IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Synnex = Vertical Solutions + Services

Technology distributor Synnex focuses on the vertical markets with the highest potential for growth, and the solutions that will help VARs be successful in those markets. By ChannelPro

Although it keeps a pretty low profile, Fremont, Calif.-based distributor Synnex Corp. is a $10 billion company that works with 15,000 to 20,000 VARs and is the largest distributor for several key vendors. Web Editor Elaine J. Hom explores the company's vertical market focus with Synnex President and CEO Kevin Murai.

ChannelPro-SMB: What is Synnex's vertical strategy?

Murai: Our vertical focus works hand in hand with our focus on delivering solutions. Being able to sell solutions effectively means that you have to have a pretty deep understanding of the markets and the business you're selling into.

We focus on the ones we think have good growth opportunity for technology solutions [such as healthcare, government, and education]. At the same time, we also focus on different technology platforms, like digital signage, document management solutions, virtualization and server environments, and unified communications.

ChannelPro-SMB: How does Synnex shape its solutions in vertical markets?

Murai: Putting together a solution is much more than putting together a bill of materials and hardware. The vertically specific applications are what we would call the mortar to the solution. In healthcare, for example, we were quite selective when we pursued an EHR-compliant practice management suite - we selected AllScripts. That's the mortar to the solution we sell, but we wrap many offerings around that.

So in addition to selling technology, we sell services like benefits compliance [and] audit services. We also leverage our business process outsourcing [BPO] side of the business. We have thousands of people who can help with back-office or technically related services, where we work in conjunction with our VARs to help educate the market and hold seminars.

ChannelPro-SMB: What does Synnex offer SMB IT providers?

Murai: It comes down to the marketing capabilities that we have. We try to identify, on behalf of our customers and our vendors, where we believe the growth opportunities to be and work hand in hand in these practice areas.

In addition to that, we offer a combination of making our partners look bigger and helping them take down barriers to business. Most of our VARs in the SMB markets are small businesses themselves. They don't necessarily have the balance sheets to support opportunities, so we help them with different financing programs. We [also] have a number of trusted partners that want to take us into sales calls, side by side, to say, “I have the backing of Synnex, a Fortune 500 company. Here's their balance sheet. When you do business with me, you're doing business with Synnex.”

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