Andrew Coulson, a veteran leader within the Microsoft Partner Network, shares the common denominator of the most successful partnerships and says why it’s possible for any company to be just as successful.

There is a common misconception that partnership success occurs when two otherwise successful companies come together and good things just automatically happen. This misconception is based on the idea that success happens for those partnerships because each independent company is large, has the money to devote to strengthening the partnership, and has the employment resources to contribute. But Andrew Coulson, Alliance Director at Slalom Consulting and P2P Program VP for IAMCP Canada, is leading the way with a different conception of partnership success. He is advocating for clear and differentiated value in partnerships that begin within each individual company.

“Partnering with others can be a distraction from the core principles of setting up a solid business,” said Coulson. “Having your operations tight, your sales and marketing engines in place, and a solid product are table stakes. Customer segmentations, gap analysis, and business/ strategy planning are also essential before a company even steps into the world of alliances, partnerships, mutual NDAs or any selling agreement.”

Partnering is not a shortcut to achieving market penetration, customer loyalty or enhanced profitability. More often than not, partnerships will expose gaps in business fundamentals making your business vulnerable. A strong and success partnership is only as strong and successful as each participating company.

Coulson advises: “Test your worth with others, ensure you have your own business on a solid footing, then decide on DIY vs. partnering as a strategy.  Test these assumptions with your customers. And then approach others through events like the IAMCP ISV P2P events. But not before.”

For more information, to view upcoming events and to register for a local P2P event in your area, click here.