I don’t think I am going out on a limb saying that there are very few products in the market that work on their own. Most things need other products that work together with them and in many cases, they even have to be part of an ecosystem, “integrated” or put together.
This is different from breaking down a product into its components, which we have been doing from the beginning of time. Having a manufacturer put together all the pieces of a solution and providing a finished, ready product, stops making sense when either the degree of specialization of each of the components is extremely high, or when there is a high degree of customization necessary to meet the customer’s demands. There is even the possibility of just slightly improving on the main product, “accessorizing” it.
Most of the time, this accessorizing, and customizing do not fit into the manufacturer’s business. In this scenario, the best alternative is to find partners who are capable of doing whatever is needed. The result is a broader customer appeal, and generally a happier customer.
Integration is at the heart of partnering.