At the recent Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) Global Alliance Summit, Equifax was awarded the prestigious 2017 Alliance Program Excellence Award – quite a feat for the company since it was the first organization of its type to be recognized for this award as well the Equifax team who built the program from the ground up in just five years.
According to ASAP, the Alliance Program Excellence Award is presented to a single, specific company and its partnering capability, not an alliance. The company exceeds expectations with its scalable practices, tools, and methodologies to support successful formation and management of alliance portfolios over time. They are able to be applied to multiple alliances, as needed, are repeatable, and have led to consistent alliance performance across multiple alliances. Winners build programs on efficiency, creativity, and an integrated suite of tools, processes, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements.
In ASAP’s press release regarding the award it stated that, “In an industry where partnerships and alliances as a business model are in the beginning stages, Equifax has created internal governance structures that enable management across a highly matrixed enterprise. The program resulted in significant growth in 2015 and 2016, access to new markets, innovation, and a change in culture around partnering as a key driver for growth. Equifax now views partnering as critical to success versus a resource of last resort.”
Interestingly enough, before the Enterprise Alliances (EA) program was established at Equifax, the concept of partnerships was considered at the tail end of a business strategy rather than the beginning. In fact, Equifax had a few partnerships distributed around the organization that were focused on selling solutions to a partner for their consumption or distribution. Now, the focus is on developing high-performing partnerships of various types, and managing them with an eye towards interacting in six ways: sell to, sell through, co-innovate with, buy from, sell for, and compete.
With this approach, the team has been able to scale significantly – first by adding to the portfolio of actively managed alliances, then by taking on responsibilities for supporting alliance activity across several U.S. business lines, and finally by supporting international colleagues by replicating (and customizing as needed) the program regionally. Today, the EA program has matured to deliver tremendous value to Equifax as nearly every leader across the business – from the CEO to product to sales – view partnerships as a critical component of success.
“Our EA Program has been a growth engine for the U.S. business, contributing nearly half of the total percentage revenue growth for the business in each of the last two years,” explained Joy Wilder Lybeer, senior vice president of Enterprise Alliances at Equifax. “We were able to accomplish this significant growth, contributing substantially to both top line revenue and margins, by driving a fundamental shift in the way the organization operates, enabling the company to establish valuable partnerships within our book of business, as well as beyond those partnerships we directly manage.”
Read more about the ASAP Summit in their release: ASAP Press Release.