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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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News & Articles

February 11, 2013 |

SYNNEX CEO to Partners: ‘Have the Courage to Make Change’

Kevin Murai talks to partners about the challenges and opportunities in the new era of computing.

Kevin Murai, CEO of IT distributor SYNNEX Corporation, can hold a crowd in rapt attention. When he spoke to the company’s partners at National Conference this past fall, he outlined a clear path forward to success – for them and his company – in a hushed ballroom. The topics, not surprisingly, were the cloud and mobility, plus being at the forefront of change and having a competitive edge. SYNNEX’s competitive edge, says Murai, “is our ability to move very quickly.” And that’s saying something for a company with more than $10 billion in revenue.

Here are some of Murai’s insights from his address to the company’s partner base:

“Cloud is real. Cloud is already here,” said Murai, noting that by 2015, U.S. businesses will invest $36 billion on cloud delivered IT, according to market research firm IDC. And in North America, 77 percent of businesses are already using the public cloud. “Granted, a lot of that may be something as simple as,” said Murai, “but it’s there and it’s growing.”

“You have to play in cloud in order to be able to progress where technology is heading.” Kevin Murai,
CEO, SYNNEX Corporation

His advice to partners? “You have to play in cloud in order to be able to progress where technology is heading.” Murai then outlined how the typical reseller model has moved beyond hardware to managed services. “Cloud services, hosted services, enable that [move] and take [managed services] to the next level.”

“Mobile is a game changer.” But, noted Murai, the problem that still needs to be solved is managing all the disparate devices brought into the workplace. “People want diversity,” he said. “It’s very difficult today to say, ‘By the way, our company is standardized on the Blackberry platform.’ You have to be able to support every single device.”

“Of course, security around all of these mobile devices is a key issue,” he continued. “So having the right partners and having the right solutions to be able to solve these problems provides an opportunity for you to get right in the middle of that business.”

“You have to … be in the forefront of change,” said Murai, who explained that old business models will not be as successful as they have been in the past. “When you take a look at an ecosystem for the cloud, it looks very different than what traditional IP computing and that ecosystem looks like today. Do you know what your role is? Have you done that for years? What does that role need to look like going forward? Is there an opportunity for you to capture an even higher value in service or capability that you can do in this new world? And at the same time, of course, how do you make sure that all of these changes are positive?”

Murai also talked about how SYNNEX is changing to meet market challenges. “We’ve been very successful over the years,” he said. “We’ve grown fast in the market. Our profitability is growing faster than that. And our return is very, very good. And that’s been a lot of hard work and planning – but also by being at the right place at the right time.”

“But the legacy of this model is not necessarily what’s going to carry us forward into the next three to 10 years,” he said. However, the legacy competencies SYNNEX has had are not going away. But they are “no longer a source of competitive edge,” Murai noted. What is the company’s competitive edge “is our ability to move very quickly.”

So where will SYNNEX invest its money so that the company is better prepared for the future? Murai said that the company has the resources to make investments in new capabilities and wants partners to leverage these investments. “If our strategy is aligned with yours, we can help you be much more efficient in attacking these aggressive new business models,” he said.

“We have to have the courage to make change,” Murai emphasized. “We all have to figure out the opportunities and … how we can gain an advantage over the next decade. The way we do that is by being at the forefront of where technology is headed and understanding those new capabilities and services.”

In conclusion, Murai underscored that SYNNEX wants to be a strategic partner and not just a source of supply. “The best compliment any of us can get is, ‘I rely on SYNNEX as a great business partner because you help me grow my business. You understand what it takes….’ [And] that’s what we are here to do.”

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