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Post-Merger TD SYNNEX to Merge its Two Partner Communities: Page 2 of 2

The distributor has long-term plans to unite its Varnex and TechSelect communities into a single company-wide membership organization, according to Kaye McMillan (pictured), who heads up the company’s CommunitySolv organization. By Rich Freeman

Peter Larocque, president of North American technology solutions at TD SYNNEX, called the CommunitySolv organization a “big bet” for the company during a keynote presentation yesterday morning. McMillan points to Larocque’s presence at the show, along with that of CEO Rich Hume and Americas President Michael Urban, as proof of how important CommunitySolv members are to the company.

“They’ve made a lot of investments in growing the team that is supporting communities,” she says of the three executives.

Some of the justification for that investment stems back to the “Varnex 2.0” strategy that SYNNEX leaders announced two years ago, which aimed to turn a traditional peer-to-peer knowledge sharing organization into a way for the company’s most loyal partners to collaborate on end-to-end, money-making customer solutions. The merger, Stegner notes, “kind of threw the brakes” on that transition. “Now that we’ve crossed that wonderful bridge, we can move forward on it.”

To underscore CommunitySolv’s new status as a revenue source for both members and TD SYNNEX itself, the group now resides within the distributor’s sales organization. “We can actually measure our leadership team against results within the community on growth,” McMillan says, adding that the connection to the salesforce will make identifying potential recruits easier as well.

“Who knows the partners better than the sales team?” she asks.

CommunitySolv currently has some 1,200 members in North America, including over 200 new ones this year. “Thoughtful growth” beyond those numbers is among McMillan’s objectives for 2023.

“We don’t want to get too large, and we want to make sure that we have partners that are going to be investing in the community with their time, with their commitment, and with their engagement,” she says.

Building a roadmap for combining Varnex with TechSelect and aligning their membership benefits will occupy her attention in the coming year too, along with devising a strategy for Stellr, which TD SYNNEX views as a logical home for managed service providers in its partner base. MSPs are “absolutely a focus area” for both Urban and Larocque, according to McMillan.

“We took really kind of a tactical pause about how we wanted to focus on our MSP partners,” she says. “Right now, the vision is that it would really be an overlay community within CommunitySolv.”

Helping partners navigate a recession, should one materialize, is among TD SYNNEX’s shorter-term priorities for CommunitySolv, Stegner adds.

“Maybe we can put some programs together that help them on shipping. Maybe we can put some programs together to help them on travel,” he says. At a minimum, he continues, members will get plenty of input on the current and evolving state of the IT industry from a very large company with an elevated vantage point on those topics.

“They’re going to be relying on us to communicate with them so they can make decisions,” Stegner says. “We can’t tell them how to run their business. That’s a personal thing. But what we can do is help give them guidance.”

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