SAS doubles down on reseller channel by signing TD SYNNEX as first global distribution partner

SAS has used EIS before for the government business in the U.S., and has also just added Carahsoft to further serve this market, but TD SYNNEX is their first distributor who will handle most of their partners rather than having SAS deal with them direct, in a relationship that will see channel-only offerings from SAS come to market.

Gavin Day of SAS (L) and Clay Davis of TD SYNNEX

LAS VEGAS – On Tuesday, the first day of the SAS Explore event here, analytics vendor SAS has signed a global agreement to make TD SYNNEX their global distributor and solutions aggregator for their IT ecosystem, as part of a move to a two-tier distribution model where most partners will go through distribution. SAS’s  full suite of AI and analytics software, including their SAS Viya cloud platform will be available through TD SYNNEX. New channel-only offerings will also be developed on a comprehensive basis, and made available through SYNNEX as well.

“This is the first time in our history we have ever created an agreement like this, with the reach and scale that it gives partners,” said Gavin Day, EVP, Office of the CEO. “TD SYNNEX will be the primary global distributor, while Carahsoft will lead in the U.S. and Canadian public sector.”

The distribution deals are part of a new intensification of SAS’s indirect business, which also includes their strategic vendor partners.

“Partners have been a critical part of SAS success for 47 years, but now we are  changing how that works,” Day added. “We announced this week the availability of SAS Viya on Snowflake, without having to transition between the software. We just announced that our new SAS health app is now available in SingleStore. Intel and SAS also continue to work together on Intel Xeon. We are increasing all our partner investments.”

The strategic agreement will enable both TD SYNNEX and SAS partners with expanded scale and capabilities.

Going forward, SAS will divide their reseller partners into two groups, a smaller group of very strategic partners, and everyone else.

“We have carved out a territory list for our global field direct sellers and everything else will be distribution,” Day said. “These other accounts are where we will lean heavily on distribution.”

SAS did a fantastic job of not making this a surprise for partners,” said Clay Davis, VP, Global Data, AI and IoT Solutions at TD SYNNEX. “They explained to them why changes were coming. The fact that many of these partners have worked with us with other vendors also helped.”

Davis’ business unit, which like him came from the Tech Data side of the business before the merger, will manage the relationship from the TD SYNNEX side. Of the approximately 150,000 TD SYNNEX partners, about 10,000 are transacting in this business unit.

Distributors typically manage the long tail of smaller partners for a vendor, and that will be the case here.

“We actually do have quite a few smaller partners,” Day indicated. “Because this kind of partner is important to us, we will also relay on TD SYNNEX to manage those. Setting up matches with potential new partners is another value they will contribute, as is their value as an aggregator. Our business unit strategy is bringing the right components together, as we run our data and AI business together globally.”

TD SYNNEX’s aggregation capabilities also will help SAS with a key part of their strategy going forward, the creation of offerings which will only be sold through channel partners.

“We have done channel offerings on a one-off basis in different regions, but we have never done it before as part of a systematic strategy,” Day said. “Now we will create consistent packages. We are working on channel-only offerings now through SYNNEX to take advantage of their reach and scale.”

Finally, Day indicated why SAS decided to go with TD SYNNEX in the first place rather than their broadline competition, or a more focused specialty distributor.

“Culture matters and people matter,” he said. “Dr Goodnight {SAS’s founder back in 1976 and still their CEO] made it very clear abut who he wants to partner with on the SAS brand. A year ago, I hired someone in channels and he had a previous track record with TD SYNNEX, so that was an important point as well.”