5 Tips for Making the Most out of Tech Business Partnerships

Senior VP of Operations

Strong business partnerships make good business sense. That’s why recognizing the importance of our partners is one of the core guiding principles at Netezza.

Netezza partners with all major industry integrators, technology and solution providers, both horizontally and across all the major vertical industries. Together with our partners, Netezza has made it possible for hundreds of our customers to solve problems and create new revenue opportunities, from uncovering potentially fraudulent website activity to delivering customized offers to shoppers at the point of purchase.

At a basic level, smart partnerships are strategic alliances between companies, groups and people that advance mutual interests. Here are my five top tips for making the most of a partnership:

1. From the very start, both parties should take the time to set expectations. There should be a clear understanding of mutual obligations and an honest recognition of differences. A good partner, at times, should put their self-interests aside and do something that advances the other. But good will needs to flow both ways. The best partnerships work so well because each partner learns and adapts over time and is willing to compromise for a common goal.

2. Treat your partners with the same respect you would show a customer.  Take the time to become familiar with their business objectives. Make sure your partner understands your organization’s goals as well. 

3. Build trust by getting to know all levels of a partner’s management and keeping your own senior management informed. Communicating with management provides you with valuable avenues to express questions and concerns if needed down the road.

4. Define your business needs and the metrics you will use to measure success. It may seem simple, but one of the biggest pitfalls facing partnerships is bad communication – not stating clearly what you need from your partners. Verbal commitments without a lack of understanding or agreement of the actions required typically end up in disappointment. All being equal at the beginning, trust builds over time based upon actual performance against written commitments.

5. Make sure your own team is clear on the value of good partnerships over the longer term. Communicating on a strategic level as well as a tactical one is key component in working successfully with a partner. Too often, partnerships focus on a short-term view with one side trying to get a big win. With better strategic communication, you can allow partners to understand and share in the vision, and build win-win partnerships that last.

Treat your partners as extensions of your company. Manage those relationships as a key competency of your organization. When managed correctly, your partners can be some of the best business relationships around.