In my new job I meet many, many vendors and almost all of them have a partner program in which we can achieve bronze, silver, gold, enterprise, premier, business or any other partner status.
In reality the meaning of the term ‘Partner’ is interpreted in many different ways.
According to Wiki, a business partner is:
a term used to denote a commercial entity with which another commercial entity has some form of alliance. This relationship may be a highly contractual, exclusive bond in which both entities commit not to ally with third parties. Alternatively, it may be a very loose arrangement designed largely to impress customers and competitors with the size of the network the business partners belong to.
So, it’s an alliance between two business partners. I get that. An exclusive bond not to ally with other parties, hmm NO. In my line of business a partnership doesn’t imply that I can’t have an alliance with an other vendor. IT service providers collect large numbers of partnerships nowadays to impress others. This matches with the third line, it’s a loose arrangement to impress customers and competitors.
The problem I see with many vendors is the ‘loose‘ part.