Experience  Infrastructure  Financial Resources/Economic Power  Culture
  18. 18. Developing a partnership project  Plan to ensure the sustainability of the partnership  Set realistic, attainable goals (but be flexible)  Validate objectives and plans with the stakeholders even in the development phases  Enable a process for the partner to provide active feedback to allow for changes in activities and processes  An assessment or self-assessment mechanism that allows the team to evaluate its activities and the quality of the partnership  Ensure that the project has the necessary stakeholders on board to successfully achieve its goals  Continue to recruit new partners over the course of the project  Identify potential interested partners through networking opportunities, including: • External events • Contacts in the field • Existing projects and partnerships • Social networking
  19. 19. Building consensus/negotiation  What are the possible and desirable outcomes?  Clearly determine each party’s need(s) from the partnership  Clearly understand the strategic objectives of the companies  Partner choice and negotiation  Identify a champion to lead the relationship  Treat the partnership agreement as a living document  Understand that the comparative advantages of partners at the outset of the agreement may change over time
  20. 20. Disputes  Partnership agreements must contain sound provisions for dispute resolution, and the exit mechanism to be employed in terminating the partnership in the event of irreconcilable differences
  21. 21. Planning stage  Rules on assigning sales credit and market development and support  Establishing rules for data (including format, quality assurance, storage, access and retrieval)  How to synchronize funding from different sources  Costs of collaboration
  22. 22. Sensitive issues  Be aware that technology transfer is one of the most sensitive and contentious issues  Create clear provisions for a framework of technology use in the partnership  Concerns on ownership, IP and control  Management of IP can present serious barriers to the development and maintenance of partnerships
  23. 23. Design appropriate organization  Joint ventures  Joint R&D pacts  Joint development agreements  R&D pacts  R&D contracts  Second-sourcing  Licensing
  24. 24. Implementation summary  Monitor and review the partnership throughout its lifetime  Phased projects with achievable milestones  Start with a pilot project  Project monitoring across national boundaries, how to manage these?  Scheduling regular face-to-face meetings  Communicate often  Rotating leadership  Human resource issues
  25. 25. Michael Cairns Managing Partner Information Media Partners Business Cases
  26. 26. Ingenta: Establish re-seller market  Sell Ingenta software products in different markets, geographies and verticals through 3rd parties  Transform operations in line with a product organisation, from a systems integrator/bespoke software company  Introduce a “product” culture, focusing on collaboration, internally & with partners – make everyone feel they are part of the process and decision making  Use technology to benefit our own organisation, not just our customers  Become “leading” edge
  27. 27. Reseller requirements  “Must” have an active desire to sell the product not to just become another product on a list  Must be skilled in selling software systems that have a long sales cycle  Willing to commission the salespeople on 3rd party products, plus invest in internal training, marketing & literature  Willing to collaborate: Help Ingenta increase level of “business/product maturity”  Must have a desire to deliver all professional services  Must have stable management/relationship with Ingenta
  28. 28. Reseller program strategic benefits Reseller and partnership models represent a significant strategic opportunity Skills Enhanced skill sets Reduced risk Sales Joint business development, opens doors previously closed Large balance sheet removes ‘size’ obstacle from the sales process Scale Number of concurrent implementations Geographic spread Market segment spread – magazines, newspapers, gaming Margin Reseller will be primary relationship with the customer License and maintenance revenue direct with Ingenta Subject matter expertise at sold at higher than historic day rates. Costs Opportunity to reduce non-value added costs Create more efficiently run projects Free up higher revenue generating resources
  29. 29. Bowker and Barnes & Noble  Bowker:  Book information data provider to retailers, publishers and search companies  ISBN agency for US  Services provider: PubNet (EDI), PubEasy  Barnes & Noble  Largest US based book retailer  College bookstore market
  30. 30. Shared objectives  Improve quality of book data  Extend amount and type of book metadata  Reduce cost of data management  Rapid increase in amount of data (number of books published)  Global market expansion  Deepen communication between vendor (Bowker), customer (B&N) and data owner (Publishers)
  31. 31. Partnership: Data Enhancement Program  Established a joint communication program to publishers  Document data requirements  Establish open communications  Site visits with Bowker staff • More open and accessible process  Web interface and data access point  B&N ‘forced’ publishers to work with Bowker  Charged publishers for bad data  Included Bowker in B&N publisher status meetings
  32. 32. Partnership benefits  Bowker:  Expanded “Data Enhancement” model to Canada (Indigo Books), Australia (Angus & Robertsons), Follet Books (US) and Borders Books (US) + others  Enabled the establishment of standard processes  Significantly improved relationships with publishers  Barnes & Noble  Better, consistent book data  Improved processes  Lower costs
  33. 33. Michael Cairns Managing Partner Information Media Partners Thank you - Questions

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