NEW ORLEANS – As this year’s Spring Varnex conference here is just the fourth at which Canadians have been in attendance, it’s tempting to think about the Varnex Canada group as the newbies in the reseller group world.
But the group is growing rapidly, having gone from 32 members at last year’s fall event in Las Vegas to 60 in the Big Easy this week, said Mitchell Martin, president of Synnex Canada. And it’s done that despite Synnex remaining selective, and focused on smaller, SMB-focused solution providers.
“We’re working hard to get to where we want to be in terms of membership, and we’ve made great progress,” he said.
“Where we’d like to be” is about 80 members in the short term (say, by the time the group returns to Vegas this fall) and closer to 100 in the long term, said Mike Gazdic, vice president of marketing.
And with growing presence in the Canadian reseller community, the group is getting more attention from vendors – Varnex has welcomed on Microsoft, Lenovo, StorageCraft and Symantec as Canadian sponsors this year, Martin said.
It’s a growth that Martin sees snowballing – as the community reaches scale, it will find it easier to gain traction with both new members and new vendors. For Martin, it’s all about the total addressable market the Varnex community can reach. And as it grows, so to will the distributor’s investment in the Canadian community, with a Canada-only Varnex event likely to debut next year.
“As we get to relevant level of TAM and we fill in some holes from a vendor perspective, we’ve got the scale to get the financial resources to do one more [event] per year, which would be Canada-only,” he said.
In growing its member base, Martin said there are still regions that need more representation. Oddly enough, they’re the larger markets in Canada. The Varnex community is strong in some of the smaller cities in the country, and outside of the major centres, largely thanks to Synnex’s background in those regions with warehouses in Alberta and Nova Scotia, the traditional “hotbeds” of solution providers – Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver – remain opportunities for community growth, and would round out the community’s coverage story cross-Canada.
The opportunity, for Synnex and for members, is huge, Martin said. He believes that with a member base of about 100 Canadian Varnex members, the community can corner about 20 per cent of the Canadian SMB market, a significant portion of the business outside of the large DMRs and retailers that work in the space.
Gazdic expressed confidence that by the time the group gathers again in Las Vegas in November, the community will be around 80 members, and said that Synnex was working to create a broader team within the organization to support Varnex members and to build business development opportunities for the group.