That said, Benson confesses to having some concern about what happens if a product he needs is out of stock now that there’s one less alternate distributor to turn to. “I had three choices to go through before,” he notes.
For his part, Larocque sees nothing but upside ahead for partners, and not only after all the post-merger adjustments have been completed.
“You’re better off today than you were working with us prior to September 1st,” he said at this week’s conference, in a reference to the official date on which the TD SYNNEX merger closed.
Indeed, over 6,000 partners have received upgraded financing since then. “Credit lines have been increased pretty massively in some cases,” says Phillips, who sees increased financing more generally as one of the top ways combining Tech Data and SYNNEX has benefitted channel pros. Increased access to outsourced professional services assistance, he continues, is another.
“It really opens up possibilities for those SMB resellers to win more business, to be able to perform jobs that they might have turned down in the past, if they didn’t have some kind of certification or knowledge of how to do that job,” Phillips says, noting also that TD SYNNEX delivers services all over the country. “Something that could be geographically far away, they can now take because we’re in all 50 states.”
Phillips and others point to TD SYNNEX’s expanded line card as another advantage partners now enjoy. Resellers couldn’t buy Palo Alto Networks products from Tech Data before, they note, and SYNNEX partners couldn’t buy products from Apple, Dell, or Veeam.
“95% of everything sold in the channel, we carry,” LaRocque told conference attendees Monday. “We’re trying to figure out why the other 5% isn’t there.”
Vendors, for their part, are enjoying the ability to sell to a much larger partner base through a single distributor, says Kinlaw, who’s directly felt the results. Vendor membership revenue from the communities he leads (which include TechSelect and Stellr in addition to Varnex) was up 46% year over year in the first quarter of 2022.
“It’s crazy in a good way,” Kinlaw remarks. “The momentum started, and it’s built and built and built.”
Vendors of all kinds can expect to have more strategic planning conversations with TD SYNNEX going forward as well, according to Stegner, who now has over 375 people working for him. “We didn’t have time to do that before,” he notes.
Phillips expects the combined SMB salesforce to have more bandwidth for partner dialogue too. “We’re going to have even more people, probably more than double the team size,” he says.
Varnex itself is set to grow. The community currently has over 400 members, including 32 signed since start of the year. Kinlaw wants to add hundreds more.
“We have to grow, maybe not by 100%, but some,” he told members this week during a Monday keynote.
Avoiding growth for the sake of growth is important, though, he added in a subsequent conversation with ChannelPro. “TD SYNNEX has thousands of partners. I could easily recruit thousands of partners,” Kinlaw says. “I really am recruiting partners who want to sell solutions.”