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He abandoned former alliances and made fresh ones and had the foundations for whatever he wanted. Machiavelli

Partnerships, alliances, collaborations, working-relationships, etc. all have the same goal - to leverage the efforts of several organizations for the benefit of each. Organizations co-operating together can often accomplish much more than each working separately. Even fierce competitors collaborate on research and development because of soaring costs and lack of specialists.

Reasons for partnerships and alliances: 
These are usually formed for a specific purpose, as with the following examples:
Pooling resources,
as with the motor industry jointly funding and maintaining a car testing and proving ground.
Mutual security,
as with political and military alliances, such as NATO.

Mutual cooperation,
as with the European Community.
Promotion of interests,
as with trade associations, professional associations and cartels.

A small organization is sometimes set up to administer and co-ordinate the collaboration of various specialist members which then trades under its own name, as with a national lottery, which co-ordinates the activities of its collaborators supplying computers, communications equipment, terminals, tickets and maintenance services.

Getting the right operating parameters: 
Partnerships and alliances need a framework within which to exist and should have the following attributes:
Declared objectives,
so that one party is not working to a different agenda to the others.
Mutual trust,
to the extent that each party can depend on what the other parties say and that there will be no surprises.
Mutual benefit,
with each party defining what it will contribute, as well as what it will receive from the collaboration.
Confidentiality, particularly important when competitors work together.
A specific time-scale,
better to renew an alliance every few years or so, than let it fizzle out through lack of use.
Specific interfaces and channels,
nominated people responsible for managing relationships and problems. >>>