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.
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.”
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.”
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.