LAS VEGAS – Synnex Canada is planning a busy 2012, with several major program and product introductions on the way, president Mitchell Martin said at the fall meeting of the distributor’s Varnex community here this week.
In the first half of next year, Martin said the distributor plans to bring to Canada two of its biggest U.S.-based initiatives of this year, its RenewSolv renewal management solution and its CloudSolv SaaS app store for resellers.
Like its other broadline peers, Synnex is in an ongoing process of re-identifying itself with some of what may have historically been the realm of the niche value-added distributor, and in many ways, the prominence of the cloud is accelerating that transition
“We act as an aggregator in many key areas, and if moving boxes evolves to selling cloud services, the role of the distributor doesn’t really change there,” Martin said.
Rob Moyer, vice president of cloud computing programs at Synnex, and the man ultimately responsible for RenewSolv and CloudSolv, said that both have been built from day one with a Canadian launch in mind.
“We’re solving a problem that’s existed for a while,” Moyer said of RenewSolv. “Renewals and warranty are a very big, buy very unorganized, industry.”
The main intent of the program is to make it more accessible for VARs to have an easy look at the totality of their renewals opportunities, and make it easier to act on renewing smaller customers.
“Everyone’s good at renewing their biggest customers – that’s why they stay in business,” he said. “But for the rest of those customers, there’s still a lot of business out there.”
The distributor is adding additional functionality to the software, Moyer said, and is even eyeing opportunities to take on delivering some of those smaller customer renewals to their partners on a pay-for-performance basis.
In the U.S., RenewSolv launched with HP, Microsoft, Lenovo and Symantec on board, and a roadmap to bringing on many other hardware and software vendors into the system. The hosted software also allows resellers to bring in renewal information from all of its vendors, regardless of the distributor from whom they purchase the products to provide a more complete view of the opportunities to the participating VAR.
On the CloudSolv front, the distributor is aiming to create an app store that makes it easy for customers to purchase cloud-based solutions from solution providers. Sound familiar? It should. But Moyer said the end user focus of the program is a differentiator – CloudSolv is designed to be a hosted storefront resellers can add to their site that lists the cloud-based apps they want to offer. And while SaaS and other product offerings currently must be those on the Synnex linecard, Moyer said CloudSolv will allow resellers to add the ability for customers to buy the VAR’s own professional services regardless of source or nature.
The CloudSolv infrastructure is hosted on Azure – and will be hosted on Canadian Azure data centres for the Canadian deployment – because next year’s rollout in Canada was part of the plan from day one, Moyer said. It would be hard not to considering the number of Canadians in prominent places at the distributor.
“[CEO] Kevin [Murai] is a Canadian, and my chief architect is from Canada,” he said. “This one’s a new brainer, Canada was part of our initial design.”
Another area Martin’s looking to ramp up in 2012 is the mobile application development opportunity Synnex has been pushing south of the border for about a year. The distributor has built a team of developers who work with resellers to build specific mobile apps on iOS and Android for their customers. That development effort has also seen Synnex develop its own apps – a show guide for the Varnex event here, and a mobile extension to its MCExpress reseller Web site to name a couple. The MCExpress app just launched in Canada recently, and Martin said he expects it to see similar usage in Canada that the app has enjoyed in the U.S., where he said it’s been “very well used.”
As for custom app development, Martin said he expects to see the Canadian organization start to build on that opportunity in the latter half of 2012.
Along with the new programs and offerings to resellers, Martin has an aggressive growth plan for the Varnex community in Canada. In its first year, the Varnex Canadian crew grew from 16 resellers to 32, but Martin says the plan is to grow even faster, likely entering 2012 with a 70-to-80-member community. At that number, he said, the community will really strongly represent the fragmented market of smaller SMB-focused VARs in Canada. It also means that the Canadian contingent will be 20 per cent or better of the overall North American Varnex community, which is in keeping with Synnex Canada’s standing within the distributor’s overall North American distribution business.
“[Varnex is] very key for us in terms of our leadership in commercial SMB, which is a big part of our total business,” Martin said. “It’s our duty to create a community where resellers can be well plugged into solutions.”