How Technology Makes Strange Bedfellows

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 11-05-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How Technology Makes Strange Bedfellows
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    How Technology Makes Strange Bedfellows

    Partnerships between longtime rivals and seemingly incompatible industries often lean on tech to create mutually beneficial business solutions.
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    IBM and Twitter
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    IBM and Twitter

    This partnership makes sense because: Twitter needs high-performance analytics to showcase the impact on business value of its service. IBM is world-class at analytics, integrating complex systems and leveraging robust data set.
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    How the IBM/Twitter Venture Works
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    How the IBM/Twitter Venture Works

    This partnership makes sense because: IBM helps Twitter turn tweets into business insights. Twitter gains credibility and companies tap it to help guide product development and plan manufacturing schedules.
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    How the IBM/Twitter Partnership Helps IBM
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    How the IBM/Twitter Partnership Helps IBM

    IBM provides a new set of tools, solutions and cloud-based data and analysis services that mine Twitter. IBM gains new channels into enterprises.
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    Apple and Microsoft
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    Apple and Microsoft

    This partnership makes sense because: Apple wants to expand into the enterprise market. Microsoft wants to expand its mobile reach; Apple's iOS mobile reach is seven times Microsoft's.
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    How the Apple/Microsoft Partnership Helps Both
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    How the Apple/Microsoft Partnership Helps Both

    Microsoft helps Apple improve product performance on its platform. Apple reaches a bigger population of loyal MS Office users. Microsoft extends reach to Apple mobile users. Apple licenses its "look-and-feel" patents to Microsoft. Apple makes money through licensing and Microsoft gets help with mobile development.
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    Yahoo and Google
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    Yahoo and Google

    This partnership makes sense because: Yahoo needs to recapture market share and grow its sites. Google needs to protect its market position against increasing threats from Bing and other competitors.
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    How the Yahoo/Google Partnership Benefits Both
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    How the Yahoo/Google Partnership Benefits Both

    A non-exclusive advertising agreement gives Yahoo use of Google's search and contextual advertising technology. That improves Yahoo's search functionality for a better customer experience. It improves Yahoo's ad sales proposition. Yahoo can offer contextually targeted ads on its Web properties and publisher partner sites. Google expands reach of its ads.
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    Tesla and Airbnb
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    Tesla and Airbnb

    This partnership works because: Tesla wants to alleviate customer anxiety about traveling long distances for charging stations. Tesla is aggressively building out its destination charging program. Airbnb becomes relevant to new, higher-end customer market via the Tesla luxury brand
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    How Tesla/Airbnb Helps Both
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    How Tesla/Airbnb Helps Both

    By bringing charging stations to select Airbnb homes worldwide, Tesla drivers will have more options for charging their cars. Airbnb promotes new features and incentives to its service offering. Tesla covers the cost of the charger, but not the installation. Low opportunity cost for Airbnb providers.
 

Unlikely partnerships have resulted in innovative business solutions for decades. These days, established companies are partnering with newer ones in unexpected market sectors. Companies are even joining forces with past competitors. What's driving companies to forge these new ties? Their customers. How? Companies connect leaders from across industries and listen to their business concerns and requirements, new ideas and perspectives on challenges, according to Jane Hiscock, president and founder of Farland Group, a C-level customer engagement marketing consultancy. "Engaging customers like this helps companies uncover unlikely B2B partners in adjacent or seemingly unrelated spaces," Hiscock said. She shares how unlikely partnerships—IBM and Twitter, Apple and Microsoft, Yahoo and Google, Tesla and Airbnb, CloudFlare and Baidu—can drive new business models and, perhaps, bring innovation to IT.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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