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Synnex: Traditional Channel Under Attack (But Don’t Panic)

Peter Larocque

Peter Larocque

Synnex Corp. concedes the traditional IT channel market is under attack, but North America Distribution President Peter Larocque says there are plenty of opportunities ahead for partners that make the right investments.

Larocque and IT industry leaders are addressing hundreds of VARs and channel partners this morning at Varnex Fall 2016 — a gathering of Synnex’s SMB partners. Among the key takeaways from Larocque:

  • Mobility: Synnex’s partner-driven mobility business is up about 35 percent, customers are up about 50 percent and activations have doubled.
  • Verticals: Here, Synnex’s partner engagements have lifted revenues 12 percent — with 4,000 customers onboard.
  • Cloud: The distributor’s U.S. revenues are up 50 percent, Canada revenues are up 40 percent, reach is up 50 percent to 4,000 customers; and the CloudSolv platform now supports 5.5 million seats.

Synnex will continue to invest heavily in logistics, finance and IT platforms for partners, Larocque indicated. On the finance front, for instance, Synnex is assisting partners with $1.5 billion in alternative financing per year — with more as a service models on the way.

Bob Johnson, VP of Distribution, North America, HP Enterprise

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

Johnson made the case that today’s network shifts — from wired to wireless, and from hardware to software defined — are just as lucrative as the earlier shifts from Ethernet to Fast Ethernet and Switched Ethernet.

Then, he moved onto a cloud conversation — making the case that partners need to help customers with cloud exit strategies. Before moving any workload to the cloud, he asserted, there must be a plan to bring that workload back on-premises in case the off-premises cloud approach doesn’t work out.

Johnson then shifted the conversation to the company’s partner commitment, insisting that the company is a “100 percent partner-focused company.” Hmmm… I give HPE credit for improving its partner-centric focus. But I think the statement contains a bit of hype, considering HPE has such a large direct sales force. Of the major IT hardware vendors (HPE, Cisco, Dell EMC, IBM, Oracle), I’d say that Cisco still outpaces its rivals in overall partner-driven sales as a percent of revenue. But HPE certainly has made partner-driven strides in recent years.

Karen Plotkin, VP, North America Client Solutions, Dell Technologies

Karen Plotkin

Karen Plotkin

Plotkin made the case that it’s time for customers refresh their desktops and/or mobile devices. Among the key data points she shared: Today’s mobile PCs offer twice the power, half the size, half the weight and perhaps three times the battery size of a device vs. three years ago.

Among the types of innovations and use cases to keep in mind, she noted: (1) Corridor warriors — the type of employees who navigate their business hallways with laptops in hand. They want to access data from any location. (2) Destination computing users, who will increasingly leverage augmented reality applications. (3) Collaboration computing, the ability to engage with people worldwide in very different ways.

Stay tuned for more updates from Synnex Varnex Fall 2016.

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