Why Strong Partnerships Are Key to Digital Transformation (and Super Bowl) Success

Written By: David Immerman
  • 1/31/2019
  • Read Time : 4 min

There is a massive degree of optimization of strengths required for an organization in the National Football League to function properly on the field, sidelines and front office; in the Patriots case, this seamless synchronization leads to the Super Bowl. For those unfamiliar with the dynasty, the Patriots have made it to football’s biggest stage 9 times since 2001 – and won 3 in the last 5 years.

While some will ultimately attribute the Patriots conquest to having the greatest quarterback (Tom Brady) and coach (Bill Belichick) of all time, the success of the Patriots rides on leveraging all its players, coaches, and management competencies in different situations that maximize individual strengths.

The same trend occurs in digital transformation; as Jim Heppelmann, PTC President & CEO, has said ‘No one company can do it alone’. This creates a need for collaboration not only within a company, but with strategic partners for digital transformation to happen within the enterprise.

Partnership ecosystems are driving digital transformation projects as technology vendors and their partners can offer customers a greater portfolio of solutions. These alliances can be used to form entirely new products or customized solutions based on customer demand.

Let’s look at some examples:


New Products:

Custom Solutions:

  • Aachen University’s eLAB was able to streamline its electric vehicle battery production line with an IoT platform (PTC), connectivity and compute service (HPE), and HMI and Enterprise Systems integrations (NI, OSIsoft)

Each of these instances of digital transformation are situational and leverage each company’s core competencies to create greater outcomes. PTC with ANSYS (strength in simulation) improves the design process for engineers. With Rockwell (strengths in OT environments and analytics) it brings intelligence to industrial environments. With Microsoft (strengths in the cloud and AR hardware) it provides cloud-scalability and front-line worker optimization with AR.

The Patriot Way

The Patriots success similarly stems from situational awareness and leveraging strengths that take place in the offseason until the last snap of Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots significantly strengthened their defensive secondary over the last few years through free agent acquisitions (Jason McCourty, Stephen Gilmore) and draft picks (J.C. Jackson); each of these strategic decisions required using strengths within the Patriots organization such as Director of College Scouting (Monti Ossenfort) or Director of player personnel (Nick Caserio).

While these staff can find the fitting personnel pre-season, the coaching staff including the secondary coaches (Steve Belichick, Josh Boyer), defensive ‘play-caller’ (Brian Flores) and of course head coach (Bill Belichick), put them in situations that leverage their strengths and ultimately make the team succeed.

The same situational awareness and decision-making occurs on a play-by-play basis; the Patriots will line-up an array of different running backs in the backfield to magnify strengths. Sony Michel is typically used for standard running plays, Rex Burkhead and James Devlin for short-yard situations, James White for receiving and Cordarrelle Patterson for outside sweeps.

The continuous optimization of the Patriots’ people and processes has driven them to win six Super Bowl games.

Organizations should strive toward the consistent success of the Patriots system through understanding their own internal strengths in-tune with the necessary outside competencies that will be required to undergo or enable digital transformation initiatives.

Image Credit

  • Augmented Reality
  • Industrial Internet of Things
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Digital Transformation

About the Author

David Immerman

David Immerman is as a Consulting Analyst for the TMT Consulting team based in Boston, MA. Prior to S&P Market Intelligence, David ran competitive intelligence for a supply chain risk management software startup and provided thought leadership and market research for an industrial software provider. Previously, David was an industry analyst in 451 Research’s Internet of Things channel primarily covering the smart transportation and automotive technology markets.