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Comcast Business announced Tuesday that SYNNEX Corp. will become the first IT distributor to serve as a master agent for the cableco, delivering Ethernet, Internet, voice, cloud and TV solutions through its network of 30,000 VARs.
Under the agreement, Comcast will become a strategic supplier of fixed-line services for SYNNEX’s mobility, communications and networking services distribution practice, MOBILITYSolv, which was announced in April.
SYNNEX is not the first IT distributor to add wireline services. Ingram Micro announced agreements with CenturyLink and Time Warner Cable earlier this year. TechData signed with master agency MicroCorp last year and Scansource forged an agreement with Intelisys in June.
What may be different about this deal is the level of investment SYNNEX has made.
"They are the first distributor that we've worked with to build a master agency with dedicated people to support the channel to sell network services," said Craig Schlagbaum, vice president of indirect sales for Comcast Business, in an interview with Channel Partners.
"What we are doing with our VARs with the help of Comcast is creating a services-led model versus the traditional hardware-led model, which you have seen other distributors do," said Adnon Dow, vice president of the global mobility solutions business unit at SYNNEX. "They may be selling this stuff, but they are throwing it over the wall, whereas we are building an organization around it."
Specifically, SYNNEX has six people who are dedicated to the Comcast relationship, 21 people selling it in the field, and 300 inside sales reps that are talking with VARs about the opportunity, explained Dow. Among the six dedicated staff, there are a number of new recruits from the telecom and cable industries. The group is headed up by a practice lead, sales lead and business development lead, but their names were not disclosed at press time.
The companies said the resources are the result of a joint investment, but they did not disclose their respective stakes.
"To my knowledge, nothing like this exists in the distribution world today where you have dedicated resources that are knowledgeable about the space and are focused 100 percent of the time on selling it along with systems designed to support the channel and pay them properly," Schlagbaum said. That, along with delivering bundled solutions, is unique, he said.
MOBILITYSolv allows SYNNEX to create “solution bundles" that combine network connectivity services from Comcast Business with other SYNNEX offerings, such as switches and routers, servers, security products, storage equipment and mobility products, so that VARs can build end-to-end mobility and cloud communications solutions for their customers.