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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.

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May 12, 2022 |

TD SYNNEX Touts Strength in Solutions at TechSelect Conference

The company’s line card, services capacity, market-ready reference architectures, partner enablement programs, and financing options, executives told attendees at this week’s gathering, position it to take its solutions business to the next level.

That solutions figured prominently in presentations at this week’s meeting of TD SYNNEX’s TechSelect partner community in Phoenix is no surprise. Most of TechSelect’s 400+ members specialize in advanced infrastructure solutions, and Tech Data and SYNNEX both began forging futures for themselves as purveyors of solutions rather than products long before the two distribution giants merged last year.

Comments from TD SYNNEX executives at the show, however, cast light on why the recently hatched industry giant believes its expanded line card, professional services capacity, market-ready reference architectures, partner enablement programs, and financing position it to take its solutions business to the next level. 

Line Card
Solutions are built of products, and TD SYNNEX has over 1,500 product makers on its line card.

“It’s hard to find a vendor that we don’t have a relationship with,” says Kristy Kirbi, the company’s vice president of vendor management for endpoint and edge solutions. Indeed, the last time a TD SYNNEX partner community met back in March, Peter Larocque, the distributor’s North America president, told attendees that between the two of them, Tech Data and SYNNEX offer 95% of everything sold in the channel

Tracking down the remaining 5% is Cheryl Neal’s job. Neal, the distributor’s vice president of new vendor acquisition, spends her days researching and recruiting lesser-known vendors with specialized capabilities in complex markets like cybersecurity as well as emerging markets like augmented reality and the Internet of Things. 

“In order to build a complete next-gen solution, sometimes there are piece parts that those 95% don’t have,” she says. “That’s where you have to kind of look to these newer players.”

Professional Services
Designing, deploying, and supporting solutions takes services as well as products. At the TechSelect conference this week, TD SYNNEX portrayed the breadth and depth of its newly combined professional services organization as a potent resource for channel pros who lack a required skill, need boots on the ground at a remote location, or find themselves temporarily short-handed due to today’s extremely tight labor market.

“Even a small partner can appear bigger than they are, because we white label anything and everything for them,” says Sammy Kinlaw, the distributor’s senior vice president of sales communities for North America. “This will be, I think, the biggest differentiator between us and the rest of the industry.”

To make ordering and utilizing services easier, noted Joe Pittillo, senior vice president of services and engineering for North America, during a panel discussion this week, TD SYNNEX lists roughly 70% of its offerings in areas like installing firewalls, pulling cable, migrating data, and racking servers as static SKUs.

“Same part number and price in Minnesota as it is in Miami,” he said. “It makes it easier for your sales team and faster just to get to market.”

Market-Ready Solutions
Solutions are often highly customized, but pre-validated reference architectures can accelerate the design and delivery process. 

Tech Data has been churning out such resources through its “Solutions Factories” for cloud computing and the Internet of Things since 2019, and TD SYNNEX continues to develop more. Most include detailed instructions for building a solution rather than a specific set of products.

“The reason we don’t create something like a hard bundle is because it’s complex and it really depends on specific circumstances,” explains Stacy Nethercoat, senior vice president of advanced solutions. The exception to the rule, she continues, are the distributor’s “click-to-run” cloud solutions, which are not just blueprinted in advance but assembled upfront as well. 

“Those are literally pre-configured and available for purchase and deployment within minutes,” Nethercoat says.

Partner Enablement
Selling solutions instead of products gives channel pros an edge on the competition. Selling vertical solutions tailored to a specific industry’s unique requirements sharpens that edge. 

“You’re going to win all day, every day,” says Bob Tadevich, president of Network Solutions Inc., a solution provider based in Illinois and Indiana.

Industry expertise promotes customer loyalty too, adds Kinlaw, which is why vendors are working with TD SYNNEX this year to roll out more vertical solutions. “The vendors want stickiness,” he says. 

Partners who don’t yet have industry know-how, however, can draw on several TD SYNNEX programs to get it. Those range from the “Practice Builder” courses Tech Data introduced back in 2017 to more specialized training resources for manufacturing, public sector, and other verticals. Partners looking to cultivate a healthcare business, meanwhile, can tap into the distributor’s healthcare university and even a healthcare internship program.

“We have a partnership with a hospital in Arizona, in the Phoenix area,” Nethercoat says. “We bring partners in and they literally go through an internship inside the hospital, listening to nurses and listening to doctors talk about how they utilize the most modern technology to improve outcomes and ultimately just do a better job.” 

Financing 
Businesses increasingly want to buy solutions as a service. Anthony D’Ambrosi, CEO of ATSG, a provider of IT services and solutions with offices across New York and New Jersey, can still remember when closing that kind of deal meant taking on a whole lot of financial risk. 

“We’d use our own balance sheet. We would act as a bank,” he said during a general session presentation yesterday. “I might own all of the assets upon which the client is consuming the service.”

Today, he noted, partners can leverage resources like TD SYNNEX Capital (and services like it from other distributors) to transfer risk to their distribution partner and collect their money on annuity-based solutions upfront.

“That financial engineering is becoming more and more important in the world of as-a-service models,” D’Ambrosi said.

Distributor financing can be helpful with conventionally priced solutions too at a time when supply chain slowdowns are producing cash flow challenges for channel pros by stretching wait times between ordering hardware and getting paid for it. TD SYNNEX has committed an incremental $1 billion to help channel pros cope with such pressures, and offers a range of loans, leases, and other options.

“They can do it with our brand name. They can do it with your brand name,” said David Jordan, the distributor’s Americas CFO, of TD SYNNEX Capital during a mainstage panel discussion this week. “Their role is to help provide alternative financing to you and your customers to help get more deals over the line.” 


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