Home Back New search Date Min Max Aeronautics Automotive Corporate Cybersecurity Defense and Security Financial Healthcare Industry Intelligent Transportation Systems Digital Public Services Services Space Blog Defense and Security Alliances as a competitive advantage 24/11/2022 Print Share In recent decades, much has been written and debated on the subject of cooperation between companies and the need to establish appropriate alliances. At GMV, we see our ability to form alliances as a competitive advantage. We firmly believe that acting as a dependable partner is a corporate value that represents one of our most essential elements for growth, and one that can also help set us apart in the markets where we operate. Why should we form alliances? There are multiple reasons why a company may decide to look for partners: as a way to enter into new markets, acquire new capabilities or technologies, develop new products, or share the costs of overhead and resources. In cases where cooperation based on licensing is insufficient, and where mergers and acquisitions are not feasible options, a strategic alliance may be the best solution. Under what circumstances should we be interested in forming an alliance? When the parties have common goals (or at least similar ones), even if the companies will continue to act as competitors in the rest of their markets. In other words, when each party can benefit from supporting the other party’s success in the target market for the alliance. When the parties have a size and market position that is small compared to the industry leaders. When the parties realize that they can learn from each other, while at the same time restricting access to their most essential knowledge. What are the ingredients of a healthy alliance? Firstly, and most obviously, an alliance has to produce benefits for all parties involved. However, we also need to understand that an alliance is more than just a simple business agreement. It represents a living ecosystem that must continue to evolve and adapt to the current environment in a way that can sometimes open up opportunities that were not initially apparent. The focus has to be on real collaboration (joint creation of value), rather than just on a situation of “quid pro quo” (getting something in exchange for what we are providing). For any alliance, the chances for success increase substantially if instead of looking at the situation as a “zero‑sum” relationship (with a need to maintain a constant balance between what each partner is giving and receiving, even if this is done rather artificially), the focus is placed instead on finding “win‑win” situations. A similar idea can be applied in terms of the alliance’s ownership structure. In some situations, it is fairly irrelevant to worry about who will control 51% or 49%, because what really matters is which partner will obtain more knowledge over the long term. Finally, the most successful alliances cannot be managed in the most formalized way (with committees, legal documents, etc.). Instead, they require a dense network of interpersonal connections and infrastructure that is able enhance each partner’s knowledge and capabilities. Finally, alliances need to be given a certain amount of freedom to evolve, based on the changes going on around them. We need to understand that this evolution is inevitable, in terms of the corresponding goals, resources available, relative capabilities of the companies, markets, technologies, customer needs and regulatory contexts. Flexibility is also essential for resolving any conflicts that arise. There is really no such thing as a conflict‑free alliance, and although it may seem illogical, the existence of some occasional disagreements can actually be the best evidence that a relationship is mutually beneficial. Is there some magic formula that can help ensure a productive collaboration? The contractual documents used to lay out the terms of a strategic alliance are a good place to start. However, it is a mistake to think that a successful alliance must be based on a series of painstaking, highly detailed negotiations regarding every possible issue that could arise, so that these can be properly addressed in a collaboration agreement. In fact, it is impossible to predict all of these potential issues in advance so that they can be put down in writing. Instead, the relationship must be based on mutual trust within a framework of cooperation, with each partner’s responsibilities clearly defined. Finally, we should remember that even the most successful alliances must eventually come to an end. In many cases, they reach their end simply because the goals of the partners have been achieved. How can we ensure that our intellectual property is being properly managed? One of the issues that may require the most attention in the context of an alliance is how to appropriately manage intellectual property rights (IPRs). This is an essential aspect, which may continue to be relevant even after the relationship has ended. Although adequate drafting of the legal documents used to govern IPR management issues will form the foundation for a successful collaboration, we also need to realize that the scope of those agreements will always be subject to certain limitations. Here are some potential measures that can be applied to management of IPRs: Firstly, structure the work into modules as much as possible, as a way of isolating the most essential knowledge that will have to be shared. Secondly, try to centralize the channels used for sharing sensitive information. Thirdly, and also in relation to the previous point, an effort must be made to ensure that all personnel involved in exchanging information with partners are aware of the importance of intellectual property protection, especially in highly decentralized organizations. GMV’s position in the international market GMV has a long history of collaboration, often through contracts awarded via competitive tendering. GMV has been collaborating with the European Defence Agency (EDA) ever since it was created in 2004. In fact, GMV was the only European company commissioned to lead two contracts during that agency’s first Joint Investment Programme on Force Protection. This close collaboration with the EDA has continued to grow in recent years, and it currently includes significant areas such as cyberdefense, big data, and command and control (C2) systems in various contexts such as infantry operations and Federated Mission Networking (FMN). In many of these projects, our participation has taken place in cooperation with universities, research centers and other companies. During the first round of projects for the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), GMV was one of the few European companies that participated in two of the selected projects, again in the form of a consortium with other entities. Up until now, GMV has participated in a total of 19 projects implemented by the European Defence Fund (EDF) and its precursor known as the EDIDP, giving it a top position in Europe in the category for mid‑cap companies. All of this further demonstrates the point made at the beginning of this article, which is that we would not have been able to achieve these results without a willingness to make long‑lasting alliances a key part of our identity. Author: José Prieto Print Share Comments Your name Subject Comment About text formats Restricted HTML Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang target> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id> Lines and paragraphs break automatically. Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.