A business guru has applauded the number of strategic alliances being announced on business news sites and in corporate press releases in the UK. Strategic alliances, where companies go into some kind of joint agreement for reasons of helping them both to thrive, are increasingly popular. However, alliances for no apparent reason seem to be in declines, according to one of Britain's leading corporate business visionary.
But Martin Veitch, head of blue sky media strategy at Shoreditch-based JumbleFish Digital Media, had an ominous warning for British industry. 'Britain must never return to the days of unstrategic alliances," he said. "The days of companies pooling their resources, committing their staff to long projects and signing water tight contracts - just for the hell of it - are long gone.'
Veitch said industry has been through a paradigm shift. 'I've been telling companies to enter strategic alliances for years. And finally they're beginning to listen,' he said. 'What-the-hell-alliances, laissez-faire alliances and whatever-you-say alliances are going the way of the Dodo. And that, excuse my french, is bloody good news.'
Every day, on business wires of the city and cut and paste news sites, hundreds of 'strategic alliances' are being announced, with promises of symbiosis, synergy and all the boats rising together, in relationships that bring mutual benefit. It hasn't always been so. Until recently many alliances were completely pointless, with little thought about why they were being forged in the first place. Few people ever questioned the veracity of these arrangements.
When California-based Synoptics, a manufacturer of high end data networking switches, mooted a merger with Whitechapel-based Tubby Isaac's Whelk Stand, many thought they were a good fit, with little cross over in their product lines and much that each of the two sales forces could teach each other. But something was amiss, Veitch says now. He didn't speak out, because he didn't want to influence share prices at a delicate time, he said. But Veitch told reporters yesterday that it was glaringly obvious to him that this type of pointless partnership was doomed.
"There was something missing from this business partnership," said the guru. "And that something was strategy."