Synnex gave attendees at Inspire some insight into its 2018 focus areas.

Lynn Haber

October 5, 2017

4 Min Read

SYNNEX INSPIRE — The $600 million Westcom-Comstor acquisition is the biggest in Synnex’s history and got top billing as the distributor laid out its 2018 strategy, that also includes the evolution of CloudSolv, solutions and SMB.


Synnex’s Kevin Murai

Kevin Murai, president and CEO of Synnex, addressed 1,700 attendees in his keynote on the first day of Synnex Inspire, the distributor’s annual conference, being held this week in Greenville, South Carolina. He also noted the cultural synergies and complementary product lines between Westcon-Comstor and Synnex. The acquisition closed on Sept. 1.

“I’m really excited about what we can create together. This is a highly complementary business acquisition with virtually no overlap between the two businesses,” he said. More specifically, he pointed to Westcon-Comstor’s strength in UCC, security and networking. Cisco, and value-added products, has been the sole focus of Comstor’s business line — a huge gain for Synnex.

Turning to other core focus areas for Synnex in 2018, expect to see the evolution of the CloudSolv platform into “everything as a service.” Today, CloudSolv supports business for more than 1,000 reseller partners, most of whom transact on their own. Twenty percent of CloudSolv partners are net new to Synnex.

Partners were advised to watch CloudSolv evolve with a number of solution combinations.

“Our thinking on CloudSolv has evolved as it crosses over a number of business units within our organization,” said Murai.

In the solutions area, Murai talked about a narrower definition around digital transformation, IoT, and vertical specialization and expertise. SMB, he added, continues to be a robust focus for the company.

A discussion between Murai and Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat president and CEO, offered some words of advice for attendees — they need to have an open-source strategy, whether or not that includes Red Hat.


Because open source is 100 percent of AI, 95 percent of big data, and open source is the way that partners will support their customers and help them achieve successful outcomes.

“I recognize that we all make money selling technology and services, but long term, business is in driving business success and helping customers through successful digital transformation,” he said.

Lenovo vice president, U.S. SMB and channel sales, Sammy Kinlaw, talked about the company’s channel priorities and the new Lenovo Partner Engage Program that went live on Oct. 1.

Lenovo’s strategy is to continue to grow its PC business with mobility solutions, grow its data-center business with SystemX, and combine investment in devices and cloud looking toward IoT. Lenovo on Thursdasy announced the limited-edition ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the ThinkPad brand.

The global Lenovo Partner Engage Program is a new …

… PC tiered incentive program that includes: platinum, gold, silver and authorized levels, which are tied to specific revenue thresholds: $10 million+ for Platinum, $1 million+ for Gold, $250,000+ for Silver, and up to $250,000 for Authorized partners. The tier levels are also tied to training requirements for employees.

Per Kinlaw, the new PC partner program offers more structured benefits and account coverage; rewards loyalty and success; offers formalized designations to differentiate and respond to bids; promises not to disadvantage partners; provides access to a full suite of channel marketing and incentives; and, the launch is based on annual revenue thresholds for the Lenovo fiscal year from April to April.

A new partner portal rolled out with the new Lenovo Partner Engage Program provides access to the benefits, resources, sales, training, and more.

TJ Fox, senior vice president, wireless enterprise sales, at Verizon, told the audience that Synnex’s focus on cloud, mobility, security, and IoT fits in with Verizon’s strategy, and that the company has increased its investment with Synnex, a long-term distribution partner, and is busy creating the future with 5G while expanding 4G innovation.

Fox also focused Verizon efforts with partners in the areas of VARs and activation, which has increased significantly year over year; he talked about the growth of One Talk, that launched almost one year ago, 4G LTE routers, IoT and telematics.

Christoph Schell, president of the Americas with HP Inc., talked about the growth of the company’s PC and print business, the delivery of a full A3 portfolio, and the company’s moves into the 3D print market. In the 3D arena, HP has recruited 45 partners and opened 20 reference and experience centers, worldwide, and has gone from 3D prototyping to manufacturing.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity for some of you to participate,” he said, suggesting some adjacent businesses that partners could pursue, pointing to device as a service, for example, which he noted that HP has simplified. Schell also mentioned that HP has introduced an agnostic partnership with Apple, which offers management and service opportunities for partners.

Terry Richardson, vice president and general manager, U.S. channel sales. HPE, highlighted how the company has reshaped itself and its strategic focus on hybrid IT, i.e. composable infrastructure, all-flash storage and industry-standard compute, in-memory analytics, memory-driven computing, and The Machine. At the same time, there’ve been innovations in the intelligent edge, i.e. mobile-first wireless, edge computing, and location-based services.

Synnex is authorized to sell the entire HPE portfolio.

HPE’s channel favorites include: hyperconverged systems, Simplivity; storage, i.e. Nimble and 3Par; HPE Compute Gen 10, Aruba networking; and the recently renamed HPE Pointnext services.

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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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