Kevin Murai, president and CEO of Synnex, opened the three-day conference by addressing The Digital Transformation Era. He kicked off the event by noting that anything related to the "third platform
" – i.e. cloud, mobility, IoT and technologies around that, security and software, in particular – is a big opportunity for partners.
“Software is really going to drive change. When we talk about solutions, the core of a deployment is centered around software … even the data center … everything is becoming software-defined. We’re all going to collectively sell a lot of hardware, but make sure that you’re leading your customers more into the software-defined world.”
Synnex works with more than 20,000 resellers, worldwide, and it’s important that they understand the distributor’s focus going forward. This year, Synnex's priorities are to accelerate its cloud business, focus on vertical markets, focus on mobility and IoT solutions, continue to build its SMB
customer base, and emphasize services. That changes as the company moves into 2018.
Priorities for 2018 include combining the strengths of both Synnex and Westcom-Comstor, growing its CloudSolv platform – which today supports business for more than 1,000 resellers – home in on solutions around digital transformation, IoT and vertical specialization, and continue to expand business in the SMB sector.
There’s nothing better for partners than getting in some face time with Synnex executives, vendors and other partners. These conversations help partners with current business issues, future business opportunities, as well as the chance to meet new partners with whom they may do business.
Synnex gathered an executive panel to discuss progress and growth in the various areas where the distributor and its partners do business. The business leaders talked about what types of products, solutions and services, as well as programs and enablement they can expect going forward. The panel was moderated by Peter Larocque, president of NA distribution; Eddie Franklin, vice president of public sector and verticals; Kirk Nesbit, vice president for design and support services; Reyna Thompson, vice president of ConvergeSolv secure networking group; Tim Acker, vice president of mobility and connected services; and Andrew Warren, executive vice president of Westcon-Comstor.
Although the ink just dried on the Westcon-Comstor acquisition
, Synnex talked how the two companies will be stronger together. CEO Murai said that there were a lot of synergies between the two companies and highly complementary products, services and capabilities. Westcon-Comstor strengths are in networking, security and UCC, and open the door for Synnex business in Latin America.
The Pavilion, also referred to as the Hall of Inspiration, featured vertical-market and specialty-focused areas, such as SMB, regulated industries, education, visual solutions, public safety and smart city, system builder, IoT, mobility and cloud, in addition to vendor-specific booths featuring Cisco, Dell EMC, HP Inc., HP Enterprise, Intel, Lenovo, Legrand, Microsoft and Verizon.
The Hall of Inspiration also featured the Transformation, Inspire and Excellence stages.
The Synnex F2F
(Friend-to-Friend, Female-to-Female, and Face-to-Face) Luncheon had more than 100 attendees, mostly women but some men, who came together to hear about the F2F Pillars: Networking, Mentoring, Education and Philanthropy.
featured Indy car caught a lot of eyes on the Hall of Inspiration floor, but the vendor was there to talk with partners about its Verizon Mobility co-sell program.
T.J. Fox, senior vice president, wireless enterprise sales at Verizon, gave a presentation during the keynote session on "Amplifying Innovation with the Power of the Channel." He said that Verizon is investing heavily in its partners as the channel is “incredibly important” to the company. If size matters and is any indication of Verizon’s commitment, the company’s booth this year overshadowed the Verizon table on display last year.
There were many solution panels running throughout two days on the show floor. Here is panel of executives from Google Cloud, Legrand, Lenovo and Sharp, talking about opportunities in education. There were dozens of opportunities for partners to hear from vendors: SMB Solutions Panel, Dell EMC 14G Servers and Networking: Essentials for the Modern IT Infrastructure; Mobility Solutions Panel featuring Bretford, Dell EMC, HP Inc., Samsung Mobility and T-Mobile; and Smart Mirror powered by the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing), to name a few.
The popular SMB Solutions area in the Pavilion included a number of exhibitors who shared info with partners about solving small-office problems.
A local Oktoberfest taking place outside the conference location in downtown Greenville featured food – bratwurst, pretzels, Sauerbraten – beer, music, lederhosen, games and more.