Synnex Canada looks to boost Technical Solutions division

Mitchell Martin

Synnex Canada president Mitchell Martin

LAS VEGAS – Synnex Canada has big plans for its Guelph, Ont.-based Technical Solutions division. Although it’s already “a material part” of the company’s overall business, Synnex Canada Mitchell Martin says the company goal is to grow the division – which focuses on solution areas that are more value-add than broadline – by 50 per cent annual CAGR over the next three years. It’s part of an evolution of Synnex’s very identity.

“We see ourselves more and more as a hybrid distributor – the best of both worlds,” Martin said. “We have very aggressive goals. We’ve reached the point where it’s a very material part of our business, and we want to make it an even larger part of the total.”

Areas of focus for the division that was once upon a time known as EMJ Data Systems include integrated communications, AV solutions, managed print, point of sale and data capture, IP security, and the company’s tier-two retail customers.

Other priorities to come include delving deeper into the mobility play by making a space in the smartphone business, Martin suggested.

Meanwhile, the Canadian organization continues to plan for the arrival of some of the “Solvs” that Synnex has debuted in the U.S. Synnex Canada is already quite successful with the PrintSolv managed print platform that has made it a strong competitor in the growing managed print opportunity, and Martin anticipates that more Solvs will be coming north in relatively short order. While he is conservatively waiting for many of the Solvs to become truly scalable, mainstream opportunities, and he’s still building vendor support for the Solv tools, Martin said he believes that CloudSolv (Synnex’s platform for managing cloud-based subscription services for VARs) and RenewSolv (its platform for managing VAR’s software renewal opportunities) will arrive in Canada at some point in 2013.

“We’ll get there definitely, and at that point, we’ll start looking at some of the other Solvs being developed in the U.S.,” Martin said.

In the U.S., the company’s One IT strategy is starting to take hold. At Varnex’s fall conference here this week, Synnex U.S. explained how many of the Solvs announced and still to come will fit into the strategy, which the distributor seems to be targeting as ultimately as close to a “single pane of glass” to manage a solution provider’s business as possible. The company detailed partnerships with key partners including VARCommerce and Ottawa’s own Level Platforms, and how they fit into One IT, and it previewed the concept a One IT-based IP telephony or unified communications service. Ultimately, that will be focused both on helping solution providers to keep their costs down, and improving communications between Synnex and solution providers, and among solution providers themselves, particularly within the Varnex community. The company outlined the possibility of such a solution creating a community-wide switchboard.

With many of the component Solvs yet to debut in Canada, Martin is taking a more reserved approach towards One IT, but it goes without saying that Synnex Canada – and the company’s solution providers – are closely watching the development of the One IT vision.

“We have to get the individual component Solvs out before we can start developing the platform that bring is all together,” Martin said.

Development continues, meanwhile, on the company’s made-in-Canada new lead generation tool. Essentially, the tool is a Synnex-hosted portion of a reseller’s Web site that allows them to promote any Synnex-carried products to their end users directly. Michael Gazdic, vice president of marketing at Synnex Canada, said the distributor provides marketing tools to help VARs promote the right solutions at the right time. The tool went live for Canadian resellers at the end of September, and by the end of January, the company aims to transform it from an informational and marketing tool to a transactional engine by enabling e-commerce on the site, making it a path for solution providers to seamlessly add online product sales to their mix.

“It’s a great way to help the vendors reach resellers and ultimately their end customers with solutions messaging,” Gazdic said.

Along with e-commerce, the next steps for the tool tie in nicely with the overall hybrid distribution focus – Gazdic said the company will be looking to use the tool to focus on some of the Technology Solutions Division products lines “and then drive more solutions selling.”