If you’ve been in the telecommunications or technology industry long enough, you’ve likely witnessed partnerships that didn’t quite work out. That’s the nature of the beast. On paper, a joint venture or strategic collaboration can seem like a great idea with a mutually beneficial future. Then in the real world the stars don’t align how you imagined.
That’s why it’s critical to cover all of the details and ramifications before formalizing the partnership agreement. Not just for your side, but for the partner as well, since we all do better when paired with trusted players. In fact, teaming up is not only as essential to success as in years past, the collaboration might be more important than ever.
Technologies and markets seem to be constantly shifting. To compete, to profit, and in some cases to literally stay in business, vendors must be nimble enough to adapt to new requirements. But in many scenarios a service provider might not be able to offer exactly what the client needs.
Enter the partner. By choosing the right people to bring in, you shed the pressure of having to learn outside of your sweet spot. Instead, you collaborate with an expert who supplies the missing piece.
From our vantage point, because of the complexity of today’s digital landscape, partnerships are more of a “must have” than a “nice to have.” Integrating sophisticated, disparate systems requires a massive level of collaboration than can be nearly impossible to perform under one roof.
This is why the details matter before signing the agreement. Any potential partner should have solutions that complement what you offer, and vice versa. They have expertise where you don’t, while you have strength in the places where they have weakness. Interestingly, these symbiotic relationships often lead to larger projects within industries that offer more opportunities.
Partnerships can ultimately deliver more than an increase in revenue. We know of many vendors who ended up creating sub-brands, or essentially new divisions, by simply bringing in a complementary set of expertise. It worked like this: They had only used specialized skills on small projects, and not too often. But once they utilized those skills on larger projects, there was increased awareness across the industry, and thus demand for those skills. And all because of partnerships. In this way, partnerships can be one of the most effective ways to brand and market the business.
There will always be competition. The key is to distinguish who is encroaching on your turf, and who can help you secure more turf. Partnerships provide the latter. Just be sure to choose wisely. Focus on the details.