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Recipe for IoT Success: Partnerships Part 2

Partnerships are essential to success in IoT. Knowing how to form partnerships is a critical strategic skill that can make the difference between staying relevant and going out of business. You can leverage the power of IoT and transform the business by connecting with a network of trusted hardware, cloud, connectivity and implementation partners who are empowered with accessible technology and quality service.

From the last article, we looked into five best practices to form partnerships in IoT which are:

  1. Finding and creating joint value
  2. Planning ahead of changes
  3. Striving for quality
  4. Prioritize new market opportunities
  5. Developing “ecosystems thinking”

On this article, we will look into another five best practices to form partnerships in IoT.

Define and Prioritize Specific Partnership Outcomes Upfront

Partnerships give IoT vendors key advantages such as speed, capabilities, resources, and credibility. Unfortunately, many partnerships don’t live up to their potential, delivering only a small part of what was envisioned. In the dynamic IoT market, speed is of the essence. It’s critical to define specific outcomes, deliverables, and milestones before the partnership is formally executed.

This one task then drives and secures the commitment, the priorities and resource allocations necessary to make the partnership work. If the companies are unable to agree or commit to specific things upfront, then there is no partnership.

Drive Accountability Across All Levels

Partnerships are often crafted at the executive levels but left to the field or working levels to implement. In the fast-moving IoT market where changes happen in days and weeks, instead of months and years, it’s critical that all levels are equally invested and accountable for the success of the partnership.

Partnership relationship managers on both sides are accountable for the overall management and execution of the partnership. Executives are responsible for continuously reviewing, prioritizing, and committing to the partnerships. At the execution levels, managers are accountable for staffing, prioritizing and implementing the partnership outcomes and goals. This accountability is connected across all levels, from the top down, to ensure partnership success.

Build and Maintain Relationships at All Levels

Joint value is what brings partners together, but good relationships are the glue that makes the partnerships on a day-to-day level. Mistrust, personal conflicts, and self-interest will render the most strategic of partnerships ineffective.

Good relationships get things done and done faster. Good relationships can make regular partnerships act like strategic partnerships. It’s critical to invest in building good professional relationships across all levels of the organization.

Align Solution Releases with Each Other

Partners with IoT solutions that integrate with each other must align their roadmaps so that compatible products and upgrades are released concurrently.

When the solutions are released out of sequence, customers will experience system compatibility issues. This ultimately results in system integrators and customers who refuse to upgrade their solutions to the latest version because they are afraid it will “break” something else.

Continuously Invest in the Partnership

It’s easy to become complacent when the partnership is signed or when the partnership is producing. In order for the partnership to remain effective and productive on a consistent basis, management on both sides must continuously invest in the partnership.

This can be mean adding more resources to the partnership, developing more solutions together, pursuing new markets jointly, or rotating top talent into the partnership.

Partnerships to Build Application with Value to Customer

Partnerships are absolutely important. Nobody brings a complete end-to-end solution. Most companies brought a horizontal platform and capability, but in order to have that deep knowledge in a vertical and really build out compelling solutions for the end customer, you have to build through partnerships. It’s really about what the end customer wants. The core technology is important, but if you’re really not applying it and building something that’s important to an end customer, it really doesn’t bring much value to the end application.

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