The digital era presents immense opportunities that are critical to the development and future-proofing of businesses. However, only a few organizations are prepared to deep-dive and mine innovative solutions, promptly, to keep up with noteworthy transformations of the business landscape. To align with the shifting demands, and scale, experts in the digital arena are progressively dependent on business partnerships and are building ecosystems to provide robust solutions.
A rigid partnership ecosystem brings mutual benefit to all businesses, ensuring business value for all stakeholders. You can go to market faster while providing your customers with valuable and integrated solutions to their everyday life challenges.
Unpacking Partnership-Driven Ecosystems
Like with the world’s ecological system, which provides a functional unit in which organisms interact with each other to survive and reproduce, partnership-driven ecosystems are the same. Businesses with similar, sometimes varying offers and solutions, come together to overcome common challenges, and provide market needs, in a way they wouldn’t be able to do in isolation.
Despite differences in operational and business models, organisations are using their shared values, and customer-centricity principles, to successfully exceed business and customer objectives. The outcomes of joint ventures are surpassing those of a single giant organisation, and as a result, have given rise to investors who enjoy the benefits of uniform value chains.
Technology Alone Is Not Enough
Contrary to popular belief, new technologies alone are not sufficient to meet every objective of an organisation. You will need funds, skills, resources, and time – all of which can be scarce commodities. This is why there is a greater need for ecosystems, in which each partner can harness their strengths, to drive improved business outcomes.
When considering a partnership-driven ecosystem, it’s important that you have a strategy in place, enabling you to effectively, and purposefully, serve your respective market.
The Three Components of Successful Ecosystems
1 – The Human-Centered Approach
Like in every business, a consumer-centric, human-first approach is important. The end-user should receive real-life value that can address a problem. Technology, in this case, should not be the end goal but rather, how this technology can transform, enable and improve new ways of how humans work and live.
Through a partnership ecosystem, you can build the capacity and power to reach the needs of a diverse market. Combining ideas, strategies, and skills can be best for true value creation, and in turn, true transformation.
2 – Be Diverse, but Prioritise Inclusivity
No two (or more) partners are the same. Businesses have varying philosophies, but this doesn’t make one better than the other. No organisation can master all corners of digital technology. To build impactful solutions, you will need to leverage the knowledge of others in the same (or different) field.
Therefore, you will need to get rid of the DIY mindset. Prioritise collaboration and nurture an inclusive culture. This will break your boundaries, helping you to innovate and scale. You may also find yourself learning and unlocking new value chains.
3 – Concise Mutual Agreements
Starting new ventures such as building a partner ecosystem for your business, can be thrilling, as it opens the business to new possibilities. However, it’s important to thoroughly take care of the ‘fine print’. What does your agreement entail? What are the processes around your partnership? Have you discussed intellectual property? All of these considerations count and should not be overlooked.
The success of your partnership will not only be in what and how you deliver to your market but in the finer details of your agreement. This can be difficult when you are navigating the terrain of partnerships for the first time but can be improved together, over time, as and when you assess your progress.
In the era of speed, innovation, and scalability, it’s important that you create a network of partnerships where you can leverage resources, tools, and skills, for business success. This can be formed, with the sole purpose of doing more for your customers. To make an ecosystem work, you will need a human-centric approach, to build an inclusive culture of collaboration, and to ensure that all partners understand and adhere to a shared agreement.
Mint Group is part of the Microsoft partner ecosystem which has positively impacted our offers, services, and delivery. In realising the value of this network, we have in extension, also formed extended partnerships which are exemplified in our Ubuntu EmpowerMint Program.
In business, we have most recently partnered with SaaS and Data Management platform experts, AvePoint. Records and Information Management Solution partner, IQBG; Microsoft Dynamics Implementation experts, Seer 365; and Inventory Optimisation Solutions Provider, NETSTOCK. The partnerships form only a fragment of our most recent relations, and are amongst several more, that have played a role in growing our success.