Disruption Rules at Synnex’s Biggest Inspire Event

Synnex is seeing big growth in the distributor's ConvergeSolv and CloudSolve communities.

Lynn Haber

October 5, 2018

4 Min Read
Digital Disruption

As Synnex Inspire 2018 closes its doors – but not before tonight’s party featuring KC & the Sunshine Band – on one of the distributor’s biggest conferences to date, the ballooning number of conference attendees and packed sessions, was telling to company executives. There are about 2,000 attendees at Synnex Inspire compared to about 1,700 last year.

The distributor’s recent third quarter fiscal results, announced just days ago, were up as well. Year-on-year third-quarter revenue was up almost 15 percent, at nearly $4.9 billion. The company witnessed growth across all product and services categories and major divisions of customer end markets, which include SMB, enterprise, consumer and the public sector. Geographically, growth was led by the United States, along with solid performance from Latin America, according to Zacks.


Synnex’s Bob Stegner

Channel Partners caught up with Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing, North America at Synnex, to talk about disruption, growth areas, the impact of the Westcon-Comstor acquisition [which closed about one year ago] and what Synnex sees ahead for the next 12 months.

Channel Partners: How is disruption impacting Synnex and your partner customers?

Bob Stegner: Disruption is impacting the status quo and is driving business growth. If you look at our recent record earnings, and some of our groups on the Synnex side, the Varnex community’s business with Synnex grew over 20 percent year over year. [Varnex is a peer-to-peer community of Synnex elite resellers].

Our ConvergeSolv community saw 55 percent year over year growth — a lot of that does have to do with the acquisition of Westcon because they’re big in UCC and security, but that number is still significant; and our CloudSolv community saw amazing 122 percent growth year over year.

Our partners are growing their businesses as well, and are having to hire more people. And they’re having to learn how to do things very quickly. I’d say interest in IoT is among biggest.

CP: What’s getting the most attendee attention at Synnex Inspire?

BS: Sometimes you don’t know what the surprises are until you get here. I will tell you that interest in IoT is the highest I’ve ever seen it. I’m seeing a lot of demand for security, a lot of it is in unified communications, and cloud continues to get attention as well. We’re big on the mobility side and customers want to get more involved in the mobility offerings. I’m amazed at the number of activations we’ve done, and if you would have told me this a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. [Synnex MobilitySov offers connectivity, mobile device and gateway, cloud security and application platforms that enable mobile, M2M and IoT solutions.]

CP: Talk a bit about the Westcon-Comstor business now that the acquisition is closed for about a year.

BS: Well, the Cisco booth is one of the busiest we have. [Vendors such as Cisco, Juniper, F5 and Palo Alto, to name a few, were part and parcel with the acquisition]. The other thing on the Westcon side — they had UCC vendors that we didn’t, so we’ve gone from having bits and pieces of product to having a complete UCC solution.

This was a big year for the Westcon-Comstor integration, especially with our customers. In fact, there were a lot of attendees here that are not former Synnex customers. There wasn’t a lot of customer crossover between Synnex and Westcon-Comstor. There were a lot of UCC customers and a lot of their Cisco customers.

Dennis Polk, CEO of Synnex talked about one of his priorities – Westcon-Comstor 2.0 – or taking that business to the next level and fully leveraging our joint synergies. We’re fully integrated now, and I think you’ll see …

… that grow quite a bit.

[Polk replaced former president and CEO, Kevin Murai, who stepped down earlier this year after holding that position for 10 years. After stepping down, Murai became chairman of the board for Synnex.

CP: So what do you expect to see in the market over the next 12 months?

BS: From my angle, we’re pretty clear on what top priorities we hear our partners talking about, and [those are] cloud, mobility and IoT — by far No. 1. We’re moving those three areas together from an organizational standpoint, so customers can rely on us to deliver comprehensive solutions in that space.

Another big area is taking a vertical-market focus. We always encourage our customers to find their vertical area, and we’ve been telling them this for years — don’t try to be all things to everybody, especially if you’re an SMB. Pick out the things that are most important in your market and that you can do.

The last area we’ve seen tremendous growth for our customers is services — it’s become huge. Westcon has a great service organization and program for certifications.

Overall, it encourages me that our customers are very upbeat, and their energy is unwavering.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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