My current primary job is about establishing and developing business partnerships in different countries of Europe in CyberWatcher, a provider of technology for web monitoring and business intelligence. It means that our partners use this technology to enhance offerings for their potential and actual clients.
For me it means the tight cooperation with our partners - if they succeed, we succeed too. It's a classical win-win situation. But it is normally quite a long and complicated process - both parties need to win mutual respect and trust - and then work hard in order to maintain it.
Interestingly, I don't remember learning about the option of business partnerships as one way to develop a company in the business school's curriculum. It simply is not the part of a regular business theory. Competition - yes. Supply chain - having suppliers, customers and so on - yes. Franchise - yes.
But building a product/service offering together with another company in a specific market, sharing both inputs and outcomes of such cooperation - this is something a normal "inside-the-box" business manager is apparently not supposed to learn about. I have learnt it from the practice - and see the tangible benefits of such work.