Joining the Alliance Best Practice Community – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Purpose of this document / background

This document is designed to answer questions raised by prospective members of the Alliance Best Practice (ABP) Community.
If anyone has any additional questions not addressed in this document, please send them to

What is the Purpose of the ABP Community?

The community exists to help members optimise their business to business alliance relationships.  By ‘optimise’ we mean to maximise the commercial value of alliances with the currently available resources.

Why should I join the community?

Individuals join the Alliance Best Practice (ABP) Community because they want to optimise the commercial value of their business-to-business alliance and partnership relationships.  In addition, they want to achieve that optimisation using a proven best practice approach.  The reason is that there is clear and compelling evidence gathered over the last 15-20 years, which shows that following a best practice approach produces better commercial results.

What’s the benefit of Membership?

Members tell us that the following are the main benefits of membership:

  • Access to Best Practices – New members are typically unaware that alliance best practices exist and consequently spend inordinate amounts of time developing approaches and frameworks that already exist and have been previously proven to produce high quality results. This saves them a great deal of time and energy.
  • Networking & Knowledge Sharing - Members are able to network and communicate with other members (online or offline), which allows them to increase and improve their ability to deploy best practice processes in a pragmatic way.
  • Benchmarking - The benchmarking service allows members to gain an objective insight into the level of alliance maturity in their organisations / alliances and to understand the key actions needed to improve it.
  • Support - ABP objective and expert support accelerates alliance optimisation.
  • Speed - The library of template tools provided free to members allows them to save time in not having to redesign documents and processes themselves. Thus saving a great amount of time and energy.


What are the defined ‘Best Practices’?

The phrase ‘alliance best practice’ has become devalued over the last 10 years and has become almost valueless.  Not so in the ABP Community.  The community focuses on: pragmatic, self-evident and provable actions and behaviours that can be statistically proven to result in greater commercial performance in alliances.  There are currently 52 of these Common Success Factors (CSFs) in five categories: Commercial, Technical, Strategic, Cultural and Operational.  Each one is capable of some degree of alliance optimisation.

Commercial Technical Strategic Cultural Operational
§  Co1 Business Value Proposition (BVP)
§  Co2 Due Diligence
§  Co3 Optimum Legal / Business Structure
§  Co4 Alliance Audit
§  Co5 Key metrics
§  Co6 Alliance reward system
§  Co7 Commercial cost
§  Co8 Commercial benefit
§  Co9 Process for negotiation
§  Co10 Expected cost value ratio
§  T11 Valuation of assets
§  T12 Partner company market position
§  T13 Host company market position
§  T14 Market fit of proposed solution
§  T15 Product fit with partners offerings
§  T16 Identified mutual needs in the relationship
§  T17 Process for joint problem solving
§  T18 Shared Control
§  T19 Partner accountability
§  S20 Shared objectives
§  S21 Relationship Scope
§  S22 Tactical and strategic risk
§  S23 Risk sharing
§  S24 Exit strategies
§  S25 Senior executive support
§  S26 B2B Strategic alignment
§  S27 Fit with strategic business path
§  S28 Other relationships with same / other partner/s
§  S29 Common strategic ground rules
§  S30 Common vision
§  Cu31 Business to business trust
§  Cu32 Collaborative corporate mind-set
§  Cu33 Collaboration skills
§  Cu34 Dedicated alliance manager
§  Cu35 Alliance Centre of excellence
§  Cu36 Decision making process
§  Cu37 Other cultural issues
§  Cu38 Business to Business cultural alignment
§  O39 Alliance process
§  O40 Speed of progress so far
§  O41 Distance from revenue
§  O42 Joint business plan
§  O43 Communication
§  O44 Health check / quality review
§  O45 MOUP or Alliance Charter
§  O46 Change management
§  O47 Operational metrics
§  O48 Business to business operational alignment
§  O49 Exponential breakthroughs
§  O50 Internal alignment
§  O51 Project plan
§  O52 Issue escalation



How much does it cost?

Membership costs £500.00 or local currency equivalent per annum.
If the member is resident in the United Kingdom then Value Added Tax (VAT) is payable at a rate of 20% on top of the fee.  The VAT can then be reclaimed.
VAT is not payable if the member is resident outside the UK.

  • Licences - Access to the ABP database is controlled through annual licences, which allow licensees full access to all materials to allow them to conduct their own alliance health checks or optimisation assessments.
  • Benchmarks – ABP offers a range of objective alliance benchmarks to grant member companies insight into their alliance performance relative to other competitors in the same industry.
  • Optimisations – ABP offers a range of facilitation and consultancy offerings to allow member companies to optimise the commercial performance of their alliance relationships.
  • Meetings – ABP runs regular online and offline meetings to allow alliance executives to share experiences and insights of alliance best practices in action.

How does membership work?

ABP membership is dependent on individual annual licences.  Access to the best practice materials, training, coaching meetings and webinars are all through the Alliance Best Practice Website at: using the ‘Members Section’.

Does ABP Membership help virtual teams?

By the nature of the job, partnering teams can sometimes be located around the globe and only meeting each other face to face on a semi-annual or annual basis.  The problems of achieving team cohesion and commonality of purpose are considerable.  ABP membership can help with these challenges by establishing a common communication platform for team members to remotely collaborate around a given set of previously defined ‘best practices’.

How do I Join?

Members can either pay by credit card on the ABP website or we can invoice you so that you can reclaim the amount through expenses.  If you elect to pay by credit card then the process is as follows:

  1. Navigate to the 'Members' page of the Alliance Best Practice website at: and fill in your details including a personal password. Ignore the 'User Level' field that is for ABP internal use only.  Choose the 'Premium Membership' option in the 'Membership Level' field.  Select the 'Register my Membership' button.
  2. You will be taken to a PayPal Payment Options Page where you can pay by PayPal or Credit / Debit Card. Choose the Credit / Debit Card option.  You will then be taken to the Alliance Best Practice "PayPal Guest Check Out Page".
  3. Choose your credit or debit card type and input your details. When complete hit the 'Pay Now' button.

You will receive an automatic receipt and details of how to access your membership account within 24 hours including a user name and an initial password which can be changed later.

What happens after I join?

After joining each member is given an introductory interview to:

  1. Explain the nature of the resources available to him / her.
  2. Identify current challenges that can be addressed by using the best practice framework.
  3. Identify objectives and goals for membership.
  4. Agree suitable review points to assess goals and objectives identified above.

Will ABP Membership help me in my day to day job?

Yes.  Typically, members find the best practice framework of great practical help in assessing and optimising alliance relationships.

Who else is a member?

The following organisations are currently members:
Accenture, Acxiom, BMC, BrainTribe, BT Global Services, Canon, Canopy, Capgemini, Cisco, Citrix, Cognizant, Colt Telecom, CommVault, Dassault Systemes, Deloitte, Dell, Dimension Data,  Dun and Bradstreet, EMC, Equifax, Equinix, Fujitsu, HCL, HPE, IBM, Infosys, Infor, Konica Minolta, Kaspersky Lab, KPMG, Level 3, Microsoft, NetApp, O2 Telefonica, Oracle, Polycom, Qlik Software, Rackspace, Red Hat, Salesforce, Samsung, SAP, Schneider-Electric, Service-Flow, ServiceNow, Sungard AS,  T-Systems, TCS, Tieto, Verint, VMware, Vodafone, and Wipro Technologies.

Can I contact other Community Members?

Yes.  Active networking is encouraged in the group and members have a number of ways to approach other members:

  1. Face to face meetings (these typically occur quarterly).
  2. Online through the Alliance Best Practice Website at .
  3. Online through the ABP LinkedIn Group at ABP maintains and grows an active LinkedIn group to help with peer to peer networking.
  4. Personal introductions. Any member can ask ABP directly for a personal introduction to any other member, and an introduction will be facilitated.

What types of alliance roles benefit best from ABP Membership?

Membership has been seen as particularly useful for the following job roles:

Alliance Manager

Whether the alliance manager is a new appointee or he or she has been in the role for some time, a working knowledge of the alliance best practices has been viewed as extremely beneficial; especially if combined with the use of the best practice alliance optimisation process (VST).  Individual alliance managers tell us that through ABP Membership they are better able to achieve their personal goals and alliance targets.

Alliance Director

Typically, an Alliance Director is manging either one extremely complex (usually global) alliance relationship; or he or she is managing a number of alliances in a small team.  Either way there are a lot of ‘moving parts’ to be managed!  The ABP best practice framework allows these executives to retain a proper sense of perspective and focus and also to compare and contrast performance of team members to a common standard.

Alliance VP

An Alliance VP usually has responsibility for multiple global alliance relationships and it is crucial for him or her to be able to coach team members of various degrees of experience to be able to better optimise their individual alliance relationships.  ABP memberships allows these executives to set common standards for the team regardless of geography or alliance maturity.

Head of Alliances

Global ‘Head of” alliances typically have responsibility of setting corporate alliance strategy and integrating it with individual country and field teams round the globe.  The interaction between corporate centre and the standards they have set and the particular needs of local country or product managers is a complex one to manage.  ABP membership helps by establishing a common: language, framework, performance measurement and optimisation process that can be utilised at corporate or local level and easily integrates between the two.

Start-Up Company

ABP membership can equally be extremely valuable to start-up companies looking for new partners to sell / resell their products and services; or to collaborate together to sell with’ joint solutions to market.  In this case members are typically: VP Sales or Business Development or VP Marketing.

Stages of Alliance Maturity

One of the great benefits of ABP Membership is the ability for organisations (and individuals) to communicate with others who have previously faced the same maturity challenges, to ask for their advice in overcoming current problems.
Whether organisations are just starting out on the alliance path and are looking for the most cost effective way of developing an effective alliance programme: or whether they have been using alliances for many years but now want to benchmark the effectiveness of their alliance relationships; ABP membership can help them to overcome problems in a cost effective and pragmatic way.

About Alliance Best Practice Ltd

Alliance Best Practice Ltd (ABP) is a strategic alliance research and benchmarking consultancy based in the United Kingdom. Its goal is to increase the knowledge and subsequent adoption of proven best practice principles.  To support it in this endeavour it has researched strategic alliances deeply and maintains an extensive database of observations of alliances in action gained from many leading edge partnering organisations.  This database currently contains over 200,000 entries.
We welcome contributions from anyone who would like to submit research for consideration into the database or from organisations who would like to be benchmarked.  Please direct all enquiries in the first instance to  or  if you would like further insights from the database please visit our website at

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