SYNNEX INSPIRE — A panel of Synnex executives, speaking at Synnex Inspire 2016 this week in Greenville, South Carolina, homed in on a few of the company’s Solv solution areas – public sector, cloud, mobility/IoT, convergence –as they shared their insights around the incremental growth opportunities for partners who have the drive and desire to take on new capabilities and solutions.
While Synnex is committed to its core – or legacy – business, it’s the company’s new bets, or growth areas, that it hoped to get partners in the room – about 1,800 registered attendees – excited about. The panel included moderator Peter Larocque, president of NA distribution; Eddie Franklin, vice president of public sector and verticals; Rob Moyer, vice president of software and cloud services; Tim Acker, vice president of mobility; and Reyna Thompson, vice president of convergence.
Franklin got the Q&A rolling by outlining a few opportunities ahead in 2017. Looking at both TAM (total addressable market) and federal funding for opportunities, he talked about regulated industries, i.e. transportation, utilities and health care, and how achieving compliance happens with IT. It’s what he called the second tier of all of those industries – or not the very largest players – who are under extreme pressure to automate and deliver results.
Franklin also suggested that partners need to double down on the investments they’ve already made in specialty vertical areas and not get stale or complacent. Here he pointed to the company’s education and STEM business, as one that continues to evolve, particularly around higher-end devices and cloud.
Moyer talked about what’s driving the company’s hybrid cloud strategy and business today.
Following industry trends, he noted that Synnex is betting on his business units: Microsoft, Google and hybrid cloud — including vendors such as Red Hat and Docker, which recently partnered with both Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Microsoft. Partners need to take advantage of those partnerships as Synnex gets ready to launch container-as-a-service, as well as a CloudSolv University to help partners get into that business.
“That’s where you’re going to get new customers and double-digit growth,” he said.
For partners in the room who may already have a data-center business, Moyer suggested that to move into the new growth areas, they move into verticals and own them. Partners already doing that are growing their businesses by getting more technical, bringing in application developers and even bringing in an adjacent sales force for cloud, for example.
“How to bridge the gap – if you look at the trend lines, hybrid cloud for example, what we’re seeing with containers – what Red Hat or Docker is doing – it’s building a …
… seamless cloud where you can run your legacy applications and new workloads and you can go in between your on-prem into punch-out public cloud and the nice thing is that it gives customers options because they don’t feel locked in,” he said.
Acker, who runs the mobility and IoT business, said that drivers in his business have been around activation, a two-fold increase. Synnex is seeing a trend in purpose-built mobility solutions driven by partners that take things like rugged devices and handheld tablets and bringing real lines of business in areas such as transportation and utilities, for example.
“IT is back with a strong story about how to better enable employees, that the channel is uniquely designed to address,” he said.
Acker also noted that the device activations are about data and not voice. Mobility is king and data being manifested in the IoT space. As 2017 approaches, the biggest thing his group is seeing is moving from IoT concept and pilot to definable, repeatable solutions, backed up on Azure.
How do partners get started in IoT and mobility? He talked about moving into adjacent businesses — so what that means to partners who already focus on vertical markets in the back office, is moving into operations. Acker pointed to the need for strong failover in retail and connectivity resiliency. In areas such as public safety and transportation, for example, there’s a growing demand for vehicle area networks.
“Many of you serve SMB customers with a fleet of trucks (even 10); they need to monitor those — let us help you,” he said.
Acker talked about the distributor’s partnerships with telecom carriers, such as Verizon and T-Mobile, and the growth of their sales with programs, calling the carriers the fourth leg of the stool.
“These programs put another 3,000 people on the street with you to help you. If you don’t know the local carrier rep in your area, find them, call us, and make that connection because it’s a powerful selling tool and a very relevant topic for your customers today,” he said.