In my discussions with bankers regarding their relationships with technology companies, many echoed a point of view set forth in the comic strip Dilbert: "A vendor simply takes the customer's money and provides a product. A partner takes the customer's money and provides a 'solution' that looks suspiciously like a 'product' except that it costs more."

Vendors, not surprisingly, have a little different take on the concept of partnering. Their views give bankers insight into what makes a successful technology partnership.

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