Synnex National Conference 2013: General Session Day One
Synnex (SNX) welcomed more than 1,600 attendees at the first day of its 2013 Synnex National Conference in Greenville, S.C., encouraging them to outsmart, outdo and outperform competitors—with the help of Synnex, of course.
Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing, North America and CEO Kevin Murai kicked off the event, followed by leaders from other vendors including Lenovo, HP (HPQ), Red Hat (RHT), Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC). Their discussions revolved around the consumerization of IT, evolution of mobility and building partnerships, among other topics.
Here’s what you may have missed during the day one morning session:
Synnex Senior Vice President of Marketing for North America Bob Stegner:
- Synnex will be here in Greenville for at least another three years. “They have worked well with us.”
- Synnex has been voted as the best place to work in South Carolina for the past two years.
Synnex President and CEO Kevin Murai:
- Synnex has always invested in its business, investing in acquisitions as well. The distributor acquired Supercom, Canada earlier this year, giving Synnex access to deep relationships to key parts of the markets, as well as some key retail accounts.
- Synnex also announced the pending acquisition of IBM CRM BPO Services, which Murai said propels the company into the top 10 CRM players.
- Synnex is growing well into the double digits in cloud, enterprise, networking security and mobility.
- Cloud, mobility, Big Data, data center and connect-at-home are trends here to stay.
- Cloud is a long-term strategy for 70 percent of startups. $1 in $7 will be spent in public cloud by 2015. If channel partners are uncomfortable with cloud services, they need to get comfortable—it’s where the market is heading, he said.
- Synnex has dedicated teams, resources, specific investments on platforms in each of these key areas, and has modified its go-to-market strategy over the past five to seven years. Synnex doesn’t want to be everything to everybody. Rather, it focuses on specific technologies.
- The legacy vertical Synnex does very well in is government with GOVSolv, but the distributor also launched PROHEALTHSolv, its healthcare vertical, three years ago, which is showing tremendous growth. STORESolv is also showing growth.
- Synnex has key new partnerships with Comcast, Verizon and Motorola for MOBILITYSolv; Bloomberg Government, SmartProcure for GOVSolv; FWI, Bosch for VISUALSolv; and Electronic Software Division for CLOUDSolv.
- In the commercial market Synnex has not seen a decline of PC sales. Even during the recession Synnex saw growth. There’s a huge opportunity to sell and manage these devices.
- There are more than 200 million users still on Windows XP—they’re upgrade-ready. Windows 8 is faster, and has better upgrades, skip over Windows 7. Synnex sees the benefit of moving to Microsoft cloud.
- Through a partnership with Microsoft and Secure-Home, Synnex has developed an app that focus on the connect-at-home aspect of the key trends in the market. With the app, one can can set up rooms, scenes, thermostats, alarms and settings. You can go into each room and monitor the devices, including lights, dimmers, light switches and garage door openers. But most importantly, you have security and surveillance options, which drives home automation.
- The app is currently in its alpha version, but Synnex will be announcing a beta version within the next few months.
- This app is residential, but there’s no reason why solution providers can’t parlay this for a small and medium-sized business. Synnex is encouraging its partners to “use your imagination, be creative.”
- It’s partners’ imagination that takes this type of technology in the market, making them stand out. Mobility is not just about smartphones, but it is about business integration.
Lenovo North America President Jay Parker:
- The key message is that Lenovo is committed to the PC industry. “The chicken is engaged but the pig is committed.”
- Lenovo is investing heavy in the PC industry, but it doesn’t mean it won’t change to other device types as well.
- In the SMB market, a lot of people didn’t know who Lenovo was and that was a problem. Since May 2011, Lenovo has spent $150 million in a brand campaign, which has paid off. “We’ve even sponsored the NFL.”
- When solution providers are selling Lenovo product, the company doesn’t want its partners to explain what Lenovo is to them. They should already know. Lenovo wants its partners to get proactive calls.
- The industry has changed a lot, and Lenovo already adapting. How are the purchases being made? What do they care about in making those decisions? You still have IT and precurement guys, but now you have decisions being made by communities of end users.
- There are different devices out in the market now. You have end users bringing in their own phones, tablets … there is multiple OS/device confusion. It’s important to Lenovo, but it’s important to partners as well. Who are partners dealing with at the end customers? How do they sell the product? Lenovo wants its partners to bring the right devices and partner with them.
- Leonovo sold more PC-plus devices, tablets and other devices than PCs during the last fiscal quarter, but it is committed to PCs, though. “We have to be aware of other technologies that our customers care about.”
- Lenovo’s five priorities for FY 2014: redefine the Lenovo customer experience, grow PC+, sustainable consumer growth, aggressively acquire commercial accounts and enterprise and around the box.
- The PC industry is not necessarily the best when it comes to customer experience. Lenovo knows that growing quickly, adding end users and products, can be a recipe for disaster. Lenovo has invested time, energy, money to improve our customer experience there.
- Lenovo received $381 million in revenue from the channel in the past 12 months. “We are winning there. We have outgrown the SMB market for 10 quarters.”
- Synnex leads distribution in Lenovo’s VAR sales, 34 percent year-over-year growth. Synnex and Lenovo are both outpacing the market.
- Lenovo has only 600 sellers in all of North America, and it needs the thousands and thousands of sales reps to sell on its behalf. Partners need to be willing to work with Lenovo by investing in programs and the company understands that. “We don’t want our sellers to be program jockies, we want them to be out there helping our customers.”
Vendor Executive Panel with HP, Microsoft, Lenovo, Red Hat, Intel and Panasonic Systems:
- As the industry changes, developing partnerships in the channel are essential to survive and thrive in the industry.
- The best platforms at work used to be the best platforms, until recently. Now people rely more on their own mobile devices at home, including smartphones and tablets, for work purposes.
- Tablets are growing, but they’re not replacing traditional notebooks and PCs. Tablets will be add-ons for PCs.
- All of these devices are driving servers into the market, too.
- Business leaders and VARs believe that operating/cost savings (Op Ex) is driving the adoption of cloud.
HP Senior Vice President of Printing and Personal Systems John Soloman:
- HP’s strengths revolve around partners/customers, innovation, powerful assets and financial foundation.
- HP spends $3.4 billion on research and development every year, an amount CEO Meg Whitman has been increasing each year.
- In terms of personal systems, HP has been reinventing the core, establishing mobile leadership. For printing, it’s growing—it’s not dead.
- HP is the leading technology provider for print and mobile solutions. OS manufactuerers are coming to HP and asking us to have a print function in a smartphone or tablet.
- At end of the day, form factor matters. HP has been expanding differentiated solutions, driving profitable growth and strengthening our core.
- HP is committed to the channel, and wants to drive that growth together.
We’ll keep you updated with further announcements from the conference.