Synnex Canada targets enterprise growth

Mitchell Martin, president of Synnex Canada.

Mitchell Martin, president of Synnex Canada.

LAS VEGAS — In the crowded distribution marketplace, Synnex Canada has a reputation for strength in the SMB space, the go-to distributor for many regional solution providers that serve the proverbial “mom and pop shops” across Canada. But Synnex Canada Mitchell Martin is looking to shift that perception.

Speaking to at the fall conference of the company’s Varnex reseller group, Martin said he believes his company is already in a good position to serve the Canadian enterprise market and the VARs that serve it, and signaled he’s looking to turn up the volume in the enterprise space.

“We’ve been SMB-focused, but we believe we’re ready with a very good technical offering, and a services offering that allows us to be very effective in enterprise distribution,” Martin said. “We’ve been on this for a long time, and we want to beef up our enterprise linecard.”

That technical expertise comes in the form of resources in Canada, the United States, and its support team in the Philippines, all of which are now readily available to the Canadian organization and to Canadian resellers, Martin said. Those resources will come to bear even more as solution selling and selling on complex business-wide concepts like digital transformation become more and more the way of the world in the channel. Those resources, the company stresses, are used to backstop and support its solution providers, and generally do not operate under the Synnex flag. Martin described this solution selling revolution as “challenging in Canada, but growing.”

“We’ve been seeing good growth from Varnex members in all of our Solvs,” Martin said. “Canadians tend to be conservative, and we’re pushing them to embrace it. We need to be very aggressive in helping them move into these areas, and we do that through ServiceSolv.”

Over the last half-decade or more, Synnex (the corporation) has launched a series of “Solvs” — high-touch, high-service business units that serve specific market opportunities — areas like government, mobility, cloud, services, converged infrastructure, and managed print. Those Solvs are now all fully up and running in Canada, with one notable exception, its GovSolv practice. But that part of the business is rapidly coming into place. Martin said the Canadian operation has long had vertical focus in education, but is beefing that up with a broader vertical story in the public sector market, and for the first time, is putting the GovSolv label on those activities. The Canadian efforts have been buoyed by U.S.-based public sector chief Eddie Franklin being given overall responsibility for the business North America-wide, and closer to home, the addition of new hire Rock Marriott to head up the business in Canada.

One of the challenges Synnex faces in the enterprise space — as suggested by Martin in the above quote — is its current linecard. While major players including Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are very active with Synnex, there are a number of “the usual suspects” that aren’t currently signed on with Synnex Canada. Cisco is the biggest name that comes to mind, but other figures including NetApp and the EMC side of Dell EMC also loom large.

Martin declined to discuss relationships with vendors that currently aren’t on its linecard, but did suggest that there positive signs that some “holdout vendors” on the enterprise side were looking to talk, and would allow him to go along way towards his goal about beefing up the enterprise business.

So why is Synnex Canada looking at the enterprise now? No doubt, part of it is as an avenue for continued growth — it’s likely optimized its SMB operations to the point where it will incremental growth becomes hard to find. But enterprise is a more open field for it, where it likely sees the opportunity to take some share. That timing is likely enhanced by the impending merger of Tech Data and Avnet Technology Solutions. Each side of that combination has great strength in the enterprise and solutions distribution market, but it’s not exactly unprecedented for competitors to see opportunity during the short-term distractions and internal focus that comes with any kind of major corporate structure shift. Consider the actions of Dell and EMC during the recent HP/HPE split, and the actions of HP and HPE during the recent Dell EMC combination for examples.