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The importance of partnerships


The 1965 launch of the Ford Mustang was the automaker’s most successful debut since the original Model A. The company has since produced 10 million Mustangs in the US, and it continues to be a popular car. But when you watch A Faster Horse, a documentary following the decision-making process behind the Mustang, success was not easy.

The film makes you appreciate how much work goes into a new design. The now-iconic car involved endless stakeholders within Ford and the project’s chief engineer had to make sure they all worked in unison to successfully complete the design.

One quotation from the movie provides the perfect insight into why these kinds of projects are so challenging:

“The nature of the job is you are accountable for everything, but you don’t control directly any of the resources. It really comes down to getting people who don’t report to you to do what you need them to do. It’s the ultimate definition of being a leader.”

This could easily be applied to alliance executives. Working with outside partners increases opportunities, but managing it involves multiple stakeholders. Colleagues, vendors, partners, and executives at all levels need to create a business plan complete with the rules of engagement to succeed. And even with this solid foundation, there will be more discussions and requirements before the first deal is signed.

It can be tempting to view alliances as simply a pipeline to generate revenue. Many companies make the mistake of viewing partners as KPI machines. You cannot just KPI people and expect the successes to roll in. Building relationships takes time and companies need a longer-term view of how to be successful with partners.

In most cases, there will be culture differences that will need to be worked through. Different companies bring different attributes to the partnership. The goal is to create something better, so you can deliver better value to your customers.

Capgemini North America works with more than 40 partners, so we can offer our customers best-in-class solutions to meet their requirements. Investing in our relationships, certifying our professionals, and working with our partners allows us to have the experience we need to compete.

Digital technologies are bringing more opportunities for growth but also more complexity. It is no longer possible to be an expert in everything and succeed by yourself. Having strong alliances and partner ecosystem means you can be better prepared to compete and grow.