First off let me introduce myself. My name is Edward Hubbard and I head up business development relationships with our industry partners. My team is responsible for partnerships across the entire ecosystem including Security, Thin Clients, Storage and Cloud – to name just a few areas we touch.
Despite the confusion some folks outside of Tech have with our name (“Did you say you work at Citrus?”), and as this is an introduction post, let’s start out at the very beginning. Although you may find it hard to believe, I have been in the partnership business since I was in grade school and you probably have too. Even though many of us in business development / strategic alliances think we’re blazing new trails, my take is that as long as humans have been on the planet we’ve been figuring out ways to partner with each other.
As an eight-year-old kid I started one of my first partnerships as part of an orange juice stand. Sure, most kids start with lemonade but I grew up in Florida so I had to use inputs that were readily available! To make this business work I partnered with a friend whose father owned an orange grove. I would buy the raw materials (Oranges) from my friend and after processing though an advanced manufacturing process (Mom’s juicer), I had a product ready for the street. My friend only sold oranges to me and I promised only to buy from him – my first partnership was born.
Now as rudimentary as that may seem it was a great partnership. Sure, he had no one else to really sell a handful or oranges to every few days and I had no one else to buy from aside from the grocery store which is rather difficult to get to when you’re eight (not to mention blowing my P&L!), but the partnership served both of us nicely.
From the juice stand example I just shared to more advanced partnering scenarios, partnering positively changes the face of business. Applied in the technology industry, partnerships between companies and individuals have produced incredible results that go beyond the initial perceived value of the combination (e.g. Microsoft & Citrix).
So what makes a good partnership? Partnering requires each of the partners to commit to establishing an intimate, money-making part of their business to serve the partnership. This “I need to give before I get” is a core value that creates the foundation of strong partnerships. Approaching a partnership with the idea of asymmetric gain is a losing proposition and one that your potential partner will see through from a mile away. By both entities establishing a set of common goals and objectives, committing resources and executing to a plan, partnerships can be structured for success from the start and fulfill both parties need to generate additional business (e.g. 1+1=3).
To sum up, partnering allows mutually agreeable parties with complimentary solutions to leverage their respective strengths to make them both better off in the market. By working to serve one another, and adopting a personal approach along the way, success in the outcome will increase immeasurably. And just as important as getting those vitamins everyday (Orange juice anyone?), keeping connected at a personal level with your counterparts in the relationship will keep the partnership healthy and strong.
In future posts we’ll drill-down into more of the specifics of partnering with Citrix and we’ll also discuss a few Citrix-specific ideas and examples that I think you’ll find interesting and, most importantly, valuable.