October 6, 2017
SYNNEX INSPIRE — The lion’s share of partners do business through distribution and rely on distribution to chart a path that includes technology, solutions, vendors, services, marketing, education, training and more. Synnex is one of those distributors hedging its bets and aligning with partners for the journey.
A keynote panel of Synnex executives, addressing attendees on day two of Synnex Inspire in Greenville, South Carolina, discussed their road map for the upcoming year and how partners can engage with the distributor. The five-person panel, moderated by Peter Larocque, president of North American Technology Solutions at Synnex, included: Eddie Franklin, vice president of public sector and verticals; Kirk Nesbit, vice president for design and support services; Reyna Thompson, vice president of ConvergeSolv secure networking group; Tim Acker, vice president of mobility and connected services; and Andrew Warren, executive vice president of Westcon-Comstor.
The Synnex execs talked about wins, growth areas and how partners can leverage Synnex to build their businesses.
The discussion opened with all eyes on Warren, the new guy who joined Synnex with the distributor’s recent Westcon-Comstor acquisition. Hosted UCaaS solutions powered by Avaya represent a big win for Westcon-Comstor this year, he said, growing 10 percent month over month, representing a big shift as the cloud gains traction. He also pointed to security and, in particular, the Comstor relationship with Cisco and a partner-enablement program for those who want to build out a Cisco security practice.
Westcon-Comstor offers Synnex partners a deep bench of technical experts and engineers trained to focus on the security stack.
Ackers said that carrier services and activations saw double and triple growth this year driven by an increase in device-connectivity needs. This uptick in activations paid over $20 million in commissions on SMB as well as enterprise deals, including one that lit up 16,000 network devices for a transportation company.
“We’re seeing deals like these repeated and we’re seeing opportunities up and down the stack for enterprise mobility, IoT … it’s grown tremendously,” Ackers said. His group is looking for more partners to participate in 2018. He also noted the expansion of the CloudSolv platform around verticals, and helping partners connect with new ISV offerings.
As the distributor’s cloud and mobility practices come together and drive IoT, the Synnex Catalyst conference in San Diego, next month, is designed to help partners get started in IoT.
Seeing over 40 percent growth in security and over 40 percent in wireless, Thompson says business has been great and observed that with changes in technology platforms, Synnex has had to …
… rethink the way it enables partners.
“We’ve done more around building out our service opportunities for you, expanding our cloud marketplace, and offering more enablement through education and the launching of new playbooks,” she said.
When it comes to cloud, security is a big play and focus for Thompson’s group, who is advancing more service and cloud opportunities.
“Here, security is the key, though, because when security is embraced, the cloud is embraced,” she said. But the security play isn’t just about security — it’s about emerging technologies that will become increasingly important to both partners and their customers in the upcoming years.
With that, Thompson told the audience that her group is investing in more training for her team, exposing them to more technologies so that they have the knowledge to talk about multiple technologies, better enabling them to work with partners and market holistic solutions.
In the public sector, Synnex’s investments in education and public safety reaped the biggest payback in 2017, according to Franklin. The change he noted was in offering solutions that solve problems — rather than merely products.
Looking ahead, he said that some big bets are using services such as device subscriptions, Microsoft Azure, and financing options to help drive the cost out of technology. Franklin made a point of talking about the regulated industries that need technology to meet their regulation requirements, and the opportunity there for partners.
A data-center transformation initiative is at the forefront of what’s going on in the professional services organization at Synnex.
“There’s a pent-up demand in the end-user community to cloud enable their environment, and there’s also a skills and talent shortage when it comes to cloud expertise,” noted Nesbit. The current data-center transformation is designed to enable partners – both in sales and technically – on how to pursue this market and tap Synnex’s bench of technical experts, to handle implementations, migrations, etc.
Another expanding initiative is around wireless assessments. Franklin said that Synnex helped partners with about 3,000 assessments over the past year.
“And partners who did those assessments saw their wireless business grow about 60 percent,” he said. ServiceSolv at Synnex also offers free vulnerability assessments. Of the 400 vulnerability assessments it did, more than 90 percent failed.
“That’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Franklin noted. One partner reaped $1 million in sales within 90 days of a failed vulnerability test for a hospital customer.
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