|Publication number||US20050108043 A1|
|Application number||US 10/992,491|
|Publication date||May 19, 2005|
|Filing date||Nov 17, 2004|
|Priority date||Nov 17, 2003|
|Also published as||US8260627, US8818819, US20100179845, US20120330704|
|Publication number||10992491, 992491, US 2005/0108043 A1, US 2005/108043 A1, US 20050108043 A1, US 20050108043A1, US 2005108043 A1, US 2005108043A1, US-A1-20050108043, US-A1-2005108043, US2005/0108043A1, US2005/108043A1, US20050108043 A1, US20050108043A1, US2005108043 A1, US2005108043A1|
|Original Assignee||Davidson William A.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (27), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to the field of creating, managing, evaluating and optimizing business partnerships and alliances. Included in the present invention is that it relates to the field of creating measurements that reflect industry standards for the field of invention and that it also relates to the field of creating knowledge and business intelligence data and information in the field. It further creates industry standards for managing partnerships and alliances, and creates reusable knowledge to enable the prediction of future performance.
The convergence of three business issues relating to alliances, sales channels and business partnerships creation and management has led to the substantial need for the development of a new system and method to create, manage, evaluate, optimize, create business partnership standards and create re-useable knowledge and business intelligence as it applies to the alliances, channels and business partnerships. These business issues are the need to improve alliance, channel and business partnership effectiveness in order to achieve desired results; the need to quickly capture knowledge relating to best practices and the impact of program, process, product and personnel changes as baby boomers will soon retire and knowledgeable staff continue to transition to other companies and; the need to create business intelligence and knowledge which can only be accurate and predictable if information on all partnership aspects are captured.
Since the year 2000 to present, as the economy slowly comes out of the recession, companies are continuing to seek ways to increase efficiency and productivity while continuing to drive out costs. This approach has been very effective in assisting companies in maintaining profitability. Employees are more productive. Expenses are tightly controlled. There are very few places left to create efficiency on many companies' income statements and balance sheets. Doing more with less does have benefits to the bottom line. However, too much efficiency greatly impacts employee effectiveness. Therefore, productivity gains may not be as great as companies believe them to be.
As baby boomers start to retire in the next 5 years, as employees change jobs and go to work for other companies and as the economy becomes more global, it will become more and more critical to capture the personal knowledge and experience held by these employees. By understanding the Strategy Evolution and Impact of Demand Generation and Customer Support Optimization on Business Intelligence, Corporate Value and Corporate Strategy, companies can greatly improve effectiveness and their ability to capture significant knowledge that will result in increased revenues and further decreased costs.
Over the past two decades, there has been an evolution in customer support and business process improvement. It started with Information Technology Service Management (ITSM), also called Help Desk, to support internal computer users. Initially, for those of us that remember, this was to support internal customers using mainframe systems that were so large that they could fill a room. As the acceptance of PCs and PC servers increased and demand for internal customer support increased, pencils, pens, paper and spreadsheets became too inefficient to cost effectively support these operations. Companies had two choices. They could build their own applications at great expense or look to the outside and purchase a software solution that would cost effectively, automate their helpdesk processes. This automation greatly increased efficiency and, as the helpdesk market matured, drove out costs. As time has passed, business process management, Six Sigma and ITIL have been applied to these support processes in order to further increase support efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Companies measure process efficiency to determine additional areas and processes that can be improved in order to increase ROIs. Service level agreements have become the norm. Processes have been created to provide self service to company internal customers in order to increase efficiency and decrease support costs. Solution knowledgebases have been created to further decrease costs and improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Over the last decade, there has been an evolution in the automation of customer support processes. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has steadily grown as a mission critical application in almost all companies. Customer Service, as it was once called, was a labor intensive, inefficient and costly business function. As competition in almost all markets has increased, cost management and customer satisfaction have become critical areas to manage, the need to automate support processes became critical to a companies success. Companies again had two choices. Companies could build an in-house solution or they could purchase a software solution from the outside. This automation greatly increased efficiency and, as the customer support market matured, drove out costs. As time has passed, business process management and Six Sigma have been applied to these support processes in order to further increase support efficiency and customer satisfaction. Companies measure process efficiency to determine additional areas and processes that can be improved in order to increase ROIs. Quantitative service level agreements have become the norm. Processes have been created to provide self service to customers in order to increase efficiency and decrease support costs. Solution knowledgebases have been created to further decrease costs and improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
As the market moves forward and the need to further increase customer satisfaction, business intelligence is becoming the next “Killer AP” for customer support. Not only are companies dedicating resources to product research, but they are also gathering human capital quality data to gain further insight into the customer in order to improve numerous areas within a company. For example, instead of just asking a respondent do you like the red product? Companies are starting to ask and electronically capturing why the respondent likes or does not like the red product to gain further insight. Some companies are even asking what would we need to do to the product for you to buy it even if it was red. At some point, there will be integration between business intelligence and predictive modeling. As more data is captured regarding how qualitative information impacts quantitative results, accurate predictions, not only regarding customer support will be developed. This will result in great progress towards company optimization.
Sales Force Automation has become a standard application in most companies. There has been a recognized need to assist the sales warriors in increasing their efficiency. Salespeople seem to forget about their paperwork and concentrate on selling. Stacks of paper are pile on their desks. If someone was to walk by, they would know that the desk was that of a salesperson. Sometimes, it seems like the salesperson with the most stacks of paper is the most successful. In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the sale of Sales Force Automation software. This is for a few reasons. The first is to gain more efficiency in selling a company's product. It has been felt that if a salesperson is better organized, the salesperson will hove more time to sell. The tool houses quantitative information regarding accounts, contacts, sales quotes, forecasts, calendars and other vital account information. It tracks the quantitative aspects of the relationship. Salespeople are often the highest paid individuals in a company. Their ability to generate demand and revenue is critical to the success of the company. Their contacts are valuable assets. If a salesperson should leave and their account information has not been captured, the company must recreate those contacts and relationships at great expense and time. SFA tools also provide insight into how the salesperson spends his or her time. This can be used to capture knowledge on sales best practices and to identify areas where the salesperson can improve. As competition in almost all markets has increased, sales efficiency, cost control and account knowledge have become critical areas to manage, the need to automate sales and sales support processes has became critical to a company's success. A company's measure of a salesperson's success is by performance. They have also added the salesperson's proficient and repetitive use of the company's SFA tool.
As companies apply business process management and Six Sigma to its sales function, sales processes and knowledge capture can be improved. If a company's ability to increase knowledge improves, the company can then begin to apply business intelligence to its sales model which in turn will lead to a greater competitive advantage and ability to consistently increase revenue even if a salesperson should leave. SFA tools can be integrated with CRM tools to provide even greater knowledge regarding customers. The combination of SFA tools, CRM tools and then adding the capture of human capital quality data will lead to even greater business intelligence and a company's ability to reduce costs, accurately predict revenue and further improve a company's overall performance, and, ROI and EPS.
So what does all this previous history have to do with increasing the Partner Value of business partnerships and alliances through creating, managing evaluating, optimizing, creating industry standards and creating knowledge and business intelligence? The creation and management of alliance and business partnerships is one of the last bastions of business that has a significant need to have its processes automated, managed and optimized. As the cost of direct sales organization increases, the size of the workforce pool decrease and the baby boomers retire, alliance and business partnerships will become more and more critical to a company's success. As efficiencies have increased in the areas of Helpdesk, CRM and SFA, costs have been reduced and productivity has increased. Most alliance, channel and business partnership processes are not automated. Some companies use CRM software, some use SFA software, some use paper, pencils and spreadsheets and other use PRM software. The most efficient are, of course, the automated solutions. Current trend and marketing information indicate that PRM is the next support growth market. PRM vendors market their solutions with strong ROI benefits in the areas of increased efficiency and decreased costs. PRM solutions, unlike CRM and SFA solutions have been designed specifically to automate the creation and management of alliances, channels, and business partnerships.
How have vendors automated partnering activities and what is left to be done? First, vendors utilized the web to provide partners with fast and easy access to commonly needed information as the web evolved. Partner intranets were also deployed to provide the vendor's employees relevant partner information. Typical information posted on these sites would be company profiles, product and service information, key contacts, sales presentations and white papers. Vendors continued to increase the productivity gains and cost reductions through automation by implementing systems that allowed partners to configure and order products online. Partners have also been provided with online support, web based training and certification testing.
PRM solutions were introduced in the lost five to six years ago. Since their introduction, they hove been used to further automate alliance, channel and business partnership processes. Vendors are starting to organize and consolidate their partners contact, pipe line and contract information as well as, marketing information. They have been able to automate lead distribution and campaign management processes. These systems have increased efficiency in managing partner information and processes, but have little impact on improving partner effectiveness.
Vendors have been using legacy systems to track performance of their resellers, distributors and their own reseller/distributor account managers. Common practice with SIs and ISVs is to assign a percentage of the revenue based on the partner's level of contribution in developing new sales or participation in closing an existing sale with the vendor's end user salesperson. This is a manual process and the assignment of sales credit is arbitrary which can often cost doubt on the creditability of performance data.
Vendors use PRM and other tools to gather partner feedback on vendor performance, marketing issues and products. Most vendors use surveys as the primary method. This method can be compared to that of gathering customer data as it applies to feedback using CRM tools. Vendors don not ask their partners the why and how questions as part of the feedback process. Results from the partner surveys are not compared to the responses of what the vendor may answer to the some set of questions. Human capital quality data from partners is not captured.
Partners are not unlike like end customers. They control what is sold and to whom. As the workforce shrinks, baby boomers retire and employees change companies, the partners' opinions will become more important. Surveys are most often conducted once a year. The survey results are seldom compiled to show year over year comparisons with the exception of the quantitative data. Knowledge is not created. The evolving strategy has stopped here.
How can the strategy continue? The same way that customer relationship management has, but with additional improvement. Business intelligence and predictive modeling be applied to business partnerships, channels and alliances.
The capture of all reusable knowledge regarding all aspects of partnership creation, management and performance will provide vendors with the ability to improve effectiveness, optimize results, and substantially decrease costs in numerous areas through analysis of historical data, current market trends and human capital qualitative data. Business process management principles will be applied to weak areas of partnership programs to improve processes. Information will be continuously captured so that partnerships can be optimized. Once a partnership or many partnerships are nearly optimized the data can be used to create business intelligence and enable the use of predictive modeling.
What does the future hold? CRM, SFA and PRM will be used to create knowledge. Initially, this will be done separately. Business process management solutions will be used to improve processes along the way. All of the functional areas will include qualitative and quantitative feedback loops to enable continuous feedback and create knowledge. Today they do not. The new system and method can allow data to be analyzed in CRM and SFA as it is for partnerships. Current market trends and the knowledge that is captured over time will be combined with research and feedback and be used as business intelligence. Finally, all of the components of CRM, SFA and PRM will be combined so that predictive modeling tools that use all available quantitative data, qualitative data and current information will accurately predict revenue opportunities, revenues that will generated, areas where costs can be decreased, processes that can be improved and there root cause problems across cross-functional areas, and, what can be done to continuously optimize company value. The new system method can be used as the core component of these combined processes so that a single Partner Value—that can now be called Demand Value, can be calculated.
It will be critical for companies to capture useable knowledge that considers all variables that can both aid and impact success. These variables include both quantitative and qualitative variables. A strong effectiveness strategy based on both of these variable sets may become the most important aspect of strong efficiency strategy.
Companies are faced with the ongoing task of integrating numerous disparate systems in order to improve efficiency. In almost every facet of a business, there are cross-functional dependencies that con impact results. It has been difficult to improve a department or function's processes much less the cross-functional processes that the department doesn't own or control and yet, depends on. Business process management tools are aiding in the fight. As companies are improving their department processes and some cross-functional processes, they seek to add the creation of business intelligence as the next step.
However, not seen in the prior art is a comprehensive approach for the creation, management, evaluation, optimization, creation of industry standards, and, creation of knowledge and business intelligence through a closed system and method that includes a core system and method as its foundation for calculating a single Partner Value that represents an algorithm of all inputs. There has been no method wherein the continuous generation of partner value has been evaluated.
If a company uses channels and alliance to sell its products, those channels and alliances should have the same expertise as the company's direct sales organization. It should be transparent to the customer, whether the selling organization is the company's direct sales organization or one of its partners. As a company creates value in its partners, it will win more sales and accordingly generate more revenues because it will increase its effective coverage in the marketplace.
Most companies use a standard channel and alliance model in the selection, negotiation and management of its channel and alliance partners, as shown in
Back in the early 1990's, partners would ask to sign up to resell a product and, if they had the financial and market coverage ability, they were generally signed on as partners.
As the markets that were called on become saturated with a company's product or its competitor's product, software and hardware margins have shrunk, commissions to the direct sales force decreased and all sales become competitive. A company's direct sales force, including its management, have often tried to take a large percentage of all and hardware software opportunities directly to the company and bypassed the partner sales organization in order to increase margins and keep the direct sales organization intact. This has been done because of the greater expertise of the direct sales organization. Channel and alliance partnerships are becoming partnerships in name only.
Partner selection has generally been comprised of quantitative data as to the size of the organization, geographic reach and ability to pay for sold products. Little time is spent on qualitative data such as management philosophy, company strategy and hidden agendas. When a company enters into a partnership, both companies should know as much about and agree upon the qualitative data as they do about the quantitative data in order such as management philosophy, company strategy and hidden agendas. When a company enters into a partnership, both companies should know as much about and agree upon the qualitative data as they do about the quantitative data in order to generate partner value.
Partner agreements most often reflect the terms and conditions of the agreement between the companies and nothing more. As stated above, in a true value generating partnership, it should be transparent to the customer whether he or she is working with a direct soles organization or a channel or alliance organization. In order to generate value, an agreement needs to be more than just terms and conditions. It must provide for the tools required to generate value and thus revenue and also for the accountability of the partnership.
Partner management is the interfacing with the channel and alliance partner. After a partner agreement has been signed, partner management has meant the tracking of a partner's activities that will lead to sales. It includes such items as sales forecasting, lead follow up and number of trained product consultants. It tracks the concerns of the company, namely, sales revenue. In order to generate partner value, which will lead to the generation of revenue, companies need to effectively manage the relationship.
What is missing today in most channel and alliance partnerships is a lack of improving the relationship and a lack of improving the relationship using a repeatable system and method. If a customer values the relationship with its vendor, that customer will continually buy from that vendor. In the same way, if a partner sees that continuously improving value in a channel or alliance relationship, that partner will strive to generate revenues and improve the relationship.
Companies today are moving towards improving their channel and alliance relationships. They are creating metrics to track channel and alliance partner satisfaction. Typically, surveys are used to track some areas of the partner satisfaction. They most often ask questions about how satisfied the partner is regarding the partner's relationship with the company as it relates to the tools and information that the partner needs to generate revenue.
Partner management is the primary way to improve the partnership relationship. The key to increasing partner value is to capture both quantitative and qualitative metrics and then continuously improve the partner selection and partner agreement processes as well as the partner management processes. It has been identified that there are numerous relationships between the components that make up selection, agreement and management. As these sums of these three components of the partner life cycle are improved, partnership value increases and thus, the expectations of the parties to the relationship will continue to be met on a long term basis. This will lead to meeting or surpassing the expectations of the partnership. The most often used standard approach to partner management does not address the continuous improvement of the partnership.
Further, when the system and method of calculating a Partner Value is used as it can apply to relationships with employees, partners, customers and sales people, and, when it also includes weighted values for outside inputs such as market research, customer feedback, and product research, in other words, adding CRM, SFA and research together with PRM and the new system and method, and, then this Partner Value is calculated, all areas that need to be improved in relationships are identified and all of a companies potential product demand can be calculated. The new system and method is different from all predictive modeling and partnering tools, technologies and systems and methods, because it also includes the unseen, qualitative variables of behavior and culture as they impact need for demand and delivery.
So, it can be concluded that the new system and method allows companies to improve the performance of partnerships and allows them to predict future performance. In addition, when the new system and method is applied to company support and customer relationships and company sales and customer/prospect relationships, and when it includes weighted research variables, total company demand can be predicted. It is because of the similarity of process that the Demand Value can be calculated. In CRM, there is customer selection, customer agreement and customer management. In SFA, there is customer selection, customer agreement and customer management. These processes are very similar to partner selection, partner agreement and partner management as far as there ability that when waited and combined, can calculate a very accurate demand value.
In reviewing the prior art regarding published and issued patents, there are a number of patents that are somewhat related to the area of business relationship analysis in a traditional and commonly understood sense. For example, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/379,188 filed by A. DiMarco discloses the use of a talent management system that helps organizations attract, develop and retain critical talent though computer aided visualization and analysis of various criteria, including a career view, a visual resume, an autobiography, self assessment, knowledge data, project experiences, etc. which makes it easier for potential employers to assemble and analyze desired criteria regarding potential employees. U.S. Pat. Ser. No. 10/034,820 filed by D. Weeks uses a variety of objects placed upon a table and manipulated by the user to characterize and reveal certain personality traits which can then be used to categorize which types of career roles are most suited to the individual.
Further, U.S. patent Ser. No. 10/094,034 filed by C. Fames, et al. Discloses a method for assessing performance of a customer experience of an organization. Only a customer survey is conducted, and this is not optimized with a business organization survey. However, this method is only directed for determining a model and evaluation of core competency and it is not directed to graphing or developing a means for optimizing the relationship between business partners. Another interesting patent disclosure relating to this area is disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/062,688 filed by M.Cohen, et al., which discloses a computer implemented method and system for assessing performance related data from a set of performers, but it does not analyze a business relationship from the view of both a vendor and vendee. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/028,309 filed by Holliday, et al. discloses a system and process for evaluating a business entity's success in developing new business, but does not further analyze other aspects of business relationships.
Another business system related disclosure found in the prior art is U.S. Pat. No. 6,556,974 issued to D'Alessandro which discloses a method for evaluating a current business relationship, but this is only by taking the surveys of employees and other persons to be evaluated in the survey which relate to various aspects of the business operations. Again, it does not evaluate or optimize a business partner relationship.
Still a further interesting patent disclosed in this area is U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/279,159 filed by P. Morrel-Sammuels which related to a method of providing employee assessment services including negotiating with an employer to administer surveys to employees and obtaining performance metrics relating to the employer's business performance. The survey is administered over the internet. Similarly, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,795 and 6,007,340 issued to P. Morrell-Sammuels discloses an assessment tool which presents a variety of statements to an individual, and the individual is requested to analyze the statements and provide a response for the purpose of determining the leadership capabilities of the individual. Other interesting patents in the prior art are U.S. Pat. No. 6,119,097 issued to D. Iberra which discusses and system and method for quantification of human performance factors and U.S. Pat. No. 4,627,818 issued to VonFellenberg which discloses a system for psychological testing of individuals which may assess the empathy, willingness to learn and sociability, as well as aggressiveness, selfishness, etc. can be determined. However, it should be noted that none of these systems disclosed relate to the creation, evaluation and optimization of business partnerships.
Thus, nowhere in the prior is seen a system or method for creating, managing, evaluating, optimizing, creating industry standards and creating knowledge and business intelligence of a business partner relationship based upon both quantitative and qualitative criteria surveyed by both parties to the relationship.
The present invention consists of utilizing a continuous process improvement approach to generating partner value and when applied, demand value. In the present inventive process model, the method to improve partner selection, partner agreement and partner management involves an ongoing, continuous process. This is a departure from the standard partner life cycle process flow. Increased partner value is driven by the continuous improvement and integration of these processes of selection, agreement and management because they include qualitative cultural and behavioral measurement that are gathered, calculated and combined to reflect both sides of the partnership. In the some way, Customer Support and Sales Force Automation can use the present invention's principles to calculate its own Demand Value. When all three are combined and weighted research results are added a total Demand Value can be calculated to predict future demand that includes all variables. The obvious similarities between continuous partner improvement and customer support and sales force improvement is that both sides select, agree, manage and create value in the relationship. The present invention provides these tactical benefits to companies in the following areas:
Enabling accountability of the alliance and partner programs
In the present invention, the Partner Value calculation is generated by assigning percentage values for Partner Selection, Partner Agreement and Partner Management where the total percentage equals 100%. Unlike the prior art, both business partners score the some weighted criteria, which can be weighted differently because the vendor and the vendee's points of view will be different, providing for two sets of data. The average score or result for each module is multiplied by the percentage of the Partner Value attribute for each and then the result is added together to reflect a Partner Value percent or index of between 0 and 1.000. This calculated percent equals the alliance or partner value. Unlike prior, more rudimentary systems, in one preferred embodiment of the present invention, each of the values for Partner Selection, Partner Agreement and Partner Management are calculated on a quarterly or monthly basis and not on an annual basis. Further, Partner Value which has not been calculated previously will also be calculated.
For example, in a Partner Value Model where Partner Selection represents 15% of the total partner value, the Partner Agreement represents 10% of the total Partner Value and Partner Management represents 75% of the total Partner Value the total value of the relationship equals 100%. As the partner value increases, revenues or the objective of the relationship will increase or be reached. The Partner Value Index will can then be used to predict future performance. This would be done by determining the variance of the Partner Index Value against 1.000. For example, if the Partner Value Index was 0.9255, then the variance that can be used for prediction would be +/−0.0745. This means that a future performance prediction would be within the +/− range. This is significant because until the present method there has been no previous method to accurately predict future partner performance.
In the same way, as the Partner Value Model is applied to CRM and SFA relationships, an index value representing the relationships can be calculated so that areas for improvement con be identified and demand predictions can become more accurate.
Metrics, or measurements, drive the continuous improvement process. They are captured in Partner Selection, Partner Agreement and Partner Management and then compared to the objectives and numeric values in each of the modules. Weights are assigned to each metric so that the analysis accurately reflects the state of the relationship and its total value. The weights are assigned by both parties to the relationship so that each perspective or viewpoint can be captured. The present system and method allows for each company down to each individual employee or party, to provide a weight to each metric. Improvements can then be made in the relationship in order to increase the Partner Value calculation. Examples of the metrics are found in the accompanying figures.
The some system and method can apply metrics, both quantitative that are used today and qualitative, which are not using this system and method, including behavioral and cultural metrics for CRM relationships and SFA relationships.
The metrics used to calculate Partner Value are defined based on the objectives of the partnership and expected results for the partnership. This approach can be applied to any type of partnership or alliance. The metrics are given an importance value by the partner with consideration by the initiator. The contribution value for each module is assigned through management agreement by the initiator of the partnership during or prior to the selection process. The same is true for CRM and SFA relationships.
Data is collected from each touch point of the relationship. The present system and method will identify cross-functional strengths and weaknesses in the processes for selection, agreement and management. It is unique in that it allows for the analysis of variables between selection, agreement and management. For example, it may be identified as a selection weakness as a condition/result that a partner does not reach its performance objective. Another example, it may be that a partner's performance deteriorated as a result of late payments by the vendor and it had nothing to do with market conditions or lack of resources as originally thought. Examples of additional relationships are attached.
From this, the example Partner Value for the partnership may be calculated as follows:
Partner Value Index of Cal- No. of No. of No. of Summary Report IndexNo. culations Groups Categories Criteria Partner Value .8799 921 8 33 220 Index Partner Selection .7841 298 6 11 86 Index Partner .8504 190 1 7 35 Agreement Index Partner .9029 433 1 15 99 Management Index
The resulting Partner leaves for an almost twelve percent (12%) improvement in overall performance.
To ensure accuracy of data in reflecting all aspects of the partnership in addition to weighting the measurements from different points of view, the present system method can calculate the indexes for an unlimited number of inputs. The greater the number of inputs, the more accurate the calculated data results.
If the Vendor and Partner each had 20 respondents, the number of calculations, at minimum, would be as follows:
Quarterly Annually 5 Years Partner Value Index 36840 147360 736800 Partner Selection Index 11920 47680 238400 Partner Agreement Index 7600 30400 152000 Partner Management Index 17320 69280 346400
Using the above example and adding that the Vendor had twenty Partners, the number of calculations would approximate the following:
Quarterly Annually 5 Years Partner Value Index 73680 294720 1473600 Partner Selection Index 23840 95360 476800 Partner Agreement Index 15200 60800 304000 Partner Management Index 346400 138560 692800
As the volume of transaction calculations increases, the data will become more accurate and more precise. This will allow companies to predict performance, results and areas and processes that can impact them. This information over time creates standard information regarding the partnerships of the company and when combined with the information of other companies, it creates industry standard information.
As the volume of information increases over time it also creates knowledge regarding partnerships, but will also provide information regarding future performance and the selection, agreement and management of future partners. The same holds true with CRM Relationships and SFA Relationships. Customer company personnel leave their company for better opportunities or to retire and the present system will allow for the capture of not only quantitative account information but also qualitative information including insights into the customer's company culture and behavior.
In the above example, the partner achieved 95% of the revenue expectation and yet, the Partner Value index is only 0.8799. This means that the partnership is 12% short of optimized—meaning, if the appropriate improvements are made to the partnership, the revenue or expectation number could increase to over 100%. In hard dollars, if the expected plan was $20MM, revenues could increase by over $1 MM.
The model is a significant invention because it is the first system and method that can be applied to analyze and optimize most any alliance or business partnership between two business entities. It was determined through research and experience that there are both direct and indirect issues and conditions that can impact the effective creation and performance of an alliance, channel or other business partnership. There has been no effective process that accurately and precisely measures and calculates a value for all information that identifies all of these issues and conditions. There also has been no method of collecting reusable alliance and business partnership knowledge or business intelligence data for alliances and business partnerships. The drill downs identify every area where improvement is needed or the relationship is at risk of non-performance. The impact of any change in personnel, policy, program or process can be accurately measured. As the database of information grows over time, knowledge of all that has been added, changed or tried will be generated so as current management leaves and/or retires, their knowledge will remain. The same holds true for relationships that are created and measured for CRM or SFA. The present system and method can allow for an infinite number of calculations for a given company to company relationship. For index values that are outside of business partnerships, alliances and channels, the index value is called the Demand Value Index.
Each component also has its own health and optimization opportunity calculations. The component calculation reflects the measurement of the aggregate quantitative and qualitative criteria inputs from both the vendor and partner. As identified areas are continuously improved, partner optimization will take place causing an increase in performance and results.
Quantitative criteria calculations reflect a partnership's measurement against performance. Qualitative calculations reflect the measurements of criteria that impact partner performance. Qualitative measurements are key to understanding the relationship side of the partnership. It is especially important in highly competitive markets where products and commissions are becoming more uniform. Partners are increasingly seeking things that make life easier and better relationships with their vendors. Partners have a choice of vendors that they represent. This is more true for customers.
Additional information provided by the present system is summary data regarding the partnership. In the below examples, index calculations have been generated for the labeled aspects. Some of the attached reports provide comparisons between vendor and vendee that demonstrate the differences in perceptions when the parties of the partnership are asked the same questions. Further, the weights of the variables to be measured as to their priority and importance can increase or decrease the variance between the responses. The present system is unique in its ability to provide detailed information regarding these variances. For the first time, vendors will be able to understand how different components of the partnership impact the results of the partnership. Seemingly disparate variables can be measured and compared against and across selection, agreement and management of the partnership where each calculation will have an impact on the optimization of the partnership.
Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Index Partner Value Selection Agreement Management Quota Summary Report Index Index Index Index Achievement System Integrators .8522 .9412 .8243 .8452 .8872 Independent Software .8947 .8881 .8765 .8223 .9124 Vendors Channel Resellers .8669 .8259 .8455 .8433 .8616 Referral Partners .7507 .7878 .8101 .8122 .7443
Another report shows the following comparison of the vendor perception compared to the partner perception over multiple periods.
Additional detoiled reports of the present invention are attached including detoiled input and findings information.
Thus, it is one primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner generation, evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which utilizes a set of metrics in order to create a Partner Selection value.
It is yet an additional primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which utilizes a set of metrics in order to create a Partner Management value.
A further primary object of the present invention is to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which utilizes a set of metrics in order to create a Partner Agreement value.
Still an additional primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which utilizes a weighted Partner Selection, Partner Agreement and Partner Management values which may be weighted in order to create an overall Partner Value rating which provides a variance gap calculation between a fully optimized business partnership and the state of the current partnership.
Yet a further primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which utilizes a comprehensive set of metrics for each of the Partner Selection, Partner Management and Partner Agreement and Partner Value ratings, each of which are evaluated on a quarterly or more often basis, and not an annual basis.
Still a further primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which may chart or graph by computer each of the Partner Selection, Partner Management and Partner Agreement and Partner Value ratings over a period of time for the purposes of allowing the business partners to optimize their relationship.
Yet an additional primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which evaluates, charts and graphs data for each of Partner Selection, Partner Management and Partner Agreement and Partner Value ratings, by both parties to the relationship, and not just the customer or vendee.
Still a further primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which can be used in the same method to calculate a some value for the partnership value between a company support organization and its customers. The only difference between collecting and calculating such data for this CRM relationship is the label which is called CRM Value Index.
Yet an additional primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which can be used in the same method to calculate a same value for the partnership value between a company sales organization and its customers. The only difference between collecting and calculating such data for this SFA relationship is the label which is called SFA Value Index.
Still a further additional primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which can be used in the same method to calculate a same value for the partnership value between a company sales organization and its customers. The only difference between collecting and calculating such data for this SFA relationship is the label which is called SFA Value Index.
Yet an additional primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which con create industry standards when the collected data results from the companies within an industry are combined and averaged to present average industry partnership results.
Further as a primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which creates re-useable knowledge and business intelligence data that becomes increasingly more accurate over time as more and more additional information is collected and processed.
Still as a primary object of the present invention to provide a continuous business partner evaluation, optimization, industry standard creation and knowledge and business intelligence creation system which evaluates, charts and graphs data for each of Partner Selection, Partner Management and Partner Agreement and Partner Value ratings, by both parties to the relationship, and not just the customer or vendee.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention con be readily derived from the following detailed description of the attachments and drawings taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings present herein and should be considered as within the overall scope of the invention.
The following report shows a practical method for an actual industrial situation.
Sample 1: Attachment of New Invention that Creates Industry Standards for Business Partnerships and Alliances
The attached Figures incorporated herein may be used in conjunction with multiple companies allows the new invention to create standards information for the included industry. This is because the variables measured are the some for each company included in the industry and by combining and then averaging the results data for all companies included in an industry set will result in an industry or standard average for the measured industry.
The New Invention is a repeatable process for the capture of weighted and categorized measurements for Partner Selection, Partner Agreement and Partner Management that will benchmark current partnership states, identify specific areas for partnership improvement, establish standards and essential data and reengage partnerships that will provide the ability to optimize partnership results through continuous partner life cycle process improvement. This process will result in the Partner Value calculation that measures partnership health and opportunity. An additional result of this engagement will be the reengagement of program partners. Over time, the collection and processing of the data and when combined with the results data of other companies in the same industry will result in industry standards for the included industry. Over time, the collection and processing of the data will allow companies to improve alliance and business partnership results and create knowledge and business intelligence data that will accurately predict future results.
The purpose of the kick-off meeting is to assign tasks and confirm/create the following:
The purpose of meeting set one is to establish, define, select, measure and make repeatable the company's partner selection process so that partner selection optimization can be achieved. It will include a review of documentation and processes regarding the partner selection and the identification and selection of partner selection criteria and categories and the assignment of weights for the identified and selected measurements. It wll include customer's partner selection policies, practices, processes, applicable historical information and qualitative inputs. A number of interviews will be conducted with responsible management and staff.
Meeting Set One Process
The purpose of meeting set two is to establish, define, select, measure and make repeatable the company's partner agreement processes and to allowfor the creation and measurement of customized partner agreements and processes so that partner agreement optimization can be achieved. It will include a review of documentation and processes regarding the company's partner agreement, the selection of partner agreement criteria and categories, assignment of weights for the identified and selected measurements and the creation of required processes and other agreement information to be measured. It will include customer's partner agreement policies, practices, processes, contracts, applicable historical information, other related data, and qualitative inputs. A number of interviews will be conducted with responsible management, staff and partners.
Meeting Set Two Process
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|Cooperative Classification||G06Q10/0637, G06Q10/10, G06Q30/0282, G06Q10/0639|
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