Technology company partnerships have been around for a long time. In fact, if we look beyond high tech, we see a rich history of joint projects that have yielded significant benefits for customers – such as the partnership between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads in the late 1800s, that resulted in the first transcontinental railway link. That partnership took years of negotiations and the resulting joint project roughly a decade to complete. We’ve come a long way.
Over the years, technology company partnerships have become a norm in the industry, yielding new vocabulary like coopetition, tons of t-shirts and other swag that become collector’s items, and opportunities for those in the industry to speculate about if there’s any “there” there. But with the spate of announcements in a cloud and Tinder-paced world, you have to wonder: is there any staying power – or real value – in partnership announcements? Or are many vendors just swiping right as often as possible and hoping something sticks?