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What Microsoft, Disney and Telecoms can Teach You About Strategic Partnerships

August 20, 2016

There are two ways of looking at capitalism.

One take is that it’s a cruel, dog-eat-dog system in which the strong crush the weak. The other is that it’s a mechanism that encourages (forces) businesses to innovate and adapt, leading to better products and quality of life for consumers. Both perspectives may be saying the same thing, albeit in different ways.

One thing is certain: where you find strong, stable companies, you find constant innovation and adaptation, often in the form of strategic partnerships.

At IRD Glass, virtually all of our planning, organizational decisions, resource acquisition, and hiring is done to enhance our ability to be a trusted partner. Furthermore, our cell-based manufacturing technique means that each of our partners receives employees, floor space, and equipment dedicated to their individual projects. That’s why we are a sole-source provider to both large corporations and small to midsize businesses across the globe.

Today we would like to share with you three strategic partnerships taking shape, and give you some tips to start forging your own!

Three Strategic Partnerships of Note

  • Microsoft + Automakers – Take for instance tech giant Microsoft, which is partnering with automakers to power self-driving cars. Rather than build the cars themselves, Microsoft is getting its foot in the door and capitalizing on the self-driving car movement (our take on that here) by designing operating systems to collect, store, and analyze data and offer passengers entertainment and information.
  • Disney + Vice – Or look at the family-friendly giant Disney, which is trying to appeal to a completely different base of consumers by making inroads with Vice, the millennial-friendly gonzo journalism TV network.
  • AT&T and Verizon + Samsung and Apple – Or telecoms, like AT&T and Verizon, which have teamed up with top smart phone manufacturers Samsung and Apple to provide cellular plans alongside the latest phones.

How to Forge Strategic Partnerships

You know the ‘why’ of strategic partnerships, so on to the ‘how’. In a few words, if you can’t beat them, join them. Rather than allowing industry disruptors to nibble away at your customers and your bottom line, be an integrator. And rather than sitting on the sidelines while a new, disruptive technology takes flight, find a way to make your business, products or services an integral part of the whole.

It’s easier said than done. Being an integrator, rather than purely a competitor, requires a different sort of thinking. It requires businesses to think about not only the needs of their customers, but also the needs of their business partners. It’s a reciprocal relationship, business to business, where like in our (short) description of capitalism above, the consumer ultimately wins.

Here’s a few ways to get started:

  • Attend trade shows, industry events, and pilot sites to get a feel for what’s being developed in other parts of the country—even in other industries.
  • Decide which products or services of yours will benefit promising companies that have something to offer in return.
  • Perform due diligence to make sure your prospective partners’ products are up to the standards your company and your customers demand.
  • Lastly, present at trade shows and industry events to make a compelling case for your own innovations. Lucrative possibilities may start finding you!

Strategic Partnerships: Why IRD Glass is a Global Sole-Source Provider

IRD Glass is a leading manufacturer of precision optical components, filters, and advanced ceramic components with a customer base and numerous partnerships spanning many industries, including the sensor, laser, surveillance, and medical industries.

To learn more, please visit our homepage or contact us today!