Repeatable solutions. Tighter integration with Westcon-Comstor. And cloud, cloud, cloud.
These are some of the 2018 priorities that mega-distributor Synnex outlined at the Varnex 2017 Fall Conference under way this week in San Diego. Varnex, of course, is the community of independently owned and operated technology providers who concentrate their purchases with Synnex, netting them better pricing, support and commitment from leading ICT manufacturers and telecom providers, among other things. In all, there are now more than 1,000 Varnex community members. They collectively generate more than $1 billion in revenue for Synnex—more than double what they did 10 years ago.
In spring 2017, the Varnex community celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The fall’s event is the group’s largest gathering ever, which is a testament to the health of the channel companies that sell managed services and, moreover, technology products—literally tons of them—to end customers. When asked to sum up this year’s event, Synnex Senior Vice President of North America Marketing Bob Stegner said simply, “amazing.”
“Business is booming among these partners,” Stegner added. “But most see a need to embrace the cloud, IoT, mobility and other innovations simultaneously.”
Synnex SVP Bob Stegner
This year’s fall show attracted more than 700 attendees. There are more vendors than ever and more exclusive vendor deals—60 in all—that have been created just for partners. In addition to new Varnex members and Westcon-Comstor partners, Varnex 2017 has also attracted some vendors that had stopped coming. One of these is Autotask, which has a significant presence here in San Diego.
“After three years, we wanted to be here to tap into the new things that Synnex is pioneering, such as CLOUDsolv,” said Len DiCostanzo, senior vice president of channel and business development at Autotask. “We have the tools and thought leadership to help lead the Varnex community into the next wave of consultative selling.”
In addition to Autotask, HP and Cisco also made a big splash here. In a mainstage address, Cisco’s Nirav Sheth, vice president of partner solutions, architectures and engineering, told attendees that not having a public cloud option makes the San Jose tech giant “the Switzerland” of hybrid cloud battles.
As for Synnex, its executives spent their time onstage outlining four objectives that are foremost on the company’s collective mind. They include:
· Integrating Westcon-Comstor, which Synnex bought earlier this year
· Evolving CLOUDsolv, which is Synnex’s ecosystem of strategic cloud solutions, support and resources, so that almost any tech offering can be delivered “as-a-service”
· Building repeatable and scalable solutions around key technology opportunities such as the IoT, digital transformation and vertical markets
· Further pursuing opportunities around SMB customers
To help achieve its goals, Synnex says it will continue to invest more into subject matter experts (SMEs), which help it develop vertical market solutions. (The company has already hired the former Chief of Police of Greenville, S.C., to help it penetrate local governments, and several former teachers to help it build more tailored solutions for education.)
“If you were to ask me what is different about the partners here, I’d say that the owners are aggressively pursuing change instead of merely reacting to it. This year their businesses are doing well. But they know the next five years will be different. So, they are pushing us to provide more knowledge around solutions, consultative selling and digital integration,” says Stegner.
The sentiment was echoed by Ron Coughlin, president of HP Inc.'s global Personal systems business. In a speech to Varnex members, Coughlin acknowledged his company’s growth in traditional segments but looked ahead to a new era that revolved around services.
HP’s personal systems business, he noted, is up 11 percent year-over-year to date. HP has also become the No. 1 supplier of personal systems. What is more, the company has enjoyed 15 consecutive quarters of growth that exceeds the rest of the market. Additionally, the company has invested heavily in devices such as its notebook line, which, in some cases, outperform Apple devices, and 3-D printers, which can now build items not just with plastics but metals, too.
Despite all its advances, Coughlin says the future is in digital services. His company’s device-as-a-service (DaaS) offering is HP’s top priority for 2018, he said. Why?
Because the combined global trends of urbanization, demographic transformation and technological disruption have reshaped industrial priorities.
The members of Varnex are working to make the most of today’s opportunities and to reorient their priorities for tomorrow. Are you?
Let me know at [email protected].