Partnerships are increasingly important in today’s complex business environment. It’s more appealing to forge an alliance with another company offering complementary solutions, expertise and geographic or market presence than attempt to do and be everything yourself.

Although there are all types of business relationships, a true strategic partnership requires exceptional depth and breadth of commitment, multiple touch points across both organizations and a shared vision of success. When CDW, a Citrix Large Account Reseller (LAR) with 2012 revenue of $10.1 billion and nearly 7,000 coworkers, transitioned from being a traditional hardware and software provider to a full-service technology solutions provider, it elevated its partnership with Citrix to a strategic level.

In the six years since that point, CDW has demonstrated mastery of the art of partnership. Through experience, investment and dedication, the company has gained a clear understanding of the critical factors that drive successful relationships. Here are CDW’s top requirements:

  1. Shared culture: Both partners should speak the same language when it comes to the values and priorities that are most important. For CDW and Citrix, customer centricity is at the foundation of organizational culture.
  2. Multi-level alignment: Alignment is seen at every level of the two companies, from the executive suite through the field sales organization, and from yearly strategic planning meetings to periodic pipeline reviews and weekly updates.
  3. Consistent communication: The partners jointly decide what training, education, marketing and other resources are needed to sell and support a given solution.  As a result, joint customer engagements are optimized because CDW and Citrix staff share messaging, training and sales methodologies.
  4. Co-champions: Adopting and promoting a partner’s technologies strengthens the relationship and provides customers with added confidence. CDW utilizes Citrix solutions, and Citrix leverages CDW professional services, operational excellence and wide solution offerings portfolio. When asked by customers, CDW shows its confidence in Citrix solutions by explaining they are used to run its business.
  5. Equal contributions: Although partnerships are initiated by pooling resources, each partner needs to continue its contributions over the long term. The ongoing expansion of the Citrix portfolio with new and important technologies helps CDW strengthen its offering. In return, CDW helps Citrix by providing unmatched reach into key verticals and great strength in the SMB market.

These principles have helped CDW and Citrix foster a dynamic and successful strategic partnership that is enabling both companies to expand and win in target sectors including cloud networking and mobility.