This posting is part of the partners@work series.
Building a partner network is an effective way of focusing on a limited number of activities: to do what you are really good at. To blossom as a company you need to not only develop a product, but also market, sell, support and promote it. You may opt to do all this yourself, but most companies do not have the resources, capability, capacity, time or simply interest to do so.
Most partnerships are oriented towards marketing, sales, service and delivery. You may find that is the same for your company, where your company has developed a product and works with partners in specific geographic markets to generate more revenue than would be possible when working alone. Good partners have an infrastructure in place which allows them to be faster and cheaper than you.
Apart from the efficiency and effectiveness that partners bring, there is another important reason for working with partners: the platform product.A platform acts as a standard on which other companies build their end products. Think of patents or high-tech/software standards like Microsoft Windows. Commonly the platform itself cannot be sold to end clients; instead money is made by selling products that are built using the platform. If your company has developed such a platform product it can make money by demanding royalties for use of the platform.
The more end products are sold, the more royalties are being paid. For platform products it is paramount that the platform is adopted as The standard. Note the capital T. The more acceptances the platform achieves from the large community, the more successful, popular, and revenue generating the platform will be. Building a partner network is the only way to achieve this goal.