“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.
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.”
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.”