In the past month I've put two IT consulting companies in touch with people I know at IBM with a suggestion that they create (or, in one case, recreate) a Business Partner relationship with Big Blue/Yellow. At first glance you may think I'm cutting my own throat here by creating more competition for myself but I see it quite differently.
First, these consulting companies are already in friendly competition with me for IBM/Lotus consulting business. Nothing will change there simply because they become an IBM/Lotus Business Partner.
Second, I specialize with a particular part of the IBM/Lotus product range as do they... and there's plenty of room for us all to exercise our specialties without treading on each others toes.
Third, IBM/Lotus always needs new Business Partners. This is just a favor that I can do for IBM/Lotus as a sign that I am dedicated to the success of their company. I don't expect them to thank me (which they did) or deluge me with a thousand new leads in return (which they didn't), but if you keep telling your Partner that you love them and you keep giving them these little tokens of your affection then maybe your relationship with them will get that little bit stronger and they will wind up inviting you on a few of their client calls.
Do unto others...