Synnex Canada looks for more engagement from Varnex members

Synnex Canada president Mitchell Martin

Synnex Canada president Mitchell Martin

Synnex Canada feels it has increased the value for membership in its Varnex SMB-focused reseller community. Now it’s going to look for more from members, both current and future.

At the company’s recent spring Varnex conference in Orlando, Synnex Canada Mitchell Martin said the distributor was looking to make sure it has partners who are truly engaged with the program, and in particular with Synnex’s “Solv” practice areas, a number of which are coming online in Canada.

“The challenge is getting the right resellers into the program, and getting them involved in the Solvs practices. That’s where we’re focused right now – more on quality than quantity at this point,” Martin said. “It’s at the right scale, but everything depends on [members’] ability and willingness to engage.

Martin said the distributor was “starting to put more pressure on the members to engage or move on,” including getting its sales director involved in driving both engagement of current members, as well as the recruitment of new partners who will be good fits for Varnex.

“Over the last year, we’ve really enhanced the offering. Now it’s time for the resellers to engage,” Martin said. “We’re starting to get pretty black and white about it.”

Such changes in reseller communities are standard practice, as new members often come on but fail to do much more than the bare minimums to be involved, or as veteran members find themselves heading in new directions that might de-prioritize their involvement in the community.

It also reflects some fairly significant shifts at the distributor. As it gets more of its formerly U.S.-only “Solv” practices up and running in Canada, it makes the case that it, likes its traditional broadline peers, is blurring the line with value-added distribution. And while volume is important – see the company’s purchase of Supercom last year for just how important – higher-value solutions are key.

“We’re focused on emerging areas that will grow. It’s really all about the Solvs for us,” Martin said. “We’re focused on helping resellers get into those new practices, sell solutions, and drive those solutions down into the SMB market.”

The distributor has recently formally introduced CloudSolv and ServiceSolv into the Canadian market, and has been ramping up MobilitySolv for the last six months. Martin says he believes about 90 per cent of the higher-value offerings Synnex brings to market in the U.S. are currently available in Canada, or will be soon – with the government-focused GovSolv practice a notable exclusion.

After a tough 18 months in the Canadian distribution market, Martin sees the market as “moving to neutral,” with “a lot of evidence the tide is rising beyond that.”

He said Synnex is seeing pockets of growth particularly around newer or emerging IT solutions. While the data centre market has not been strong for Synnex in Canada, Martin said the distributor is seeing success in other areas, including mobility, wireless networks, digital signage, and audio visual. Beyond that, the distributor is seeing a PC refresh, particularly with notebooks, but also including desktops and servers.

“Canada’s finally starting to turn around, and we’re seeing very strong numbers in the United States,” Martin said. “There still remains a lot to be seen, but with the current levels of activity, we are pretty optimistic.”